Sunday, 24 October 2010


A Sonic Youth fan confounded his friends yesterday by claiming to enjoy the latest Thurston Moore solo seven-inch. ‘Amplifier’s Lament’, on the Not Very Important independent label, features two sides of nothing but squealing feedback and a looped sample of metal drum stands being scraped across a blackboard, to the non-rhythmical backing track of a home recording of Kim Gordon assembling a flatpack Ikea double wardrobe without the aid of tools save for an amputated piano leg. The sleeve to the record features imitation abstract art and boasts “Dedicated to Stockhausen and Kerouac” in attempt to ascribe the indulgent mess an element of gravitas.

Upon receiving the seven-inch in the post, which had been mail-ordered from online record store (“for music more outside than Captain Oates”), the fan slipped the record out of its sub-Joan Miró sleeve, placed it daintily upon his gramophone, lowered the needle carefully, sat down, folded his legs, gazed upwards towards the ceiling, and arrogantly proceeded to nod along to a rhythm that didn’t exist whilst stroking his bearded chin as if appreciating the unholy racket being shat into his ears on a level quite unattainable to normal people. When pressed by his friends on what exactly they were missing, the fan mumbled his meaningless stock phrases of “avant minimalism”, “post-noise experimentation”, “Steve Reich-isms”, and “taking rock to its logical conclusion”. The friends remained unconvinced, leaving him to enjoy the cacophony alone as they departed to attend a Fleet Foxes concert with some girls.

After they had gone, the fan gave the record a couple more spins before logging onto the internet to see if the latest proper Sonic Youth LP was available for preorder yet from the Matador website, secretly anticipating the prospect of listening to something with comprehensible lyrics, conventional rhythms, pop sensibilities, vocal melodies, and some actual bloody music on it.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


British pop duo The Ting Tings have had their otherwise impeccable integrity called into doubt this week as it emerged that, contrary to the earnestly-sung lyrics of their latest single, neither one of the two band members has ever suffered from overwork, fatigue, exhaustion, stress, or ever having had to put the minutest degree of effort into any aspect of their lives in the slightest.

“Clap your hands if you’re working too hard” are the words which, in traditional Ting Tings style, are repeated over and over and over again in their new, imaginatively titled, single “Hands”, which has been all over the radio, and on the television, played in the supermarkets, and sung directly into Jools Holland’s smug pale face.

Ironically, however, it seems that the band did not work hard enough even on this song itself, with its 1980s beats, its 1980s keyboard sound, its spoken-word intro straight out of the 1980s, and its chorus which could not conceivably be any more patronizing towards the audiences to whom it will be played many times over consisting of real human beings who have to work for a living because they aren’t the grandchildren of millionaire lottery winners and who don’t have a father willing to spend his share of inheritance on forming music management companies with which to propel his beloved daughter to fame and success.*

Meanwhile, The Ting Tings have confirmed that they no longer plan to call their forthcoming album “Kunst”, as originally planned, because they decided it was too early in their career for a self-titled record.**


Friday, 8 October 2010


The tantalizing rumours have been circulating throughout the indie rock world for months, but now the moment we’ve all been waiting for is glistening alluringly upon the horizon: Stephen Malkmus has finally announced that he is to reform his seminal and hugely influential guitar and keyboard outfit, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks.

The Jicks, need we remind you, were active in the years 2001-2008 during which time they astounded fans and critics alike with their four LP releases and hit tunes such as Jo Jo’s Jacket, Dark Wave, Baby C’mon, and that song where he says the word “One” over and over again. Since early 2010, however, Malkmus has been inexplicably frittering his time away by playing in the obscure and oddly-named lo-fi group Pavement; a band who are usually accused of causing more irritation than pleasure on account of being too sloppy, too underproduced, too lyrically dexterous, and of not letting Malkmus play enough of his sublimely long and unfocussed not-quite-soothing yet not-quite-rocking nimble-fingered guitar solos.

Having finally put this stain on an otherwise pristine résumé behind him, Malkmus has confirmed on his website that The Jicks are to reform with their classic line-up of Malkmus, Janet Weiss, Joanna Bolme, and that skinny bald guy who makes all those already perfect tunes even more perfect by playing twiddly bits on the keyboard, occasionally hitting a tambourine, and dancing as overenthusiastically as a sexually repressed English Literature masters student having mistakenly overestimated the jollity of the atmosphere at an underwhelming house party.

The Jicks will embark on a world tour next year, with dates on two or perhaps even three different continents, in support of a brand new album produced by none other than the Prince-impersonating Scientologist Beck, a record which will no doubt stringently avoid the pitfalls of sloppiness, underproduction, too few guitar solos, and intelligent lyrical dexterity.

In other news, the long awaited Frank Black and the Catholics reformation has been frustratingly postponed even longer, with Black choosing to schedule further dates with his lackluster vanity project The Pixies.