Jan 10, 2024

Dance music has far better lyrics than Liam Gallagher and John Squire

'Just Another Rainbow' is the new song by Liam Gallagher and John Squire. A meeting of musical minds that has Oasis and Stone Roses fans drinking celebratory lager from their bucket hats.

The single is predictable enough. I won't link to the actual song here, in the same way I wouldn't show you a photograph of a turd I'd found in a nearby alleyway. But I can tell you Gallagher sounds like a donkey on a torture rack, while Squire is so unmemorable, I've already forgotten what instrument he plays. Balalaika? Kazoo?

What I wasn't prepared for was how bad the lyrics would be. I wasn't expecting Oscar Wilde, but the lyrics are so banal, I thought the Oxford English Dictionary had glitched and all the good words had fallen out. Here are the main offenders:

"Just another rainbow dripping on my tree."

"Red and orange, yellow and green. blue, indigo, violet. We've crossed a line."

"Just another rainbow paying the bills. Am I your windmill?"

One thing can be certain is that the boys have never seen a rainbow. A rainbow has never offered financial support for my household amenities, never mind been used as a wind-powered turbine. At least they got the colours right, although a true 'bow connoisseur would include infrared and ultraviolet.

This is why dance music is much better than this turgid indie pop. Dance music has a history of innovative lyrics that really speak to the human condition. Its music makers put thought in the message they want to purvey. It is music for intelligent people.

I'm almost reluctant to do this, because I don't want to shame Liam and John. But here are list of the most insightful dance music lyrics of all time. Next time, lads, put your guitars down and don your raving gloves. You may learn a thing or two.,,

Black Box: Everybody Everybody – "(Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody) Oh, everybody (Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody) Everybody, oh everybody. (Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody) Everybody."

DJ Snake: Get Low – "Get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, get low, get get get low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low."

Fatboy Slim: The Rockafeller Skank – "Bout, 'bout, 'bout, 'bout, 'bout, 'bout, 'bout, 'bout, funk, funk, funk, funk, funk, funk, bro, bro, bro, bro, bro." 

Roni Size: Brown Paper Bag – "Step step step step step step step step step step, p-p-paper paper paper paper paper, mmmmmmmmmmmm."

Duck Sauce: Barbra Streisand – "Oo-oo who-oo-oo whooo-oo oo-oo, oo-oo who-oo-oo whooo-oo oo-oo, oo-oo who-oo-oo whooo-oo, Barbra Streisand."

No wait, hold on. These are way to repetitive. I need something more insightful. Lyrics with real thought. Proper deep thinking as if they were written by Albert Einstein or Lorraine Kelly or something. Right. Here we go...

Prodigy: Memphis Belles – "Lick it once, lick it twice, c'mon, put that sh*t on ice."

Calvin Harris: The Girls – "I like them black girls, I like them white girls, I like them Asian girls, I like them mixed-race girls [etc etc etc]"

Scooter: Friends Turbo – "Can you tell me, how do I get off the bus?"

Ye gods, who ARE these monsters? This is going horribly wrong. Excuse me while I dig into my Warp Records collection. There must be something intelligent in those old purple twelve-inches. Intelligent techno and all that. Ah, here we are...


Tricky Disco: Tricky Disco – "Tricky disco."

I give up.

Pictured: A hyperfuturistic digital 3D rendering of Liam Gallagher

Jan 5, 2024

On the Slipmat with Saturn: a Gorillaz-inspired microstory

I found the following text in my blog drafts. It was an attempt at a picture story, a little micro-fiction slash thought poem, with added pretty pics. The images are taken from the video for Saturnz Barz by Gorillaz, which came out when I wrote this piece seven years ago. Time to finally publish it.

On the Slipmat with Saturn

I was browsing someone else's record collection. Leafing through the seven-inches, flipping them to check the b-sides. You only really know someone by the quality of their b-sides.

There was still something thrilling about placing the record over the spindle. The satisfying 'clump' as the disc settles onto the slipmat. A physical experience before a single note has hit you.

The needle travelled the grooves as the music played. A seemingly endless spiral. Satisfaction in ever-decreasing circles. My mind wandered more freely than that. Lost in eddies and twirls, beyond geometry. 

"You like it when my record goes round, huh?" The fifty-foot worm appeared from nowhere. It seemed flattered. A kindred spirit, connected in musical taste if not in anatomy. I handled it well. My screams were in tune with the music.

How we listened. Let the bass shake us. We jumped between tracks together, hand and tentacle on stylus. Our minds found a rhythm. We travelled to space. Rockets and planets and nebula, playing music in the infinite vacuum with my huge bendy friend.

You can plan your days. Play the music you want to listen to. But sometimes the needle doesn't go the way you want it to. Life can become the b-side. You will know this has happened when you find yourself travelling along a different kind of spiral.

Me and the worm. And the satisfying 'clump' as a new record begins.

Pictured: A hyperfuturistic digital 3D rendering of the worm from the Gorillaz video