Friday, August 31, 2007



This was a record I so dearly wanted to put out on Gringo Records as it exerted an exciting bolt of energy thrust of energy into the Colchester music scene exhibiting a kind of unity that had not previously been in place with this generation. Without doubt upon his arrival from Canada The Blitters rejuvenated the scene during the band’s brief existence.

“Eating Your Brains” is a frenetic and schizophrenic slab of vinyl. It opens with the lines “said she couldn’t be my date ‘cos she had the chicken pox” which to be honest is up there with best beginnings of any song. From there the opening despatch flips gear as the pace steps up to what sounds like a race between the vocal delivery and charged killer beats.

The Blitters were an electro punk band equal parts Suicide equal parts hardcore punk which all melded into a less abrasive Big Black type proposition with wonderful keyboard lines and hi-hats that sound like cooking pot lids.

In a live setting The Blitters was a wonderful thing to behold as a crazy professor set out to cause as much havoc onstage as resources would allow him/them. Over the course of their existence The Blitters would cover himself in mustard, throw his head into a bag full of brains (well, grapes), destroy a computer, fire silly string into the audience while a smoke machine would coat the stage in confusion. If pyrotechnics had been allowed they would have been executed.

On the flipside “Kill The Lucky” offers an apocalyptic social rant deploying disgust towards those born into money that are protected by the cloak of their family’s wealth. It is a song about being morally bankrupt and a call to arms to insert some justice into proceedings, albeit a call that will never be acted upon. While the Dead Kennedys had their half tongue in cheek “Kill The Poor” this could well be the equally stinging retort. Nobody should get out of here alive.

Gaining two airplays from John Peel in the process, this is a massive and essential piece of Colchester music history.

Thesaurus moment: soar.

The Blitters
The Blitters interview
The Blitters live
Bad Hand Records

Thursday, August 30, 2007



This was the great Jane’s Addiction comeback single and truly it matched up to all expectations in a manner and at a level that deep down you really didn’t think they would/could accomplish. Forget how old and silly they now looked on TV and/or in videos this had energy, power and flight that covered so much ground and ticked so many boxes.

When the single came out the first time I heard it was as single of the week on the old Mark And Lard afternoon show on Radio One. You could sense that they jumped at the opportunity to make it there single of the week and as I listened to their show on my old Nokia mobile phone all was excessively frowned upon by the powers that be and the people that would eventually sack me for blogging about their organisation.

The release of the song also coincided with one of my co-workers blowing me out on a long planned date. For me the lyrics suddenly took on a new meaning, a more specific and directed one. Lines such as “if I were you I’d better watch out” worked perfectly as I walked around for weeks with a snarl directed at the flat chested and moustached girl. I almost found myself asking her “when was the last time you did anything?” with regards to her lack of enthusiasm for going out with me. Of course I didn’t do these things, that would have just been psycho. No, I just thought them.

It is strange now how as a result of that Radio One playlisting that this has become THE Jane’s Addiction song for a certain section of people.

Drama aside it is actually a very good track with Dave Navarro truly on song as he towers above the song prior to dropping bombs. This is a much layered song which continues to resurge every time you think that it is taking a rest or slowing down. There is a wicked pace to proceedings that I don’t feel was previously evident with older Jane’s Addiction material and as a result it lends a mature and measured strand to the piece that offers depth and ultimately longevity.

This is the way you return from the dead.

Thesaurus moment: jaunt.

Jane’s Addiction

Wednesday, August 29, 2007



Pump Up The Volume these days appears to be something of a great lost teenage rebellion movie from the early nineties. With Christian Slater in full Jack Nicholson mode it came coupled with Heathers as a cynical take on high school life in America viewed from the perspective of the cool outcast.

For some reason while Heathers is widely available (including even being given away free with a Sunday newspaper at one point), Pump Up The Volume is unavailable on DVD and seldom seen. Perhaps the movie is not up to the standards that the fifteen year old me recalls but with a pre-Nirvana alternative rock soundtrack it was quite possibly taping into a movement that was about to go overground.

The movie centres on Slater playing a shy high school kid who at night hits the airwaves as “Happy Harry Hard-on” with his subversive pirate radio show that initially plays loud and sweary songs that are not heard on normal radio stations while the DJ waxed lyrical in almost teenage Howard Beale style just how fucked everyone and everything was/is. Then as he gained a following and tapes of his shows were circulated things became serious as he message began to have an affect on the students causing great concern for the corrupt and evil teachers throwing out the troublemakers and dumb kids in order to bump up their pass rates. That would never happen in real life.

Slater would begin each radio show with “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen as his theme music. This was definitely my first exposure to the work of Cohen. Unfortunately here on the official soundtrack album the song comes in the form of a cover version by Concrete Blonde, a kind of L7 without the looks, talent or credibility.

And I this is probably the biggest problem of this album as it fails to fully represent what it is supposed to with regards to the meaning of the movie. Welcome to a world run by adults. Not least when oldie Ivan Neville is track two.

A band called Liquid Jesus chip in with a catchy, quirky number (a Sly & The Family Stone cover called “Stand”) that I guess is supposedly “out there” and to its credit it does possess a hook but ultimately, who the fuck are they?

Finally with track does the record reach genuine credibility with the Pixies and the “UK Surf” version of “Wave Of Mutilation.” I probably shouldn’t admit it but this was the first time I ever heard the Pixies and it was a pretty decent way to start, even to the point that for years I could stand the “normal” version of the song, finding it crass in comparison to this laidback, almost Beach Boys-esqe take on the classic.

It was probably the Henry Rollins collaboration with Bad Brains that drove me to part with my money for this album at a time when I really couldn’t afford more than a CD every week or so. Again I have to concede that this was the first time and place that I ever heard the MC5 call to action “Kick Out The Jams” in any form, not even realising that this was a cover. With Rollins’ trademark bellow he dominates the song, pretty much making it a song he was born to deliver.

From here token rap act Above The Law swear like troopers in early nineties hip hop style sounding like a combination of Gangstarr and an NWA solo joint. Actually a pretty good track from a no name outfit. Hell, its better than most things rap today.

Then comes the grunge future as Soundgarden chip in with the jokey “Heretic” while Sonic Youth drop “Titanium Expose” from Goo, which was always a classic multi layered whisk of excitement.

The Cowboy Junkies hop in towards the end with a cover of “Me And The Devil Blues” by Robert Johnson that comes caked in slide guitar and violin that truly serves to compliment the original and add a new haunting tone to the song in an efficient manner.

All in all this a half decent compilation of tracks that suggests didn’t have too much of a budget or the blessing of the older statesmen potentially involved. It is disappointed that “Love Comes In Spurts” by Richard Hell was absent in addition to the original “Everybody Knows” as the inclusion of both would have introduced a whole new generation to the wares of a couple of legends. From time to time the missing tracks from the soundtrack appear online as a kind of companion which are well worth searching out not least for additional tracks by the Beastie Boys and the Descendents.

These days the guy would just do a podcast but I don’t think you could really make a movie out that.

Thesaurus moment: almost.

