How NOT to write about music – 161. Jarv Is

Jarv Is House Music All Night Long

Beautiful bit of irony at 2.45
Beautiful bit of ironing at 3.50
Who needs music critics when you can have articulate commentators?

Beautiful bit of foot work at 2.59
Beautiful bit of Kraftwerk at 1.45
Who needs articulate commentary when you can have pop-up punditry?

Beautiful bit of 70s disco at 4.40
Beautiful bit of O_KAN_U_GO at 5.24
Who needs pop-up pundits when you have Jarv Is and his icebox band?

Beautiful bit of musical insulation
Beautiful bit of interior decoration

“House Music All Night Long” isn’t quite as self-deprecating as “Must I Evolve?,” the first single that’s a call-and-response reaction to modern rhetoric. Instead, “House Music” is a dreamy dance track that imagines the club genre as a background for domestic routine. His lyrics are just as snarky and innuendo-laden as they were in Pulp, but at 56 years old, he’s “fully grown,” and now he’s creating house music for his fellow Gen X’ers, who might prefer to listen to it in their plush living rooms than out at a rave.
Song You Need to Know: Jarv Is, ‘House Music All Night Long’

  • Hack Frauds: I love how the music video screams working class James Bond.
  • Marcus Mötz – Musik, Dokus & mehr: Reminds me of the old Pulp days back in the early 90s. Who would have thought that Jarvis would come up with a funky sound like this! So glad he’s back!
  • Paul Sinclair: The leg kick…the arse pout…the finger point..Jarv is back
  • dieuble: How about a remix by James Murphy/LCD Soundsystem?
  • vigilant-ish: Oh shit this sounds like something off Separations. I love it
  • Jose Hernandez: It’s happening, isn’t it?!
  • djzenelvis: Monday is starting to be a party day.
  • Alessia Arcuti: Fridge situation: common people in quarantine time!
  • Angel Lorna: I’d like a fridge with a tiny band inside. Plug for pricey Samsung!
  • Sean Liddle: House Music.. vs house music. Wonderful imagery. Perfect.

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Featured snippet from the web
The latest single from JARV IS…’s Beyond The Pale is “House Music All Night Long” a funky tune that is a throwback of sorts. The music video is a vibrantly loud, funk-tinged groove that parallels with various colorful palettes that are in full effect in the music video.1 day ago

Ten songs threatening to go viral in 2020: UPDATE

Björk Virus

Panic (buying) on the streets of London
Panic (buying) on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again?

1 (-) The Smiths – Panic (buying)

2 (3) Joy Division – (Self) Isolation

3 (-) The Freshies – I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester ASDA Toilet Roll Check-out Desk

4 (1) The Knack – My Corona

5 (-) The Divinyls – I Touch Myself (Just Not My Face)

6 (-) Minutemen – Corona

7 (2) Los del Rio – Macorona

8 (-) The Damned – There Ain’t No Sanitizer Clause

9 (-) Björk – Virus

10 (6) Buggles – COVID-19 Killed The Radio Star

How NOT to write about music – 160. Dixie Chicks

Dixie Chicks - Gaslighter

A student just played me the new Dixie Chicks song, their first in 12 years. It’s blown my head apart. So inspirational. I appreciate that the song (‘Gaslighter’) may well be about Natalie Maines’ ex-husband but I am certain I am not the only one who will take it in a much broader context to refer to America’s Gaslighter-In-Chief, Donald Trump.

First, people who gaslight tell obvious lies. You know that they are lying. The issue is how they are lying with such ease. The gaslighter is setting up an abusive pattern. You begin to question everything and become uncertain of the simplest matters. This self-doubt is exactly what the gaslighter wants.

Again, you know they said what they said. However, they completely deny ever saying it. The gaslighter may push the point and ask you to ‘prove it,’ knowing that you only have your memory of the conversation that they are denying happened. It starts to make you question your memory and your reality. You begin to wonder if the gaslighter is right, maybe they didn’t really ever say what you remember. Consequently, more and more often, you question your reality and accept theirs.

Notably, a person who gaslights talks and talks. However, their words mean nothing. Therefore, it is important to look at what they are doing. The issues lie in their abusive actions towards the victim.

Gaslighting: Signs You’re Suffering From This Secret Form of Emotional Abuse

I mean I’d mention the gorgeous harmonies – and man, they are gorgeous – and the driving beat, but that’s kind of beside the point, isn’t it?

P.S. The volume is best pushed as loud as you can go.

