Pop Playground
The Stylus Magazine Inaugural Haiku Marathon 2005



as well as being a town in Hawaii, a haiku is a concise and strictly structured Japanese form of poetry. Each haiku consists of three lines with a set number of syllables—the first line five, the second seven, and the third with five again. (Technically speaking a haiku is actually broken into morae rather than syllables—the two do not fully correspond in translation though, so for our purposes syllables will do nicely.) The brevity and form of a haiku makes it a powerful and simplistic writing tool, often very beautiful and touched with wisdom. We at Stylus love the haiku (if Southall was allowed to, all his reviews would be written in haikai no renga) and because we love this magical, ancient and beauteous form so much, we have chosen to debase it by offering an alternative, rather contrived review of some of the records from this year that we’ve been inspired by. Well, inspired enough to write a tiny verse about, anyway.

(We have deliberately not linked specific author names to verses in order to avoid potential legal incriminations. And name-calling in the comments box.)

The year in music
We bring to you from Stylus
In magic haiku…

Broken Social Scene
There are a hundred
of us! And we all play at
once. Bloody racket.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Wait, that's the name of the band?
Ohhhh, this will be fun.

Bloc Party
Conor McNichols
He cares about black people
Look, here is the proof.

The Hold Steady
Club drugs, church camp sluts
Puked-out pews, stoned surfer boys
How was your weekend?

M.I.A.
Malcolm McLaren
Somewhere reading Pazz & Jop
Laughing heartily

Sunn o)))
Hey I found your tape
Of the fan through a fuzz box
Screwed and chopped

LCD Soundsystem
DFA mainman
Mark Smith plus Disco Beats plus
Singles equals Ace

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens, fuck –
No bass, no fun, no jokes, damn.
You are all on crack.

Jamie Liddel
Jamie is the shit
Lanky Brit in gold bathrobe
Man make me quite moist

Boards Of Canada
There’s some guitar now
Must sound like MBV, yeah?
Not cool anymore

Franz Ferdinand
By this time next year
striped sweaters will be over
Scottish: the new French

Architecture in Helsinki
Rinky-dink Aussies
Wide-eyed, innocent and pure
You bet they're twee

Caribou
Once was a county
Now is a mammal. Still our
fave Cannuck maths dude

Antony and the Johnsons
Although he's a Yank
That didn't stop Big Gay Ant
Winning the Mercury.

Girls Aloud
We can’t be arsed to
even buy it anymore
still vote for it though

British Sea Power
Singing about woods
And estuaries is cool
Honestly it is

Wolf Parade
The Wolf Parade are
Unlistenable bullshit.
Don't buy their album

Sigur Ros
Just one step away
From being Enya, you daft
Secret hippy scum!

Three 6 Mafia
You can finally hear
those behind "Riddin' Spinnaz"
Without that guy's cock.

Embrace
Just to shut Nick up
we’ll let him write the liner
notes. Fucking b-sides!

Kate Bush
A bit new age, yeah
Still gives me an erection
Some loves never die

Elbow
Wielding a walking
stick at gigs, crotchety git
Yes it’s AOR

Robyn
Because Girls Aloud
are so last year and Annie
was only half-good

Sugababes
Still way, way better
than Rachel, Robyn, Girls Aloud
and the rest of them

Devendra Banhart
If this is a voice
of our lost generation
we are fucked, people

Slim Thug
He rhymes "boss" with "house!"
Have you ever drank codeine?
Very nice, really

New Pornographers
At least they're better
than the Decemberists, damn.
No, really, that's all.

RWD The Mixtape, Vol. 1
Give the elderly
heart failure twice as fast as
Devo chased with meth

The Fall
Repetition re
petition repetition
Repetition re

Excepter
I won't be sure if
This is spooky or stupid
Until I come down

Paavoharju
The lyrics might mean
"Save us from these fuckin' woods."
Shame it's in Finnish.

Roots Manuva
Awfully big schlong
Fake breakdown for a handjob?
Dubwise muttering

Madonna
Hahahahaha
Hahahaha - no, really -
Album of the week?

Richard Hawley
Bring me the whiskey
Songwriter suffering here
Must have more reverb

Depeche Mode
Album of the year
Inexplicably missing
Woe is me, Stylus

Can
Busking Nippon loon
Jehovah’s witness – the groove!
Oh my god the groove!

Acoustic Ladyland
Big hair Seb Roachford’s
amazing mates bring the jazz
and the punk and funk

Decemberists
Message from (the) whale;
You are not all that tasty,
Please vacate my face

Animal Collective
They've gotten older
And they've started to have sex
Still sing like kids though

Cam’ron
Hey, weren’t you last year
No matter—we have room for
Purple coats always

Rachel Stevens
Lads mag cover shots
Shall not prevent you being dropped
That’s as it should be

Okkervil River
Tasty cover art
Hid delicious rock honey;
Sleepers have no taste

The Juan Maclean
A robot dances
It slowly turns and cries,
Imagining hurt.

Art Brut
Self-aware, witty,
With an unironic heart.
I, too, love Ms. Kane.

Young Jeezy
BOY SPECIAL PASSION
LUNAR LABYRINTHIAN
PRINCE ACCESSORIZE

Vitalic
Do you like cocaine?
Tonight, let's fuck and crash cars
Even shy kids relate

Half Man Half Biscuit
Is the gap between
England and America
Only an ocean?

Patrick Wolf
On the train past my
house, lycanthrope singing of
London being shit

The Shortwave Set
Screw the rest of you
For not realising how
God damn great this is

Kanye West
Only once a year
To be socially conscious
Let's make this count, guys

Thanks: Mike Powell, Nick Southall, Todd Hutlock, Dom Passantino, Brad Shoup, Alfred Soto, Mallory O’Donnell, Peter Parrish, Jeff Siegel, Justin Cober-Lake, Josh Timmerman, and Patrick McNally.


By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-12-29
Comments (18)
 

 
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