Pump Up The Volume
MCA Records

Tuesday, August 28, 2007



This record is about collision, the collision of styles, the collision of genres, of sounds and these days would be led to believe of personalities. Imagine crossing art school with surf and hardcore and you begin to get an idea of what the Pixies sound like.

The band has always been one of strong personalities and unique qualities. As the record opens with “Debaser” a blissfully rubbery bassline grabs hold of proceedings before a siren guitar part descends and explodes onto the scene prior to a screaming man of insane proportions singing about obscure French art films (Un Chien Andalou) takes over proceedings.

From here the banshee wail vocal style seldom relents as one of the few genuinely original singing voices of any genres works its magic.

By the third song the band is singing along the lines of Charles Manson and a “Wave Of Mutilation” casting a true concern and intrigue regarding the background of the individuals summoning the words. Then this track is followed by a number entitled “I Bleed” that exudes some kind of pre-frenzy calmness before exploding into chaotic scenes of potential homicide and personal disgrace. The ringing sound that remains in your mind/head afterwards is intentional.

When I first got into the Pixies I was prone to singing their songs out loud, most frequently “Here Comes Your Man” and “Monkey Gone To Heaven.” Most explicitly I remember once singing “Here Comes Your Man” and some drippy girl thinking that these words were a come on from me. Perhaps this is why she hung around me for a few months. When however I would sing the words “this monkey’s gone to heaven” and “then God is seven” certain people just thought I was a Jesus freak.

As the record arrives as “Dead” this is almost the first duff track of the collection, only saved by the funny playing on the part of Santiago and Black Francis repeatedly saying “the crapper.” It does however serve as a fine lead into “Monkey Gone To Heaven.”

“Monkey Gone To Heaven” is a genuinely towering song. As the opening bars levitate it above proceedings that slope into a slick Deal bassline and occasional string chimes it performs large big service for the band offering up a kind of happy melancholy that flows spiritually and endeavours to deal with the big questions. Following art house and murderous pretensions you suddenly begin question whether this is the work of a manipulative cult as opposed to a struggling rock band on an independent label.

Unfortunately from this point I have always felt the record peters off. It also suddenly begins to feel distinctly South of the border. “Mr Grieves” plays out like a dusty porch song while “Crackity Jones” is almost basic hardcore punk akin to The Plugz.

The terribly sarcastic “La La Love You” I feel demeans the record with a snide touch that is just too fickle to decipher. I am positive though it is where Kurt Cobain derived inspiration for his vocal method when they performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on Top Of The Pops. Its still a very silly song though.

From here I just feel the album ends on a bum note. “There Goes My Gun” is a fun song with another mixed up sentiment that could easily be taken either way including the psychotic. Perhaps it was quite fitting in the end that they used a Pixies song at the end of Fight Club.

Doolittle climaxes with “Gouge Away”, an almost whispered and threatening outro with a sinister tone that could just as easily be swallowed as Black Francis instructing “go away.” Obviously Santiago eventually drops in to turn the track into a cacophony and ends the album with a sense of closure and subtle devastation.

There is no doubting that this is a great band making a great record.

Thesaurus moment: titivate.


Monday, August 27, 2007



Originally released as a triple vinyl album this was the second compilation that Sub Pop put out as a showcase for the label’s wares pushing the Sub Pop brand in a similar style to Motown in the sixties.

Consisting of twenty songs by twenty acts it is a very strong lineup boasting most of the acts that made the label a critical if not commercial success on its way to representing grunge.

The collection opens with Tad and “Sex God Missy” who the powers that were at the company really thought was going to be the act to make the biggest dent. Physically it was no-brainer but ultimately it just wasn’t going to happen that way.

Soon Nirvana come rolling along with a studio version of “Spank Thru” which is passable but not a shade on live versions of the song that have emerged elsewhere (not least on the “Sliver” EP). This however is probably why most copies of the CD re-release were purchased post Nevermind.

Following comes the truly astounding Steven Jesse Bernstein (billed here as Steven J. Bernstein) sounding like the angriest man in history as he growls out a spoken word piece called “Come Out Tonight” that appears to be putting him the place of a horny JFK going unfulfilled. Maybe.

The first of a number of cover versions follows with the sound of the tide beckoning Mudhoney to drawl out their version of “The Rose” that Bette Midler was so well known for. To the song Mark Arm brings much pained emotion as fuzzed up drone of Steve Turner’s guitar suggests just what may have been missing from the life of Mary Rose Foster all the long.

A collective/scene/label feel is most staunchly brought to the table by Soundgarden who do their Kiss thing by transplanting the rock city from Detroit to Sub Pop with their contribution “Sub Pop Rock City”. This is the first truly great song on the compilation as Cornell screams about his hometown sounding like Paul Stanley in overdrive. A wonderful chorus arrives before mid song a telephone call is made from the Sub Pop office and their bosses regarding the band’s sideburns before Kim Thayil goes wah crazy in a manner most righteous. These guys were always great.

Despite having mutated into Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone by this point Green River appear on the compilation with “Hangin’ Tree” which demonstrates the weird and dark humour that inhabited the scene at the time, one that outsiders would be troubled to understand. “Hangin’ Tree” is most definitely one of the finer moments of Green River’s career as a looping guitar line accompanies Arm’s demented subject matter before going slightly metal towards the conclusion.

Sub Pop evergreens The Fastbacks follow Green River with a cover of a Green River song in the form of “Swallow My Pride”. I have read in the past that this song was always hoped to be a kind of “Louie Louie” for the scene, a song that defined and brought everyone together. The Fastbacks version is a speeded up version that you begin to question is even a cover at all sounding very removed from the original. In other words, they made it there own.

From here two more great cover versions arrive in the form of the Girl Trouble take on “Gonna Find A Cave” by the Banana Splits and the Screaming Trees version of “Love Or Confusion” by Hendrix. The former is a thumping surf joyride of a track while the latter is a feedback infused modern take on an already pioneering original. Also obviously Jimi never had Lanegan’s voice.

Coming in from Olympia the Beat Happening supply “Pajama Party In A Haunted Hive” in suitably disturbing manner before Mark Arm and Steve Turner return for a third time this time with the Thrown Ups who deliver the incredibly drunken and regretful sounding “You Lost It” that explodes to the life in the fashion of a person bursting into tears while doing the hoovering. Remorse and common sense does not appear to be their thing.

So twenty songs later and Sub Pop have delivered a party of some of the sickest and most backwards sounding music in history. This is why we loved them so.

Thesaurus moment: coterie.

Sub Pop

Sunday, August 26, 2007



In some ways this is probably the best collection of songs that Mudhoney ever managed to cobble together into a studio album. Unfortunately the recordings of them are quite frankly dross. Somehow between the process of writing and practising the songs at the point of recording (with Jack Endino) something got stunted and squeezed too much life out of these potential classics. The evidence is in the live versions of the songs that emerge on various bootlegs, this was a band on fire being suffocated and extinguished within the studio environment.