APPENDIX ONE

What ruined Dixie Chicks?
On March 10, 2003, during a London concert, nine days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines told the audience: “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas”, which garnered a positive reaction from the British audience but led to a contrasting negative reaction and ensuing boycotts in the United States, where talk shows denounced the band, their albums were discarded in public protest and corporate broadcasting networks blacklisted them for the remainder of the Bush years.

APPENDIX TWO

What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which a person, to gain power and control, plants seeds of uncertainty in the victim. The self-doubt and constant scepticism slowly and meticulously cause the individual to question their reality.

Perhaps the best way to examine this inherently abusive behaviour is to go straight to the source, the 1944 film Gaslight. The film tells a story of a husband systematically brainwashing his wife to the point that she legitimately thinks she is going insane. The wife fights to protect her identity all while her husband viciously tries to take it away.

While it never disappeared, over seven decades later, gaslighting has fully resurfaced in the dating world. Additionally, the term has resurfaced recently in some online publications to describe President Trump.

APPENDIX THREE

The last time the Dixie Chicks reinvented themselves, it was hard to know what would come next. On their most recent album, 2006’s Taking the Long Way, the country trio wrote about being spurned by their industry, faced with uncertainty at the point when most bands on their level are finding career equilibrium. “They say time heals everything,” Natalie Maines sang in the mammoth single ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’, “but I’m still waiting.” They would continue waiting: After the tour for that album, they took a decade-plus hiatus from releasing new music together, during which their influence loomed larger than ever and their fight against a misogynist industry was echoed by a new generation of singer-songwriters.
Best New Track, Pitchfork

APPENDIX FOUR

Sixteen Years Later, Country Radio Is Still Mad at the Dixie Chicks
Their appearance on Taylor Swift’s “Soon You’ll Get Better” is prompting angry comments and calls from radio listeners still upset about their anti-Iraq-War stance.

APPENDIX FIVE

Considering all the ground that the Dixie Chicks broke, it’s almost fitting that they also pioneered getting cancelled in the digital age. But their refusal to back down didn’t just impact their legacy; it impacted how we see cancellation itself. Through their actions, the Dixie Chicks asserted that fandom isn’t ownership and that you can’t control someone’s thoughts just because you buy their albums or see their movies (or refuse to buy their albums or see their movies). They asserted their rights to be complex human beings and not live up to whatever image their fans projected. It was an incredibly risky statement to make. But in the end, it paid off, for them, and for everyone else who refuses to shut up and sing.
The Dixie Chicks Were Cancelled For Criticizing The President. Now, They’re Heroes.

APPENDIX SIX

‘Gaslighter’ conjures Dixie Chicks standbys like ‘Not Ready To Make Nice’ and ‘The Long Way Around’, songs that turn the group’s own personal turmoils into layered pop texts. The trio’s ‘Gaslighter’ video, with its unsubtle political and historical imagery, uses Maines’ travails as a template for decades of personal and collective national pain.
You Definitely Need to Hear This New Dixie Chicks Song

APPENDIX SEVEN

Little known fact: the producer on the new Dixie Chicks album Jack Antonoff is a huge Daniel Johnston fan. (He also produced Taylor Swift’s seismic ‘Out Of The Woods’ and Lorde. Respect.)

How NOT to write about music – 158. Slum Of Legs

Slum_of_Legs

Here’s the deal. Other pundits will give you more considered, nuanced takes on Brighton’s Slum Of Legs – whose debut self-titled album has just been released, four or five years later than some of us might have hoped. They will use words like “post punk jags” and “indie pop froth” and draw comparisons to names such as Mary Timony, The Ex and… oh just go and read the bloody thing, why don’t you? That’s all fine and good. That’s what decent critics do. Contemporise, extemporise, cheer lead. Shake those fluffy pom-poms. Look serious. Make relevant contextual (social, political, cultural) connections so the reader can understand without listening.

Me? I just say, have a fucking listen.

Me? I say, have a listen.

Critics do what critics must. I long ago gave up such trappings.

Me? Slum Of Legs inspired me to plagiarise a much-loved children’s book.

I view myself as a fangirl, camping out for days before the event in the hope of touching the hem of the anointed garment, throwing away marriages and happiness in a futile quest to put across my adoration for music.

Case study one.

I’m gone. Solid. Stuck here, thinking. Stuck here, thinking that Tamsin can articulate loneliness and hope and the thrill of the dance floor much better than I ever could. Stuck here, entertained thoroughly by all the shenanigans going on on stage. Stuck like glue. Stuck here. Of course it is sadder not to dance at all than to dance alone. Of course we all – kindred souls us; the trans folk, the gentile hipsters, the students, the old and weary – are stuck on the edge of a dance floor, not allowed in except for brief brilliant bursts of crimson. Of course my head is bobbing. Stuck, caught in a trance. Paralysed. Doll-like. The difference between Slum Of Legs and most anyone else is that if Slum Of Legs don’t get me, they’d tell me to my face. (Not Brisbane at all, then.)

