Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cowell Dollar, plastic breasts and old fogeys

Two semi-forgotten legends, Paul Heaton and Brett Anderson, on the current state of music.

It says something when Spandau Ballet getting back together is the most exciting thing the musical press can write about that isn't the X-Factor or Cheryl Cole's eyelashes.

If you recently thought your music sensibility is starting to resemble that of a hut-dwelling hermit in the Outer Hebrides, just remember you're not alone. Simon Cowell's toxic circus and its side effects actually get on a lot of people's nerves.

This is what former Housemartins and Beautiful South singer Paul Heaton had to say on the current state of songwriting and the music business:

"Obviously in these current climes of X Factor domination and Jordan and Andre getting back together for a Christmas single [don't bet against it], we have to be patient. These indeed are low times for a high brow singer and it would be tragic for us to lose home grown artists such as Hawley, Cocker and Heaton, to the passing storm of The Cowell Dollar and the plastic breast. We must cling to the rocks together, safe in the knowledge that this storm, like all those before it, will pass or burn itself out, battering the very rocks we cling to".

And this what Brett Anderson (remember him?) said last month about the way music is increasingly being approached, with the dictatorship of downloads, leaks and torrents:

"Yeah and I think that's bad, I do really sort of regret that without wanting to sound like a luddite or an old fogey, I think it's a shame because there is some beautiful music that is meditative and that requires that you sit down with it and don't just flick through it like channel surfing, and I think it's a shame because people aren't getting as much out of music. I mean there are certain albums that you have to invest time in like you have to invest time in a novel, you have to sit down and give it your attention, it doesn't just leap out at you like an advert or something like that".


Helen Highwater said...

Is Brett talking about his new album, by any chance? It didn't really leap out and grab me, I must say!

Peter Kay's Geraldine doo-dah show was on the other night. I hadn't seen it before but it was amusing to see Paul McCartney so involved in it because it made me wonder if he was thinking "I too hate tv talent shows! I had to cut my teeth on the Reeperbahn!" I think I heard somewhere that Pete Waterman appeared on it because he was so sick of X Factor and all that cobblers too.

The hoopla surrounding Jeanette Crankey's older sister having that album that's sold more than anything ever (including bread or tubes of toothpaste apparently) is rather depressing. Cowell's sad little speech about how "Susan shows us that you don't have to look like Madonna or Britney" is crap. Is the "industry" going to recast Atomic Kitten and all that with blothcy-faced middle-aged dinner ladies? I think not. They like to see SuBo as the record industry having a heart, but it's so clear that it's marketing media-manipulation codswallop, yet most people don't seem capable of understanding this.

PS: I've never heard Subo sing. I shall try to keep it that way.

HarpyMarx said...

This decade should be known as the decade of pap epitomised by The X-Factor that piece of pre-packaged hyped-up commercialised and commodified soulless talent show.

Hear endeth the rant!