The record opens majestically with “This Gift” which was the first ever Mudhoney song I heard. Here is a band making sounds and noises with their instruments that you have no idea how they doing it. Accompanying such mesmerising gestures is a set of lyrics delivered with the kind of sneer that come from only the most

These are sick love songs performed by individuals 99.9% of the world’s female population does not want to sleep with play for an audience whose chances with the ladies are even slighter than that. You just know that when the second song on an album comes with the pissed mantra of “Flat Out Fucked” this is not necessarily a set of songs that will appeal to most. This is what it was like to be drunk in the nineties.

From here you begin to wonder just how in such a left field circle a song as explicit as “Get Into Yours” found acceptance. I think it is was because it tapped into the loser lifestyle and celebrated failure. Within this song was the kind of gesture a sane person from the right side of the tracks would never be expressing (even though they were probably thinking such desperation). Sadly though the recording just sounds muffled as I listen to it today and really try to get excited to the point I can objects across the room with view to smashing them. Come back Lassie!

Surviving from the era of Superfuzz Bigmuff “You Got It” returns to the record with a series of sentiments not unlike the desperation of “Get Into Yours” but now with a kind of scolding distaste for the apple of the author’s eye. Some might with it as verging on misogynistic but boy does this capture in song the description of female friends that we have all encountered over the years. With its lumbering throws this isn’t necessarily a bad way to be in life: offensively guarded.

Having always had a keen ear for a cover version next they storm through “Magnolia Caboose Babyshit” which was originally by Blue Cheer under the name of “Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger.” Damn song sounds like it was designed to be in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

In “Here Comes Sickness” the band charge out one of their most loose but direct songs of their arsenal. Again it is yet another scathing attack on a female in their world that could equally be a persistent groupie (a prototype Courtney Love) or a stepmother figure (if taking the line “there goes sickness in my daddy’s car” literally). In the same way Run DMC were “illin’”, Mudhoney had their “sickness.” With lines like “all the neighbourhood dogs sniffing at her crotch” you sense this tale does not come from a happy home.

A couple of understated offers following in “Running Loaded” and “The Farther I Go” racing out of the blocks like the Stooges working double time. This is then gets replaced by a sense of remorse overwhelming proceedings with “By Her Own Hand” and the bleakest number on the album on a day where competition is stiff and scathing.

“When Tomorrow Hits” is a scary, apprehensive on the grandest scale as a sense of dread occupies thoughts and the reaction to the moment currently passing. Eventually the song explodes in suitable and destructive fashion.

As proceedings climax with “Dead Love” the record gets taken in a very psychedelic direction that expertly takes on what it really is like to fall (literally) in love and bury yourself in obsession “six feet under in love.” This is the song of consummation, of getting caught up in the moment and beginning to feel giddy with it as the ride takes a most unexpected turn. Am I still talking about the song or recalling a past sexploit now? Just what does Mark Arm mean when he keeps repeating “I got sucked?” So much wah, so little time. And with that it ends with the band sounding as if they are falling down a well.

Ultimately at the end of the album the strength of song has won. Even if the recording doesn’t feel or sound up to measure the tracks do, holding enough dynamism to makeup for any shortfalls that may have unfortunately occurred in the process. Against the elements enthusiasm remains high. There’s nobody to blame, move along.

Thesaurus moment: infatuation.

Sub Pop

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Becoming a shopaholic


I cannot resist the happiness that money can buy!

Due to my late hours, my shopping always used to be limited to just the rare occasions when I actually wake up and bother to go out in time before the shops all close.

HOWEVER, recently a very horrible (but still rather pleasing) event has just occurred in my life, and I'm telling you, this event is the one to blame for the lack of blogging recently.

Speaking of reasons for lack of blogging, I'm sure some of you have seen some photos on my friends' blogs about my new amazingly pink princess room, but I'm not ready to show photos yet!!

Must wait! Right now, I have not started painting it pink (stripes) yet, and the giant mirror still has to be mounted, encircled with pink fur, and blah blah blah.

A lot of work lar!!!!!!

I shall only show you guys when it is completely ready. :D

So yeah, I was saying... this recent activity of mine that has been keeping me from blogging...



WHY WHY WHY EBAY? Why you choose May and Choy as your ambassadors?! You must choose me mah! I am like (albeit only recently) ebay's biggest fan can?!

(No, ebay is not paying me to write this)

It all started when I saw Hayden Patteritte (or however to spell her name, I can't be bothered to go check) on TV show Heroes using the Juicy Couture Sidekick phone.

Even comes with its own chio pouch... kuakua...

Ok, so it's seriously gorgeous, and for a period of time, it was like the ONLY THING I EVER DESIRED.

Kelvin conveniently told me to try ebay - which, to be frank, I never used to trust because the Singaporean ebayers have blah items, and I didn't trust the overseas sellers with my money.

But desperate desires call for desperate measures, right?

So I went on International ebay to see if I can find this fabulous piece of calling machine.

And Voila, like 9 people were selling their Juicy phones!

Just before I bid, however, a forum I read said that the sidekick has to not only be unlocked for use in Singapore, but if successfully unlocked (which is unlikely because you need some code from T-mobile, a selfish US phone line provider), most of the functions will not even work.

What's the point of that bigass phone if I cannot email or IM on it?

I gave up on the phone, but it did not stop me from scratching out the word "phone" and just typing in "Juicy Couture".

What I saw almost killed me. Or my bank account, rather.


Being not available in Singapore (except for a puny counter in tangs selling only watches at a ridiculous price - what's your point, little counter, huh? Selling to leprechauns?), it really stunned me how gorgeous their products can be!!


Call me sua ku, but besides bags, tracksuits, shoes, socks, underwear and accessories, they even have travel packs and school supplies and laptop sleeves (which they proudly proclaim "Couture Computer") ok!


Well, those I can't afford, but there are a lot of other products that are at really good prices, and the items are all brand new!

Shipping, however, usually costs from $25 to $40(!) sing.


But worth it what, some things just cannot be found in Singapore.

I'm beginning to think that shopping here is really lousy.

These are the things I bought so far, in Singapore dollars (all brand new and authentic unless otherwise stated):

Juicy Couture top
$41.60 - with shipping $74.63

I cannot resist things that are baby pink and terry cloth combined.

I just can't. The Juicy people know my weakness....

Born in the Glamourous USA!!!

Juicy Couture Straw tote
$66.50, plus shipping $95.81

This bag was lightly used, but still, I like it so much! Just hope the chick who used it is not a gross person. Or dead. Or a diseased whore. Arghhh! Stop it.

There was another seller selling the brand new one for like $200, but the deal I've got seems much better. :)

Box of Fafi postcards
$13.60, with shipping $20

I love Fafi! It's really hard to find Fafi products, and I was thinking of painting Fafi on my wall (some of you might not know, but I'm pretty talented in drawing) so these cards would act as a guide. :)

Quidditch through the ages
$5.60 (kuakua so cheap), plus shipping $11.70

HARRY POTTER MANIA! I don't think Singapore sells this book, and plus, this is a true-blue Great Britain first edition!

Digressing, I was looking at random Harry Potter auctions, and some of the first edition signed copies of Rowling's books are going for as high as $10,000!!


