Entertaining Mr. Gubba
lbum Chart Notes: Gabrielle's #18, somehow. I've only been listening for ten minutes and I already feel the need to icepick Wes' skull. He's being particularly obnoxious and shouty and 'nudgewinknudgewinknudge' this afternoon. And here's Damien Rice. Nyarrrgh.
Frank Sinatra is new at #11. Wes loudly proclaims A Grand Don't Come For Free to be "without a doubt The Streets' most successful album EVER!!!"
And Maroon 5 are #1. Hurrah. Their new single is played. It is horrible.
New Entries Outside The Top 20: Soda Club #40 (peculiarly entertaining yet stunningly incompetent redoing of 'Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)'); The Calling #34 (TAKE IT TO THE LAKE AND DROWN IT); Hope Of The States #30 (Quite nice expansive indie, really good strings, less impressive vocals—half-decent anyway); LL Cool J #25 (LL gets squelched up in the club to pretty decent effect); Marly #23 (PIANO HOUSE REVIVAL! Mit impossibly gorgeous fadey break in the middle, married to sulky voiced Danish teen = great. Wes announces that Whigfield was from Denmark too like he's making a gigantic point. Fuck Wes); and ATL #21 (ATL have been bad. They want to apologise. As they put it: "Making love will change your mind." Charming).
THE UK TOP 20: THREE-DAY EVENTING IS THE NEW RUGBY
20) ANA JOHNSSON – We Are
Horrible. There are a few new entries to come, five or six—can't quite remember. There's been a few decent songs thus far, but on the whole this week's programme has been wretched.
19) BEENIE MAN – King Of The Dancehall
Think I described it as like his last one but without the girl in the chorus. It's not actually as good as that. Fairly minimal bass and blip action with a woman (NOT A MAN) making sex noises. Tum de tum.
18) RACHEL STEVENS – Some Girls
In popular football action, Southampton beat Blackburn 3-2 via a distinctly dubious last-minute penalty. Better yet, popular BBC commentator Tony Gubba appeared to out himself as something of a Southampton enthusiast—not only did he fail to point out the dreadful game the referee was having, his reaction to Anders Svensson's equalising goal was to yell "OH YES! OHHH YESSS!!!" in the manner of a man in a state of heightened orgasm. So this week, because it's more fun than writing about J-Kwon again, we present:
THE EROTIC UNIVERSE OF ANDERS SVENSSON
17) FRANZ FERDINAND – Michael (NEW ENTRY)
I can't quite figure out if "Beautiful boys on a beautiful Dancefloor / Michael you're dancing like a beautiful dance-whore" is the worst rhyming couplet of the year—oh, hang on, that Natasha Bedingfield song is up later. Anyway—Franz get their androgyny on via a song about dancing WITH MEN. It's very nice in a slightly frazzled indie-disco helter-skelter fashion. The way he oversings "sexehhh" is also quite fun. Insubstantial, as always, but still pretty entertaining.
16) O-ZONE – Dragostea Din Tei
Has been getting played a lot during the intervals of the Olympic beach volleyball, as has 'Hey Baby' by DJ Otzi. This is fairly understandable. However, I'm fairly sure it was also getting played at the archery. Which makes less sense.
15) D12 – How Come
"I don't even feel the same love when we hug no more"
(Anders is on the bottom)
14) J-KWON – Tipsy
A few seconds later, it looked something like this:
13) KRISTIAN LEONTIOU – Shining (NEW ENTRY)
I remember when we used to somehow or other get a German satellite channel at uni. They'd frequently show music videos featuring big sheeny twats with gelled back quiffs and Burton Menswear singing big ballad things with lyrics that Dido would've rejected on grounds of triteness. They would usually stand near cliffs with the waves crashing down etc. and stare into the camera and reach out to it and clench and unclench the fist then put their hand to their heart and tip their head back and howl the chorus at the moon or whatever was convenient. That's exactly how this sounds. I hate it.
12) V – Hip To Hip
Really liking it this week. Not only because "and that's why I'm the dude" is definitely in the lyrics, but also because it's joined by "Got a feeling / Something's wack". Usually the usage of 'wack' is an indication that a person is really struggling for a suitable rhyme. Yet somehow, in this context it just works…
11) LIBERTINES – Cyann Stann Meh Nahhh
Anders is also popular with women. This is him and his wife:
10) KEANE – Bedshaped (NEW ENTRY)
So, watching the highlights of the V Festival last night, I realised that many people say many things about Keane, but hardly any ever mention the on-stage dancing of the singer. This is strange. Because this is a man who is quite clearly very familiar with the indie disco. And quite an enthusiast too. This is a man whose every moment is itching, desperate to get the gig out of the way so he can go the after-party and dance! Dance! DANCE! Witness:
Keane arrive early while the DJ is breaking himself in, and are pleasantly surprised to hear him warming up with 'John Kettley Is A Weatherman'.
The lads are less pleased when he follows it up with 'This How It Feels' when everyone knows 'Saturn 5' is far superior.
It's starting to fill up now, and the lads are frustrated they've still not been able to get on and rip it up. The DJ's dropping his nu-metal mix at the moment. They don't mind that System Of A Down track, and Linkin Park have some nice tunes, but at the moment he's dropping Spineshank. The drummer is on his fifth cranberry VK.
SHEEE SAIDDD!!! (Shissaid!)
SHEEE-EEE SAY-HEEE-EDD!!! (Shissaid!)
SHE SEHHH-HEEEE-ED!!! (Shissaid!)
