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widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dance to the Music (Part Five)

This next episode brings us ever closer to the horrors of now, straddling the millennium like a talented ferret. There's nothing particularly significant about that, I just like the word 'straddle'. Less a set of reviews, more a self-indulgent string of wordy, driveling reminiscences.

1999Supergrass - Supergrass
Lali Puna - Tridecoder
Joy Zipper - Joy Zipper
Fantastic Plastic Machine - Luxury
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun

Okay, this year you're just going to get three word reviews, to stop this from getting any longer & out of hand, and also to disguise my own repetitiveness & lack of inspiration. The last two are, respectively, another Japanese group & yet another Icelandic band. I'm not sure that making this list was a good idea. I used to think of my taste in music as quite eclectic, but now I see that there are certain patterns cropping up that make me appear more narrow minded than I would like. Oh well, sod the introspection, these records are great, and I am, of course, right!

Supergrass - grubby, hungry & warm.

Lali Puna - a broken, slippery fidget.

Joy Zipper - jean-rippingly mellow.

Fantastic Plastic Machine - a four-eyed flirt.

Sigur Ros - relentless, floaty madness.

2000Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain
The White Stripes - De Stijl
Lemon Jelly - KY

Bebel Gilberto first came to my attention as a guest star on Towa Tei's first album after leaving Deee-Lite ('Future Listening', also featuring Maki Nomiya fom Pizzicato Five), and not, as you might imagine, from her rich musical family heritage. Her father is João Gilberto, her mother is the singer Miúcha, her uncle is Chico Buarque de Holanda, and her stepmother is Astrud Gilberto (of 'Girl From Ipanema' fame). I just thought that Gilberto was a common Brazilian surname, which it might still be, I haven't done my research. Produced by the Serbian & dead (I didn't do it) Suba, this a gorgeous collection of soaring tunes with a cheeky little arse-waggle.

I've been a fan of PJ Harvey's for quite a while, since uni days, especially the 'little fish, big fish' one. Annoyingly I will have to agree with the (spit) critics, that this is her best, if least raw, album. Listening to it always brings back memories of her set at Reading (2001?) as she strutted past her Alison Moyet-alike keyboard player, in a pink cowboy hat, whilst the sun slowly set in the distance, bathing the gathered throng, clutching their bottles of piss, in an orange, ready-brek glow.

Ah, Goldfrapp is another in a long line of the two-handed, girl-boy, electronica tradition. The girl singing/breathing over the top of the noises made by the boy, tinkering with his gadgets. In this case the noises made are exceptionally beautiful, to be spoiled only by the on-stage sight of Miss Goldfrapp furiously rubbing a theremin against her naughty bits.

I vividly recall the religious fervour with which the tabloids pleasured themselves over The White Stripes a few years ago, safe in the smug knowledge that I was there first, well not first, but before them. It may not be a popular choice, but I think De Stijl is their masterpiece, stripped down, raw, catchy but not crowd-pleasing. Plus they look so young on the cover, before the army of stylists & industry bigwigs descended.

Lemon Jelly's is an advertising executive's wet dream of an album, which is a shame, as it deserves to be more than background noise to the parade of freaks that populate our commercials. Though I feel that soundtracking the open-throated poo shovelling of telly is not the best use of their talents, I would like to applaud the genius use of 'The Staunton Lick' in the last episode of 'Spaced', over a mainly wordless, bittersweet final montage & scene. Gentle, but not in a grandmother-appeasing way, it's a sample friendly and nearly danceable tranche of goodness.

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