Check the title of the blog entry again. I agree, with the benefit of years of isolation. that it is open to misinterpretation. At the time, all I wanted was to communicate was my passion for the music. And that was it. As I wrote in July 2015, “For 35 brief minutes I have found my home again. I leave just as Tamsin is pulling down the keyboard-player on top of her, and catch my bus with two minutes to spare”.

NOTE: the pull quote above is referring to the song in the YouTube clip.

Let the other critics do what critics must: validate, disseminate,  converse, add layers of understanding and enjoyment. It has been five years now, and I am still not quite ready to listen to the new Slum Of Legs album. Let me savour the anticipation (“Anticipation is so much better” – Delta 5) for a bit longer. Please. I will get back in contact when I have: some moments are too important to rush.

Me? I cannot do any of that. Right now, I want to savour the memory of when I saw Slum Of Legs perform for the first time – a mere month after our return from Brisbane – and felt that yes, there may be a place for me here after all. Let me savour the memory of a time when I had a home and friends and I was in love with Brighton and music and Slum Of Legs once more.

I walked down to the venue, savouring the warm summer evening. I caught the bus back home, with two minutes to spare.

I had a home.

How NOT to write about music – 157. Roxy Music

Roxy-Music

I have just discovered Roxy Music.

I am furious.

How is it that, in nearly 50 years, that not one of my friends or colleagues has seen fit to alert me to the inspirational greatness that is the first three Roxy Music albums? Is there some sort of secret music-lovers club that I have never been deemed cool enough to be a member of, some conspiracy wherein every few months or so elites of Roxy Music-loving people would gather and giggle and point in my direction and go, “look at him. He still hasn’t got it yet.” WAS IT ALL JUST AN EXCUSE TO MAKE FUN IN MY DIRECTION? I do not understand how this wonderment of riches, this delight of delights, this mad sprawl of art and artisan and piss-taking and squalling brass and demented vocals and random rhythmic breaks and sex and semen could have passed me by for FOUR DECADES.

I came to music in the late Seventies, Roxy Music were all about the crooning and smoothness, ‘Avalon’ and fucking ‘Jealous Guy’ with its fucking whistling, and while ‘Avalon’ was OK and all, hardly a reason to go back and check out what seemed to merely amount to art school preciousness and musicianly in-jokes, hardly a good advert for WHAT IS POSSIBLY THE GREATEST ROCK GROUP OF THE SEVENTIES. You bastard, laughing, elitist, music-loving fuckers. You never told me about the ferocity and squalor contained within Ferry’s vocals, the demented rhythms that keep going and going, the mistakes and jarring insertions. How dare you keep this from me!

Sure, I knew ‘Virginia Plain’ and sure I knew they were an influence on many I loved – Pere Ubu, Half-Japanese, Sonic Youth, anything from the early Eighties with pretensions of fun and deft illusion, most of everything I saw in the last Seventies that I loved now I come to realise it –  but come on! Why didn’t you tell me? I’ve told you fuckers often enough. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME??? I feel like Caitlin Moran, furious, calling me up at Melody Maker from NYC in the early 90s, drunk and out of breath.‬

‪“YOU NEVER TOLD ME…A…BOUT MARGARITAS!” she yelled furiously.‬

‪I feel the same way about Roxy Music.

“WHY DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME…A…BOUT ROXY MUSIC?!”‬

For fuck’s sake people. You have had 50 years.

*As Tim Footman says (only now, mind), (only now, that I have finally broken through the barriers of silence and grand conspiracy to keep me un-illuminated), “Everything that is right and good in music begins [in ‘Re-make’] at about 1:06”.

Ten songs threatening to go viral in 2020

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars

1. The Knack – My Corona

2. Los del Rio – Macorona

3. Joy Division – (Self) Isolation

4. Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now

5. Buggles – COVID-19 Killed The Radio Star

6. James Bay – Pink (Corona) Lemonade

7. Corona – The Rhythm Of The Night

8. Gilbert O’Sullivan – Coronagain (Naturally)

9. Love – Coronagain Or

10. The Legend! + Crayola Lectern – The End Of The World (Skeeter Davis cover)

 

How NOT to write about music – 156. Kid Loco

Kid Loco

I was going to start this blog entry by listing some of the myriad ways that my mate Sadie is amazing – and make no mistake, she is amazing – but then realised that perhaps this is the sort of approach that has got me into trouble innumerable in the past, and figured that a different tack was required.

