Monthly Archives: April 2005

Record companies bitching about money (again)

Today’s MediaGuradian carries yet another story about how the UK record industry continues to blame P2P filesharing for poor results and falling record sales. A ‘research’ firm has spent ages working how much money would have been spent by British people if they weren’t busy stealing music instead.

What might have been a more suitable topic for research is: How much more money would British people have spent buying records if the UK record industry spent any money at all on a realistic and genuine effort to pursue new music?

What seems to have happened is that the record company execs looked at the unpredictability of 1990s pop music (first it’s acid house, then Nirvana, then Oasis then Kylie) and thought they’d like a period of stability. Hence, funding went to Coldplay, U2 and their clones… but these new AOR/MOR bands were marketed as ROCK. Which, of course, ain’t the truth. And yeah there was loads of shit around in the 90’s (drum & bass; trance; Dodgy et al) but the same culture that gave birth to (and nurtured) the Red Hot Chili Peppers, also gave birth to Royal Trux.

What I’m trying to say is that I can take all the crap music, if there’s something else being sold which I believe is genuinely ‘independent’, ‘avant-garde’ or just ‘good’. At the moment, the UK record industry is promoting almost no really good music. I’m only 24 so this isn’t an age thing… and i know that there are loads of tiny indie labels out there… but it’s not just independence in terms of money. The UK record industry decided not to gamble on new music… and the UK record buying public has responded in kind. Wake up, BPI: we’ll invest in you when you invest in music.

Wire: Stay glued To Your TV Set

It must be the good weather rolling in, but after a lull of two months where I practically only listened to ‘Cats And Dogs’, ‘Elliott Smith’ and ‘Let’s Dance’ oh and ‘Bad Behaviour’ by the Super Furries, I am suddenly revelling in the dusty contents of my iPod and the CDs that slipped to the back of a pile.

Recently rediscovered albums:
Wire: Pink Flag
Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen…
Stuff by Quasi. Other things including stuff I don’t know the name of.

All-Night Fox reviews

The day I received Neil Michael Hagerty’s last album: The Howling Hex, I immediately got on to “my people” at (much cheaper/faster than buying from Drag City, at least for me), to order All-Night Fox, the new album from his new band The Howling Hex. OK so his band is called the same as his last album… it must be some kind of trick? Or is it MagicScience?

Yes and now I have the album. It’s good. HH is good because it has some great songs on it. ANF is good because it’s concept without being unlistenable. I’m not going to wax all lyrical here because frankly I can’t get most of the lyrics. But then I’ve only listened to it about 3 times. I just dig the rock music.

There are some silly/wordy reviews around spouting blabbering-crap as per usual. Don’t try and get revisionist on us, Billy Fields, cause you ain’t the bee’s knees. Any punk who starts a “hey the Trux sucked” sort of piece ought to be careful he isn’t getting a little too big for his boots. Billy Boy. In fact, after re-reading his tripe, I must say it’s good. Check out his other reviews cos this boy don’t know shit, but he can write just like anybody else!

The Howling Hex

Just got the seemingly ancient Neil Michael Hagerty album The Howling Hex. Oh believe the hype, boys and girls. It’s great. Even the wacky violin tracks. EVEN the bit that sounds a tiny amount like Manu Chao. This is an album I can enjoy summer to. So this morning, I only went and placed an order for the apparently even better All-Night Fox.

I feel all the anti-Transmaniacon emotion now. Cos while Jennifer has come up with some passably decent spoof-metal songs, and she has the skulls to prove it, The Howling Hex continues The Royal Trux better than anything Jennifer has come up with. I guess I could put on Transmaniacon and we’d sit round and sort of giggle at the OTT guitar and autotuning… the killer riffs and the ripped-off lyrics (from two great Trux songs, Shockwave rider and Sweet Sixteen no less). Maybe it’s got to do with the way I only really listen to Cats and Dogs these days, but the Howling Hex manage to continue the jazzy, rock’n’roll free music feel, the lyrics are good, and sadly I don’t even miss Jenn’s singing. Maybe her next work will be a bit more honest and less posture. She said all this shit recently in an interview about listening to the Rocky IV soundtrack for two months or something. “I like winners” she said. Well the Howling Hex is a fuck’s sight better than RTX.

So summer evenings aren’t far away… they get into your blood and lift up your soul. Girls in skirts, warm mornings, sultry evenings, beers on the terrace, tending my roses, late night sessions at Plaça Reial and the chiringuitos… Here we go……….