Ah, fantastic. Quick lads, get them in before 'Waterfall'…
(this song, however, sounds a bit like A-Ha as sung by a man that sounds a bit like Tim Booth, yet not quite that good, and absolutely not a patch on 'She Said' by The Longpigs)
9) AVRIL LAVIGNE – My Happy Ending
Somehow I forgot to put my vote in. I'd have given it a 7, just so's you know.
8) ANASTACIA – Sick & Tired
7) SHAPESHIFTERS – Lola's Theme
Top of Streatham Common, sunset, Thursday evening. Wonderful.
6) STONEBRIDGE ft. THERESE – Put 'Em High (NEW ENTRY)
Pleasant yet somewhat featureless Swedish disco-house—it's catchy an' all, but there's a little something missing. Can't quite put my finger on what it is—perhaps the indistinct quality of those vocals, mixed in a bit quietly—but it's stopping me from doing anything more than thinking this is alright.
5) THE STREETS – Dry Your Eyes
I'd forgotten how lovely Streatham Common can be sometimes. Just walking down Gibson's Hill, up through the pathways to the top of the common, then all the way down the side with the iPod on, and it's non-stop-quality flurry—Shapeshifters, Beautiful South, all the shit—swift trip round Sainsbury's, back up the common and home. At which point the iPod gives me Knife In The Water or something, which harshes the buzz somewhat.
4) BUSTED – Thunderbirds Are Go/3AM
Officially much less irritating than Tom from McFly's face.
3) GOLDIE LOOKIN' CHAIN – Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do (NEW ENTRY)
Wes prefaces this with "Wales, I'm so sorry…" This is because Goldie Lookin' Chain aren't number one, not because he's embarrassed for them at GLC's existence. Some would argue he should be. I dunno about all that. I'm quite good mates with a feller who really loves this lot on account of the fact that they swear a great deal and are quite funny an' that.
The problem here is that Goldie Lookin' Chain have had some money put in front of them and aren't quite sure what to do. They are, without much doubt, a comedy/novelty act. Their website, which has been run by them for a few years or so, used to be a lovely thing, stuffed full of MP3's, fan-made pictures, a set of Top Trumps cards for every member of the band plus Mr T, certain family members, and their local MP. That, however, has suddenly become the 'lo-tech version' of their website. They now have a flash site as well which you can't get any of that off, but which you can instead order ringtones and commercially download from. Essentially it's like any generic band site you can see nowadays. Which is a bad thing…
But somehow that's where the GLC find themselves nowadays, having acquired patronage off a bunch of indie bands and a deal with The Darkness' label, which is something of a step up from the self-distributed homemade CD-R's they've been doing for the past few years. They're on the telly. Cat Deeley introduces their video on CD:UK Hotshots and announces them as "Wales' only hip-hop act," which one would imagine is news to Mabon and Tystion (even if the latter have split). They get this bizarrely indie-guilt-esque write-up and album of the month in The Observer.
It's not hard to see how they might be somewhat scared, and 'Guns…' is a distinctly trepidatious single. GLC are now in the world of mainstream proper music, and as such feel the need to make their frame of reference more accessible to the general public via namechecking lots of things and ripping off 'Sound Of The Police'. Sometimes they are funny—"Guns don't kill people, rappers do / I seen it in a documentary on BBC Two"—but a lot of the time they come off as plain desperate—"Hip-hop gangsta trippin / Even Eminem's into pistol whippin'". Very little of the Chain's idiosyncratic slang, a key part of their appeal, is used here, instead replaced with stuff like "Vanilla Ice made my mother say fuck"—funny due to its delivery, worrying due to its overly-obvious pandering to the VernonKayJimmyCarrAvidMerrion set. Then there's their dress sense, in uniformly cheapo shellsuits, sweatbands, visors etc. They're Welsh! And they're chavs! And they're RAPPING! This Is Even More Hilarious Than Coupling!
They can't claim that they're any good at rapping, because they aren't. Some of their lines are very funny, an awful lot of them are highly lame.
And then you realise that this is how some people must see UK hip-hop.
This is not necessarily the GLC's fault. They started off all low-key and that, a hobby, then they started to get more serious. Taking the piss out of hip-hop, one senses, was never really on the agenda, but rather self-referential humour about their life in Newport (in Gwent), about trying to be all cred but just winding up dressed in their cheapo shell-suits with a fistful of spliffs. And suddenly, by dint of this being #3, they're the most successful UK rap act ever. And, er…
I dunno. This single in itself is a bit of harmless fun, as are the GLC themselves. But now things are starting to get a bit more serious. Now they're making money. They're now the other face of 'chav', alongside Mike Skinner, except they aren't ever going to be able to drop anything like 'Dry Your Eyes', so it's OK to rip the piss out of chavs again—yessah! I just dunno. I quite like this song. But it's a little bit worrying. You fear they're about to find out just how hard a business comedy can be…
2) 3 OF A KIND – Babycakes
I've heard this a few more times in the past week to see if I hated it any less. I don't.
1) NATASHA BEDINGFIELD – These Words (NEW ENTRY)
But anyway, here's our number one. Oh dear. A song about how difficult it is to write songs. Because that is never fucking tiresome. Particularly not when it contains the lines:
Took some Byron, Shelley and Keats
Recited them over a hip-hop beat
The chorus is sort of OK, to be fair, but the verses are bloody murder. It goes on far too long. And the video… features Natasha scratching along to the intro with a piece of cucumber on a plate. Plus she 'punches' the camera. Which, if nothing else, does answer the question "Just whose ass is Avwiw capable of kicking, then?"