The British National Party (BNP), a tiny, ultra right-wing political group in the UK has sparked anger across the music business by using the song â€˜I Predict A Riotâ€™ by the Kaiser Chiefs as the soundtrack for one of their propaganda videos on the website Youtube.com.
A BNP spokesman denied that the video had ever contained a Kaiser Chiefs song claiming, â€œThis isn’t the type of music our party would ever want to be associated with, like rap music we think it’s wrong to play this stuff. What’s wrong with Beethoven?” This reminds me of the argument I had with a neo-Nazi in the Red Lion one evening where he tried to convince me that rock and pop music are bad because theyâ€™re both â€˜black musicâ€™. What an idiot.
The Kaiser Chiefs have yet to confirm whether they will be taking legal action against the party. The video has since been withdrawn from the Youtube.com site after complaints were made about its content. Despite this, there remain a large number of unpleasant, racist films hosted at the site as well as hundreds of members actively involved in posting racist, fascist and homophobic comments to videos and fellow users alike.
It strikes me as very odd that the people who run Youtube.com find nudity disgusting but organised, political racism passable. How can it be that the siteâ€™s editors can delete a film with a handful of expletives in it, yet films featuring such disgracefully racist material stay intact?
Pop music can be a difficult terrain to navigate: just what do you feel okay listening to, and can you admit to it? This issue is at the heart of dozens of websites (like myspace.com and last.fm) and grips millions of young people searching for their Pan.
Myself, I pretty much decided that I’d stick with Royal Trux about seven years ago. For me, their blend of free jazz, 70’s opiate-rock, RnB, boogie-woogie and smart, personal, witty, political lyrics was enough. Despite my liking for bands such as The Fall, I am still certain that Royal Trux sum up what it is I want pop music to be: cool, sexy, angry, bored, wasted, wise.
Neil Hagerty, one half of Royal Trux is my first pop music hero. He was a guitarist in Pussy Galore, a band now confined to the ‘most mental album I own’ category (a bit like Royal Trux?!)… and while I’m unsure as to how much influence he had on the values of that group, I’m aware that he was behind their covering the entire Exile On Main Street album. A declaration of intent, perhaps.
Through their albums, Royal Trux have covered enough material for a complete website or two (see the links in my sidebar). Suffice to say, I drank a bottle of vodka the night they broke up. Stupid of me. It should have been juice. Since then, Neil Hagerty has released a series of albums (firstly solo, now with The Howling Hex), all of which I’ve found to be entertaining, challenging and good pop records. My favourites are probably the two solo/band crossover records, Niel Michael Hagerty – The Howling Hex and The Howling Hex – All Night Fox. Continue reading Neil Hagerty, Ian Svenonius: Two pop music heroes you may not know but, like, should
Once upon a time the AK-47 provided
some solace to anyone
who defied the empire and who dared
to march and hold a gun
I remember walking through the jungle looking up
through my new defoliated roof;
Everybody said : “Ooh, run for cover”
but I stood my ground cos I knew:
There was nothing that could catch us
there was nothing that could hurt us
yeh, we’d inherit the earth
As long as we kept
that hatred in our heart
as long as we could
With the power of
Inspired, eccentric, singer and guitarist Arthur Lee has died from leukaemia in hospital in Memphis. As the unpredictable leader of psychedelic pop band, Love, Lee inspired generations of musicians as well as his peers with his combination of folk, rock and punk. To me, their album Forever Changes is almost perfect (and this is from someone who as a rule, strives to ‘prefer the earlier stuff’ from everyone).