This morning, a woman collapsed on the train right next to me, keeled over onto a seated passenger, unconscious. There is a split second when you think she’s putting it on, or lost her balance – and then, as she rolls off the other passenger and onto the floor, “Oh my fucking God. Is she still breathing?” Someone is shouting “pull the cord” so someone pulls the communication cord, faces stunned momentarily, woken from their Monday glaze, already something to tell the office on arrival, but when the driver comes over the Tannoy they’re too nervous to speak, so you explain the situation to the driver, tell him there is a woman collapsed, just coming back into consciousness, sitting up, someone’s giving her some water.

The train pulls into the station, everyone scrambles to leave, some with the odd nod towards concern towards their stricken colleague, most everyone concerned about wasting precious time, and I’m thinking to myself “What if she’s really not OK?”, so I stick around as people brush impatiently past, make sure the conductor and driver arrive, only leave when reassured that she’s going to be OK.

I know Sadie would have done the same.

Sadie sings on this.

How NOT to write about music – 155. HotWax

79676238_147930953283938_8303796848468951040_n

Deadpan, drawling, drooling, sarcastic, NICE. Killer warped guitar solo that increases the sense of discomfort at around 2.27 minutes. Song builds and shudders as it builds, moody, Gothic (with a small ‘g’), hypnotic. From the knife capital of the south coast (I don’t know if that is still true) Hastings, and released just two days ago on YouTube, but if you were to tell me this was some great overlooked DIY single from the early Eighties/late Seventies complete with flanger and whooshing effects (rediscovered via Messthetics perhaps) then I would be inclined to believe you, not least because of the group’s flagrant abuse of echo, cymbals and three-note refrains.

I say this like it could be construed as a bad thing but of course it is not a bad thing at all. You can imagine Billie Eilish fans dancing down deserted mid-American shopping arcades to this. Well, you might not be able to but I can.

They really like cats and I really like cats and really, there’s not much to dislike here is there?

10 Least Read Entries on How NOT To Write About Music (February 2020)

Vira Talisa Dharmawan

These are all drawn from the last six months on this blog, five from the last two months.

Sigh.

1 (-) How NOT to write about music – 147. Vira Talisa Dharmawan
I have had cause to comment on my delight on the way YouTube algorithms can work in my favour, but man. This is a delight. Laid back Indonesian pop with a slight jazz inflection that goes for a walk on the beach and turns its shoulder just when you think you might say hello.

2 (-) How NOT to write about music – 105. Georgia
This is boss. This is banging. This is heavy metal. This is my frontal ear lobe, distorted out of shape by the sullen repetitive beats. This is Cristina. This is a (train) ride to nowhere. This is one too many late nights out spent shimmering in a dislocated spotlight, propped up by the bravado brought on by too much alcohol. This is knowledge. This is fantasy.

3 (-) How NOT to write about music – 115. Sarah Blasko
Gorgeous space. Gorgeous voice, too. Here, have a taste.

4 (-) How NOT to write about music – 117. Remember Sports
This makes me want to trace elephants, tumble down the aisle with a ring of commuters holding my hands, cartwheel across infinity and scream into the silence. This music makes me miss whole forbidden areas of Australia. This makes me to dance the street, chant the underground, race the fading taillights.

5 (-) How NOT to write about music – 154. Bloods
Just glorious rock’n’roll like I believed it should always be played… by females (and the occasional man). Just glorious, straight up.

6 (-) How NOT to write about music – 120. Victoria Monét
Everyone saying its a low budget video but their clothes probably cost more than my house

7 (-) How NOT to write about music – 136. Kim Petras
A good song is a good song; if you give me a couple minutes more I could nail the songs below remind me of; maybe it could be a capsule game for you instead – write in and join the community!; any problem I have with the idea of power ballads and soft rock long since evaporated and I feel all the happier for this

8 (-) How NOT to write about music – 148. Tom Waits
Not so much a blog entry, more a game of Spot the Connection.

9 (-) How NOT to write about music – 123. Låpsley & DJ Koze
Lifted out of my Great Pop Mixtape November 2019 for a little more emphasis, a little more oomph, a little less conversation a little more action on this cold wet miserable grey cold (have I mentioned the temperature yet?) Tuesday lunchtime.

10 (-) How NOT to write about music – 151. U.S. Girls
There is a sense of urgency, isolation, regret, no release, a late Seventies shuffle, honey-sweet vocals all the more disturbing for their honey-sweetness, a sax solo at the close.