I looked at those people bidding so much for a book, and it just struck me how sweet it is to look at all these anonymous ebayers, who, like me, love Harry Potter so much and I dunno, I got so moved, I actually cried.

I know, so stupid. But Harry Potter is so so so fantastic... Oh, Snape... Ok I'm gonna start crying again. To happier things!

Baby Phat halter dress
$40, plus shipping $66

With "Baby Phat" in cursive gold letters

Baby Phat products are really gorgeous too and they are not available in Singapore as well!

And baby pink + terry? Sigh... The dress hasn't arrived yet but I hope it fits.

Victoria's Secret Angel tote
$21 total

This is the only thing I bought from a local seller. I've been wanting a clear bag for some time now, all the better to show off my sparkly gadgets with. HAHAHA!

Juicy Couture Starlet Bag
$86 (really a steal compared to original price), plus shipping $110.

Don't think I have to say anything about this. The words say "Juicy Girl's Club" and "Juicy girl next door". Perfect for a casual day out in jeans. :D

z22 Palm PDA
$81, plus shipping $129

I've been looking for a nice looking and small palmtop in Singapore to no avail, but found this on ebay!

The bids started from $0.01 and went up to $81 - which I won. So so so happy!

Now it's diamante-encrusted (pics later) and helps me keep my appointments, which I kept forgetting, much to the anger of many people. Sorry lar!

Playboy satin jacket
$56, plus shipping $74

Playboy products are also very cute but unavailable in Singapore! This jacket is quilted all over and is satin grey and baby pink!


Juicy Couture wallet
$54, plus shipping $89

I love it soooooo much! :)

Juicy couture tracksuit (Model not included)
$80, plus shipping $106

Perfect for those late night supper sessions, or to fly to exotic countries in! Softest terry, J zip puller, with sweet pink eyelet lace on the sleeve-ends! =D

And perhaps the most absurd steal of all...

$0.01, plus shipping $40

Ridiculous or not you tell me?! I dunno how the seller can manage to earn back his cost lor!

The iron works FANTASTICALLY (ceramic-coated negative ions technology blah blah) and is a awfully cute shade of pink!


And even with shipping, $40 for hair iron is very cheap lor. HAPPY!!

My guilty splurge...

Juicy Couture watch
$312, plus shipping $330

It's so ex leh, but the authentic ones (I saw at Tangs) can go up to $1,000 plus!!! Madness.

And I really, really like this. Sigh... I'm becoming a shopaholic with no sense of control.

I'm sorry if you guys are bored with my shopping products, but I HAVE TO SHARE ALL THESE WITH PEOPLE!!!

I am also gonna buy...

Shoes! Ebay shoes are so cheap, all the starting bids are like $15! I just don't know if I should get size 5 or 6 (US the size is different one, our 5 seems to be their 6), must wait for the sellers to get back to me.

Ok ok, enough of shopping! My point is just that ebay is fantastic and they should endorse me!!! Hehe... I just love winning a bid - fighting with somebody else and finally wrenching the item from some disappointed chick's hands is AWESOME!


For those of you who liked Girls Out Loud, there is virtually no hope for a season 2 (apparently people wrote in to MCS to say I am racist blah blah and that the show is promoting wrong values such as plastic surgery and exotic dancing *rolls eyes* - and Mediacorp takes such dickheads' opinions very seriously)...

But I'm pleased to announce a slightly similar substitute of it... except without my fantastic co-host Rozz.

Munkysuperstar is now producing XIAXUE'S GUIDE TO LIFE - a lifestyle program of me talking and doing nonsense!!

"Wanna learn how to make money doing nothing? How to find true love? How to lose weight without exercising? Xiaxue shows you how with practical and definitive advice! But don't take her too seriously; it probably won't work for most of you."

Fortunately for me, whenever I talk and do nonsense people seem to find it amusing, thus, a show is born!

The first ep is available here:

Getting my first tattoo!
Does it hurt?
How does the procedure go?
Check it out yourself. :)

Nope, it won't be on TV, but isn't it better to see it online where you can hear all my vulgarities loud and clear - anytime you want?!



P/s: Hairspray is fucking fantastic. I swear, everytime that Zac Efron comes to the screen and does his wink or "And I'm... Link..." thingy, THE WHOLE CINEMA SWOONS. Did anyone else notice this phenomenon too? A swooning cinema? I swear it's damn amazing, even Brad Pitt doesn't get such responses.

Alot of good shows recently ah!! I also liked 881, Evan Almighty (so many cute animals) and I can already predict I will love Ratatouille. Yeah la maybe I spelt it wrong, but the time I still cared about people commenting on my English has long passed! Can't be bothered!

I blogged this post for 5 hours straight, and I am finally joining poor Mike in bed at 6.30am. -_-



When Huggy Bear appeared on The Word performing this song it was a high water mark for not only the Riot Grrrl movement but also DIY punk rock and independent music in general. Here was a band that managed to break into the mainstream via the backdoor down to reputation and ferocity as opposed to career ambitions and shilling. The entire point of their appearance and performance was to penetrate the arseholes and convey a message that things can be different, you can (and have to) be angry rather than accept all that is offered, given and shoved down your throat. It was a victory on many levels and as they found themselves being removed from the studio (as the story goes) they were anything but victims.

If I’m being honest I don’t think I really fully understood Huggy Bear or the Riot Grrrl movement when they were in existence, I guess being male I didn’t feel entitled. Additionally at the time their records were pretty rare and tough to get hold of in small town Essex. They screamed of a “Boy-Girl Revolution” in a manner that was probably too blunt for the locals to go anywhere near. A few years later Bis would incorporate much of the message and present it in a much more cuddly manner via their own “Teen-c Revolution” which also sadly found itself being slammed down by many corners and powers that be (although many more doors did open themselves for Bis as a result). At the end of the day it’s all gravy.

For me there was always more bite to this band than there was Bikini Kill. The scratchy lo-fi element to their sound appeared to contain more edge than their slightly grunge leaning American counterparts. Quite frankly the band sounds terrifying, bordering on deranged with a scary display of focused passion not necessarily content with the status quo and accepted social conventions.

With “Her Jazz” the distorted guitar at times sounds like a trumpet being played through shards of glass as its jagged delivery matches that of the vocalists. This is a heart thumping single, exhilarating to anyone feeling repressed and aching for change.

Thesaurus moment: perpetual.

Huggy Bear

Friday, August 24, 2007



I once embarrassed myself by urging a girl I was trying to woo to listen to this song and take in its sentiments and desires. These were words that I could not express on my own and in place the good good people of Teenage Fanclub were somewhat wizardry at wearing their hearts on their sleeves in a manner that was not cheesy or creepy. My god that suggestion was a glorious failure. I don’t know if the girl ever bothered to look up the song and the band but she certainly didn’t bother to get back to me to report on the results.

There a perverse kind of optimism to this song, which is probably how you are able to remember all the words after only a few listens. The pain attached to these sentiments is far too tangible to be healthily expressed in any real walk of life or encounter. With blood soaked sleeve from wearing their heart far too explicitly on it when it urges/pleads “don’t go away” even the hardest soul is not exempt from having a sniffle.

