February 10, 2006

With Friends Like these...


I assume most of you have seen this by now.

If and when you stop laughing (and I'll level you with you I ain't stopped yet), watch the unhip young gunslinger put out of her niaserie by snI.P.er shots from the PillBox.

All the young dupes taken down in a hail of bullet points:

. BLOC PARTY and KAISER CHIEFS: 'disturbingly reminiscent of post-punk third-raters like The Members and The Ruts'
. FRANZ FERDINAND: 'more an I-Spy Our New Wave References game than a real and original band'
. BABYSHAMBLES 'represent the triumph of self-mythologisation over smeary, half-cocked substance.'
. ARCTIC MONKEYS: '25% youthful sizzle to 75% formulaic boilerplate and standard teen-boy moan.'

Each one a crack shot, I'd say.

It might seem cruel to mock Natalie, who can only be 17 at the most - surely. But when you bear in mind that was the age at which IP and Burchill joined NME... well, that's a whole other story of decline, ain't it.

It's nice that the Guardian is willing to give va kidz a chance, like, (has she been taken on as a government-scheme trainee?) but surely a kindly member of its editorial team could have performed some emergency surgery on the following ghastly slew of bad copywriting, poorly digested press release and breathless PR: 'With Rupert Murdoch's networking website MySpace planning to launch a UK-specific version any minute now - giving an initial emphasis to the hugely popular and influential music section - the sound of our times will become set even more firmly in history's stone.' In history's stone ... I wince on behalf of the English language...

Wonderful that the Guardian has no qualms about giving a free ad to Rupert M too.

What makes this worrying as well as hilarious is the horrible suspicion that Nataleee's 'doubt-free syntax of excitable PR' is the authentic voice of todaze Yoof, i.e. 'a supine generation of essentially nihilistic unquestioning cocooned and complacent consumers', as Alex, one of Pillbox's commenters, puts it. Jejune enthusiasm, even for remake/remodellers like Arctic Monkeys, would be welcome. But the staggering thing about the article is the absolute lack of ANY comment about the music, about how it makes her feel, about what is striking or novel about it. What we get, instead, is an earnest citation of STATISTICS, as if she's an account manager powerpointing her end-of-year report to a bored CEO.

'It is an overlooked fact that UK acts dominated the best-selling album charts in 2005, occupying all top five positions. While Franz Ferdinand warmed up with an impressive 700,000 sales of their second album, You Could Have It So Much Better, in the UK alone during the four months after its release, the Arctic Monkeys have now confirmed the indie-rock revolution we've been waiting for. Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, shifted a hugely satisfying 360,000 copies in its first week and stormed to the top of the album charts, where it has stayed for the second week running. A spokesman for the music retailer HMV summed it up nicely: "We haven't seen anything quite like this since the Beatles."'

an impressive 700,000
a hugely satisfying 360,000

Chilling stuff, which it's hard not to read as symptomatic of a teen unconscious totally captured and colonized by Kapital, so immersed in business ontology as not to be able to see it, still less imagine any alternative to it.

Not to worry, though... Natalie likes Grime too...

Posted by mark at February 10, 2006 12:23 AM | TrackBack