This is Norman Blake’s song and perhaps his finest moment. With Grand Prix everything seemed to come together for the band, the songwriting was sharp and telling, nailing its subject matter and stirring the listener with it. Basically anything was being done to take the attention away from Norman’s silly beard.

These were the days of two CD singles and a seven inch and so as a result this release had an abundance of extra tracks that amazingly were also very strong. With three very strong songwriters in the band each author appeared to get the opportunity to shine on every release and here “Getting Real” is Gerry’s ramshackle effort. In “Some People Try To Fuck With You” a nice little sponge gets tarred with a feebly aggressive breakdown which is then difficult to tack seriously in a fight/combat scenario as they appear to fill a bridge with the aid of a record or penny whistle. This is truly drunk, too upbeat for such a scathing conclusion.

The single concludes with an acoustic version of “About You”, the uber catchy opening track on Grand Prix.

With time history will reveal the two CD and seven inch single chart position cheat format strategy as being a horrifically indulgent blight on the history recorded music as so many releases will have stuff with filler but occasionally a review of the system will unearth diamonds such releases like this.

Thesaurus moment: unabashed.

Teenage Fanclub
Creation Records

Thursday, August 23, 2007



After the grand reinvention that came with Check Your Head, with their fourth album the Beastie Boys presented the world a more refined and organic album that now smoothed out the blunt edges from their previous effort to lend a more free flowing and upbeat tone to proceedings.

Another twenty track epic of a record despite the constant variation and fusion of genres that came with this record very little (if any) of it felt like filler as you sensed the band reached its goal of trying to represent the album as a complete body of work in itself rather than being just a collection of tracks in the grand tradition of jazz records here was a solid piece of art that well served and represented the time and place of where it came from while also tipping its head many times to the innovators that made this music possible at such a time. With their method of acknowledging their inspirations they became innovators of their own.

The record opens with “Sure Shot” which immediately displays a more groove driven accompaniment to proceedings as their trademark Jewish whine flows in the loosest and seemingly least forced manner so far.

If the first track of the album failed to make a mark and dent the concentration of the listener with view to capturing attention “Tough Guy” storms in the least subtle manner with barking and blitzing hardcore punk.

“Bobo On The Corner” provides the first example of the expanded funk instrumentals that regularly come to serve this album as an urban and transmetropolitan experience, often echoing pleasing crime movie scores from the greatest seventies era in a very Lalo Schifrin manner.

Things attain at a relentless pace as the threesome of “Root Down”, “Sabotage” and “Get It Together” arrive in a row shooting the album into outer space. All three songs would eventually become singles and staples in the Beastie Boy legacy, each possessing a staunch identity of their own as “Sabotage” screamed its way into being the thinking man’s “Fight For Your Right” and “Get It Together” came complete with a masterful cameo from Q-Tip.

Beyond this peak the record then takes a decidedly mellow route as the vibe lightens and the funk portion of our journey begins with “Sabrosa” as things turn percussion heavy at the hands of Bobo.

The bass continues to maraud on “The Update” as the slow distorted rhymes disorientate and serve proceedings well and the slow provides one of my all time favourite breaks in any song. With its lurching bass this song sounds almost aquatic. Next as the bass couples magnificently with Money Mark’s keyboard playing on “Futterman’s Rule”, the latest funk instrumental on the record, the day truly is handed over to MCA who takes on true ownership of the musical path of the record. Futterman’s Rule being that as soon as two people at the table are served you can start eating, which feels apt in the light of the feast that is being offered up by this record.

The whole of the second side of the record is in general more subtle and chilled out. “Flute Loop” says exactly what it does on the tin and “Ricky’s Theme” provides their most tender instrumental moment to date.

Another hardcore track resurges the album in the form of “Heart Attack Man” before the record ends strongly with the relentless “Bodhisattva Vow” which is another track that is all about MCA which spits over the most chilling of monk accompaniments.

“Transitions” closes Ill Communication in majestic fashion, looking forward and truly book ending a grand and royal experience.

I don’t think I have ever heard another record that so magnificently meshes so many styles and genres in such a modern way. As I look at the group on the back of the sleeve and the sum of its parts it is a truly breathtaking sight, the ultimate gang that briefly every white boy into exhilarating music wanted to be part of. This was an entire industry at work, almost a lifestyle that promoted the most positive of messages and the best that all worlds had to offer. I can’t help but feel hip hop has changed drastically in the time between the release of this record and now and it is a true loss to music and culture that history will always continue to rediscover time after time long after the Beastie Boys have finally exited the scene and movement.

Thesaurus moment: celestial.

Beastie Boys
Grand Royal

Wednesday, August 22, 2007



This single is one of the best examples of how a great pop song need not necessarily be suffocated by glossy production and studio slick. In many ways this track represents everything I stand against in music but such elements represent a non issue when the song serves to draw such a rarely invigorating emotional response from myself.

That is not to say the song is perfect as the first ten seconds sees an excessive and unnecessary bad Roxy Music-esqe saxophone intro but climbing past this held within there are exuberant hooks, subtle in celebration and immediately memorable in that way that can make a person feel energetic and young that all adds up to at times something nearing a perfect composition.

Squeeze were always an interesting outfit in the UK music scene. They would have arrived around the new wave but there is not necessarily much to suggest that their roots would have been in punk music even if there line-up might suggest otherwise. In some ways there are elements that remind of Madness which could signal a leaning and affinity to the lighter side of Stiff Records recording artists and having Jools Holland as a bit player amongst their ranks has given them a strange placing in the books of music history. This is one of their later efforts coming from the late eighties which suggests the high production levels that would appear to hinder the song rather than empower it as the lyrical content could even be that of an indie band such as Teenage Fanclub.

Here is proof positive that not everything in chart music was bad in the eighties (just the majority of it). These are the songs FM radio was invented for.

Thesaurus moment: spry.

A&M Records

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ring Ring


A friend asked me to go to Clarke Quay one evening, and I saw these two angmohs performing their hearts out. Their songs are really cute, and so I chatted them up, and they told me they used to top the charts in Belgium!!

In exchange I told them about my blog, and thus this little advertorial to introduce this band to you!

is a duo made out of two angmohs, and they have a one-hit wonder song a long time ago that apparently made them famous (in Belgium that is).

And now, the band is about to make a comeback with their tour in Singapore!

Why Singapore I have no idea - maybe they like our SPGs? Heehee...

And the funniest thing is, they actually starred in a SWEATBAND commerical back in their heyday!

What the ruddy hell is a sweatband?

Is it a sweaty band?

WATCH THE COMMERCIAL (I assure you it is super duper funny)

A sweatband is apparently something you tie on your head to absorb 3 times the sweat... Now I know...

It's super hilarious I tell you, with the mullets and the disco balls, haha! Even includes a blonde chick doing nothing for maximum manliness effect!!

You think the hilarity stops here, but no!

Their one-hit-wonder song will have you humming subconsciously to it while cooking maggi mee, and then slapping yourself for not snapping out of the song after 10 hours.



That is as good a MTV as it can get, huh? Ring ring ring ring, why won't you pick up the phone...?


Connexion talk show:

They are my new idols leh.

The point of this blog entry? Nothing, I just wanted to show you all Connexion. Ring ring ring ring, why won't you pick up the phone?

Skarly you house phone ring all by itself after you finish reading this... Woo, scary!

P/s: View Connexion's website here!!!



This is how it was supposed to be. In many ways this could be viewed as the punk generation’s On The Road. Held within is a blunt and unflinching account of what it was like to tour and indeed be on the road during one of the most violent and volatile periods of music.

Like the majority of people of my generation I discovered Black Flag long after the event through the recommendations and comparisons by and of Kurt Cobain. In Black Flag was some kind of mystical monster of a punk, the kind whose records were difficult to find/buy which as a result added so much value to the reputation and legacy to a band very few of us knew about. When I finally ordered my first Black Flag record on import it was “Damaged” and I never looked back. In some ways I think the message cut/touched deep and for me there has always been that Black Flag stance, of cutting a solid posture and sticking up for yourself while questioning anything dubious, successful and popular. This wasn’t even working class music, it was underclass music.

Of course this tale is not perfect. Given how Rollins and Ginn felt about each other towards the end of the band’s existence it is very probable that naturally the tale leans more in favour of Henry when the political correctness of instances comes into question. Likewise even though the band was eternally piss poor and seemingly working hand-to-mouth living in true wrecks of digs (a point hit home by the movie Decline Of The Western Civilisation which actually featured a pre-Rollins Black Flag) the natural hyperbole of Rollins’ style is very male potentially misleading, he is the commander of the jokes and sense of humour.

Such quibbles aside the entertainment value of the work is beyond question. The tales of touring and roaming around the country (indeed world) as the ultimate gang is something that can literally conjure arousal in certain men. Indeed when I got left out of a tour early into the existence of our record label back in the day I truly felt that I was missing out on my “Get In The Van” experience.

As bands of the era guest star left right and centre it is exceptionally titillating to get something of an insight in the world of these individuals and just what they were like (explicitly in the case of Gene October from Chelsea) as well as being mocked by Ultraxox. Elsewhere other great times are recounted such as tours with the Minutemen and happening across a Misfits soundcheck.

When Rollins signs off he leaves some kind of epitaph as to how this is not an experience lived by punk bands of this modern, of how they have nearly really had to fight for their music in order to survive. The sad truth is that as Green Day and Epitaph took over the pop punk bands became the new hair bands of this modern era once the final optimistic remnants of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain had been stubbed out. As a result of this Rollins very much establishes himself as a one off, the type of individual that is unlikely to be replicated and there at the end of the day is the major value of Get In The Van as a document of how it was and how it still should be.

Thesaurus moment: drive.

Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins interview

Monday, August 20, 2007



Having experienced a lot of hardness and tragedy through his life Jim Carroll is a rare talent that is able to turn his poetry into the kind of aural art that is able to catch a modern audience’s attention.

Most famous for his book “The Basketball Diaries” (and the subsequent movie thereof) as writer he has lived a rock and roll lifestyle through drugs and self prostitution, activities that make for uncomfortable subject matter but equally as blissfully indulged in music medium.

Having previously made music with the Jim Carroll Band this is his fourth album (fifth if you include The World Without Gravity compilation) from 1998 which fluctuates between spoken word pieces and songs.

It is the actual spoken word pieces that hold most weight here being delivered is a more barbed manner coupled with a more distinct and appropriate musical backing that is almost trip hop. The unfortunate otherwise is that as a singer his exploits prove slightly too theatrical and the band rather stock in its playing. Something needs to be divulged in a different manner. That said the title track (with band) is a standout exception on the music front.

At many points it is a very claustrophobic album with a true sense of loss attached to overriding tone of the piece.

Caked in Catholic guilt his career has seemed to serve as something of a middle point between William Burroughs and Patti Smith. There is a real sense of defiance and often necessary self destruction attached to his sensibilities.

Tellingly the album ends with a track entitled “8 Fragments For Kurt Cobain” with an expression of understanding towards the pain that the Nirvana frontman felt. Within the piece Carroll describes how it feels to turn pain into art, putting himself in the place of Cobain and despatching a description of what it is like to be driven by Heroin. It’s an incredible personal piece that reads like a letter to one of the greatest talents (and losses) of our generation.

Ultimately this collection isn’t a pill to be taken on a sunny day.

Thesaurus moment: confess.

Jim Carroll

Girl on Girl


Munkysuperstar (the good people who brought you Girls Out Loud) came up with another reality show, and this time, it's called Girl on Girl!

And it's hosted by Rozzie!!

Before you start thinking how come Mediacorp would agree to boardcast some good old lesbian scenes, get your mind out of the gutter!

Girl on Girl is a reality show where 6 girls compete to do typically male tasks, such as changing tires, daunting physical activities, or I don't know, shaving beards and what's not. (I'm kidding about the shaving, I'm sure it's not very sexy to watch a girl shave her beard on tv)


(Digressing, I think there should be a male version of this show where straight boys are asked to braid hair and wax legs and I dunno, multi-task? Walk in high heels? Would be super entertaining!)

In typical Gillian fashion (Gillian is director of the show), she casted very GIRLY girls to go on the show, and I doubt all of them really knew what they were in for - except that the prize money is $10,000.

Eh, I also told my friend Qihua (or Kaykay, as we call her) to go for the casting, and she got in as well.

She called me after the first task - which was already shown on Channel 5 - and told me about how severely injured she was.

I think I detected a note of hatred from her for introducing her to the show. You might win $10,000 mah, must think about that!!!

Here are some photos of the contestants...

Personally, I think the shampoo contestants are the chioest...

No la joking, the girls are not competing with shampoos, actually it's just that this show is brought to you by Clear Men - the first anti dandruff range for men!

Who can forget the sexy Italian-looking man who used to have a dandruff problem? (On the tv ad la, stupid)

The winner of this show is determined not only be the scores they get during the show, but also largely based on INTERNET VOTING!

Don't want your favourite girl to sob her heart out coz she lost? Go vote for her now! (I don't want to be biased but I'm telling ya, VOTE FOR KAY KAY!!!)

Prizes for voting:

10 weekly prizes each week; Timbre vouchers, Schick hampers, cash vouchers at Storm Hair, 2 years’ free subscription to NewMan and Xbox “Get Connected” packages. The grand prize is $5,000 and BMW Advanced Driver Training for the winner and 2 friends.

All that the guys have to do is vote for their favourite girl and they are immediately eligible for the lucky draws. From 1 – 31 August, they can gain additional 1,000 points with any Clear Men shampoo purchased at selected NTUC Fairprice supermarkets.

There are still two episodes left for tv telecast - the challenge of enduring a million creepy cockroaches in a trapped area, and the grand finale.

The show is on Channel 5 every Thursday, 11.30pm.

Alternatively, log on to clearlyformen now. :) You can watch all the episodes you missed there!

Who do you think is the chioest contestant?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The happiest day of my life

A few days ago I really met the worst cab driver I ever encountered in my entire life.

AND I TELL YOU, I've encountered some really bad ones before!

But this one really karate-kicks the rest to his position of champion of all m******cking cab drivers (got to censor the vulgarities a bit since the advertorial is being run, will revert to normal vulgarities after this... Haha)

Okok, so Eekean invited me to a party at Ridout Road.

I had no idea where Ridout Road is, but I did know I was running late, so I called for a cab.

Before my called cab arrived I got a SMRT cab, thinking, woohoo, I just saved $4, it must be my lucky day!

I cancelled my call, and hopped on, not noticing that the sky turned pewter grey and lightning struck a nearby dove as a subtle ominous foreboding for me.

The Chinese uncle was ancient and raspily asked me, "Going where?"

I replied, "Ridout Road."

Rid-Out Road. I pronounced it this way.

He said "Huh? What?"

Ri-dout Road?

Still he doesn't know what the hell I am talking about.

I spelt it out for him.

By now he was rising his voice at me - apparently he is semi-deaf and can't hear my screams of Ridooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuut ROOOOOOOADDD!!!

I was very frustrated and asked him to give me the street directory and I will show him.

I SWEAR TO GOD THIS F***er must be older than Jesus himself: With all the grace of a slow-motion film, he took 10 whole seconds to reach to the newspaper-wrapped directory sitting innocuously on the dashboard in front of him, and told 10 seconds to pass it to me.

You would think the directory was a delicate endangered species of butterfly that will turn to dust at the slightest touch.

I snatched the book from him (I don't give a toot-toot-toot that he is damn old - I'm in a rush for time and if he can't give good service then I won't pay for the same price for his services, ok! Plus, he is completely unrepentent and rude!), and viciously flipped the pages.

There we go, on blessed page 146, Ridout Road.

I gave him the book with the open page.

I have been cabbing for some time now, and whenever the same situation happens, the cab driver will usually just take the book from me and wait until a traffic stop to read the book, or else some of the more garang ones would just read it while still driving.

To my horror, however, this Ah Gua stopped his car at a bus stop that was JUST BEHIND A RED TRAFFIC LIGHT!

Cannot read the book while the traffic light is red meh? It's not Order of the Phoenix lor, 700 plus pages, need to read so long meh?

"Never mind," I told myself. "People old already, don't be so harsh."

As the meter ticked away, this old geezer took the book from me (once again, slow-motion film style), and put it on the seat next to him.

Then, to my horror, he took another 10 seconds to take out his spectacles from his stupid pocket and another 10 seconds to put on the glasses.

After inspecting this book for around 1 min, he announced irritatedly at me, "I CANNOT SEE LA." and he mumbled something about small words, as if I did a major wrong to him by asking him to read his own directory!


But by now it was too late to get on another cab coz it was peak hour and there was none!

Really boiling by now, I yelled at him, "THEN HOW WE GO IF YOU CANNOT READ IT?!"

He responded by keeping resolutely quiet.

The bus at the bus stop honked at him to get moving. I told him to get on the PIE first.

I felt a bit guilty after, so I tried to be nicer. I looked at the map, and thought Swettenham Road was a definite no-go, I said, loudly for his deafness,

"Pierce road? PIIIEERCCE Road you know how to go?"

Pierce was simple enough, I thought, vastly wrong.

"Er road?"

"No no, PIERCE."

He kept quiet once again.


And how the ruddy hell am I supposed to describe pierce road to him better? I certainly don't know the Chinese name!

I wanted to say Holland Road, but I'm afraid he would bring me along some other way to the Holland Village area or something since Holland Road is so long, so I said Napier Road instead, which was the road that led to Holland Road.

After I told him "Napier Road", he replied,


CHEER ROAD LEH! Last thing I feel then was CHEER LOR!


This uncle must really go for a spelling bee contest lor, he can be the comedy factor in the show.

Other 7 yr old kids spell N-A-P-I-E-R, he spell C-H-E-R CHEER!


As a last ditch attempt before I take over the driving myself (won't be that hard to knock out an old man and figure out how to operate a car), I said, "Dempsey Road, Dempsey road you know how to go?"


"Yes Dempsey road. You know?"

"Yes," he said, and for one moment he sounded like a helpless old man and I felt really bad for flaring up at him, so I just kept quiet and hoped to myself that he really knows where Dempsey road is.

We arrived at Holland road correctly (bless his wrinkly ass) and before he turned into Dempsey, I said with ample warning time, "Don't turn inside, next one then turn." (See map to understand)

He still attempted to turn into Dempsey, and when I screamed bloody murder, he tsk-tsked at me as if it is my fault leh!

Finally we turned into Pierce road - which was full of super big private houses and was quite dark like all private estate roads are.

Well, this old man obviously didn't know how to navigate himself so I have to navigate him right?

So I told him turn left here (repeated in Chinese too just in case), or turn right there - and increasingly he showed his displeasure by not signaling and turning with the speed of a retarded driving learner.

He lumbered on at 20 km/hr (I am not kidding, I could have gone faster on a bicycle), and when I asked him to turn again, he shouted hoarsely at me,


I DO THIS TO HIM?!?!?!?!

Wah I swear I almost whacked him on his head with my tamagotchi can! Next time before I get on cabs I'd go buy a lump of char siew just to whack these horrible cab drivers with. They literally won't know what just hit them.

It took all my willpower to not argue and I had to keep telling myself that I'm reaching my destination very soon and Eekean who was there alone was counting on me to accompany her.

45 wasted minutes of my youthful life later we got there, and my cab fare was 21 bucks (I came from Loyang) - which was surprisingly not as bad as I thought, although most of the credit goes to myself for being able to read a map.

I handed him a 50 dollar bill, which was the only kind I had - but seriously, it's not like I took a bloody $3 cab ride right? $29 in change in not too much to ask for what!

The bugger said, "WHY SO BIG? GOT SMALLER NOT?" in an accusing tone (apparently still petty that I made him drive through a dark area in his semi-blindness), and I told him no.

You have no idea what it took me to not say, "DON'T WANT IS IT, SUA!"

He took 20 seconds to count how much to give me back, so I told him, "You have to give me back $29."

He took out a stack of ample ten dollar notes and took the longest time humanly possible to count 2 ten dollar bills.

As a goodbye gift, he grumbled at me, "NEXT TIME YOU DON'T DO THIS, I CANNOT SEE YOU KNOW!"

And I literally had to bite my tongue to stop from responding, "CANNOT SEE DON'T FUCKING DRIVE LA!"

With a slam on his door I watched him drive off, at the speed of 10 km/hr.

I hope he knocks onto something on his way out.

I took down his license number, but I decided to be nice and let this pass. What do you think, though? Should I write to SMRT? Should I be nice to this old man, or be nice to the thousands of other people who could suffer the same fate as me?

I think I'd let it go, just hope that I don't get this sort of driver again. Seriously dude, so old don't drive la!

Alas! The very next day I got another bad cab experience.

This time, there was a small cockroach happily walking next to my seat and the cabbie gave me a piece of dubious wet cloth, and told me to murder the cockroach myself, if I would wish to.

I told him I was terrified that the roach might fly and flap me in the face, but he assured me baby roaches don't fly.


I also killed a lizard (my tenth, I think). That story for another day. My life as an amazing cab-riding auntie.



Provided that they don’t reunite and ruin their legacy Faith No More should go down as one of the smartest and most versatile bands ever to rub up against the metal genre. Infinite in their ideas and capabilities this was a band of diverse individuals coming together to create an energetic cacophony of exciting sounds and genre bursting compositions. There were not many outfits in the pages of Kerrang you could say that about.

This was their breakthrough record. After a succession of singers (that even included Courtney Love at one point apparently) the arrival of Mike Patton on board seemed to complete the puzzle. With a vocal style able to paint many patterns at times it sounded on some tracks that there was more than one vocalist, so schizophrenic was his performance. He could rap, he could croon, he was perfect.

The Real Thing tends to get lumped into the funk rock genre of the time, in a way making Faith No More the Red Hot Chili Peppers that it is/was OK to like. You have to blame Bill Gould and his bouncy style of playing. Its not that it’s bad, it’s just all encompassing and coupled with the rap manner of Patton there is at times a kind of daisy age attached to proceedings.

It opens on a heart stopping entry with “From Out Of Nowhere” and a blatant ode to something/someone good. In the process it rolls over the listening insisting that they get caught up in proceedings, not offering them the option of indifference.

From here the album literally detonates as Roddy Bottum’s synth adds a variety of effects that accompany power chords provided by Jim Martin explosions.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the song this record is best known for is “Epic.” Its not that it’s a bad song, it is just that it is slightly stock, very indicative of the sound and genre the band were so cheaply lumped in with at the time. By the time their next record arrived a song like this would have become a distant memory but in many ears their reputation was already cast. Shortly afterwards “Falling To Pieces” displays a similar kind of delivery but thankfully provides a masterful swing and sensation of floatation.

The keys to the greatness of this album are the more subtle numbers. The measured approach and delivery of “Zombie Eaters” is a thrilling execution while “Underwater Love” is truly invigorating as Patton’s vocals leave a strange kind of ringing in its path.

Listening to “Woodpecker From Mars” now it sounds like a pre-emptive strike of what would be the Fantomas cover of “The Godfather Theme”. I cannot recall too many metal records featuring Russian fiddles at the time.

The Real Thing ends storming to the finish with its cover version of “War Pigs” which actually manages to improve on the original and almost cause Ozzy to roll in his grave. To this classic they brought an energy and groove that just was not there previously. The lyrical somersaults that Patton performs during this genuine epic are not of mere men. Times they were a changing.

In a perfect manner of book ending the album the evidently twisted “Edge Of The World” opens with doo-wop and creases with a swinging croon that feels exclusive to this band only as the subject matter would appear seedy in the most contradictory sense imaginable. You suspect that this dark side and humour is what Patton brought to the table and for many years now “Edge Of The World” has actually served as the stand out track on the album for me. You could do bad things to this song.

As so many albums from genre and era begin to sound dated, cheesy and inappropriate it is with genuine glee that I find this album holds up so well possessing still the power that it was always had but also the restrain that refuses to allow it to slip into cliché and cheese.

It was all looking good for a while back there.

Thesaurus moment: handsome.

Faith No More
London Records
Slash Records

Saturday, August 18, 2007



At times the eighties seem like the weirdest point in history. Technology was finally (just about) happening and people began (occasionally) adopting the look of science fiction. Perhaps the drugs of the seventies mixed with the wealth of the eighties were a toxic combination too weird to explain and dismiss at the time. Or just maybe it was the impending threat and subsequent fear of nuclear destruction that installed a devil may care attitude in people and caused them to do peculiar things.

Men Without Hats were peculiar. There is no question about it. For a group of individuals to place so much stock and importance in dancing suggests either a fever mind of mixed up priorities or lots of drugs having a proactive affect.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally accepted that I loved this song. The moment came in that shockingly average movie The Mexican when gay hitman James Gandolfini found himself in a scene dancing the song while some scrawny guy he and Julia Roberts just picked up. If it was safe for Tony Soprano to dance this to tune it was safe for anyone.

I still cannot quite work out the origins and meaning of this song. Are these people acting with an elevated confidence and desire to get up and boogie? Is it about pulling? Is it about assuring the target of the singer’s affection by letting her know that it is “safe to dance”? Or is it just about losing inhibitions? I guess it is a piece that just works on many many levels.

A purist should and will hate this. It’s too slick (very eighties) and seemingly devoid of humility. It is funny to listen closely and hear the keys sounding like videogame music.

Men Without Hats hailed from Montreal and were led by the brothers Doroschuk (Ivan and Stefan) and legend has it that the name of the band came about because they genuinely refused to wear hats due to style reasons. How many bands this day and age would demonstrate such dedication to their craft.

A great song for all the wrong reasons.

Thesaurus moment: cap.

Friday, August 17, 2007



For most of the world this was the first time any of them ever heard of the Lemonheads and Evan Dando. Excitingly it was pretty strange to hear an ultra familiar song with pop cinema connotations being presented and directed in such a modern manner. Here was a whole new graduate for the world.

It wasn’t until the band performed this song on The Word that I finally clicked with it. Up until that point I had been supremely dubious of the band. Evan was too pretty and the video featuring a ride along Camden Lock felt too obvious and explicitly pandering. Their performance on The Word however was genuinely renegade. As the band suddenly appeared to turn up their instruments (their weapons) it was almost as if they were approaching the song with contempt, stomping on its legacy with their own footprint which all served to display that there was much much more to this band that met the eye. As David Ryan held it all together, Evan Dando played his guitar like J Mascis and Nic Dalton just gave up on playing his bass in any traditional sense or method. Apparently he was Eing off tits which might explain the amount of fun he appeared to be having and how at the end of proceedings he thought it more to just try and balance his bass in the palm of his hand rather actually finish the song. It all closed with Evan suddenly launching into the words of “Being Around” as everything got messy and the kids of the time came a bit too close to the band and stage for manners and comfort. For years I spent days trawling the internet for a copy of this performance.

There are truly so many contradictions attached to this release (their breakout release). The cover artwork looks as it were sketched by an imbecile and bears very little in the way of relation to the music held within. Was this is an attempt to dupe people in, to many the music parent approved on a surface level? Looking closely at the credits you will note “Cover art by Evan Dando age 25 ¼”. Enough said.

History seems to forget that this was actually a double A-side single with “Being Around” which itself was another cover version, this time by the more obscure Smudge from Australia (who were also responsible for “The Outdoor Type” which the Lemonheads later covered for a single). Only 1.37 in length it comes with the classic line “if I was a booger, would you pick your nose?”

Likewise track three “Divan” is another Smudge cover version as the single continues with an EP standard of quality.

Strikingly the single ends with an Evan solo version of future super hit “Into Your Arms”, a track everyone knows and at this early stage already had the chops.

The legacy of this single is warranted.

Thesaurus moment: mooch.

Atlantic Records