The TV Stays in the Room: The Sad End of Rockstar Excess
Rock and pop star excess is a wonderful, honest phenomena. What young person with a load of cred and cash wouldn't want to go through sexual partners like socks, and experience the most extreme pleasures our metabolisms and technology can possibly attempt. At least for a while.
We all know or think we know the most legendary stories. The Mud Shark. The Mars Bar. The Bolivian Bumwash Special. TV's thrown out of windows, gag worthy groupie gropes. Sadly gone, at least in public. In our Silent Disco Sedated age, this Bacchanalian Bonus Ball in the Pop Lottery has softened into pathetic absurdity. There are two reasons for this - firstly, despite the pap pap gang and all those naughty websites, pop PR is now more controlled than it has been since the 1950s. Access to interviews, tickets etc from a stable of "artists" is subject to informal control and formal strategising. The same marketing techniques used to manage the "Share of Voice" (as in how much media space is hogged, where and how) and Brand Preference (what would be West End Android or Thug Calendar Model would you prefer?) of home air "fresheners" are in full effect. So you see and hear generally what you are meant to, when you are meant to.
The geniuses who set up PopBitch, still a wonderful bit of gutterfluff goss vomit email written with a satirist's flair, worked on mainstream foam rags like Smash Hits! and were tired of all the hypocrisy. Everyone knew Sporty Spice was Snorty Spice, doing more bumps in public than a joyrider across traffic calming measures. Yet the sheeple were given a hypocritical 1940s Hollywood whitewash of wholesome milk endorsing scatology. PR people let down by some sozzled nothing, drink driving to some eco cash in event in a V12 fur lined Bentley would leak the truth for wider exposure.
But on the whole, a new age of false gloss Puritanism is upon us. As the magical comic Doug Stanhope has opined, this is the first time people in retirement homes will look at the youngstas and instead of saying how wild and irresponsible they are, will be shocked at how beige and sedate their smokeless, corporate plastic unfantastic grandkids are. We are the Georgians and Regency people, watching the starched sludge of Victorian hypocrisy descend like a cold cloak of cancer.
It would all be more fun is it became ritualised. When something Off Brand happens, a suitable Dark Ages public moment of self abuse should be imposed online. So instead of that bizarre dance of the dumb where Trampy Tulisa denied an inept trouser tuba solo video, then spewed out a soppy sympathy sympathy about betrayal and sexual shame, we get some real entertainment. Top Tip - letting DJ Dire or MC Wacktardary film you giving a crotch kiss on their mobile is not a sensible act.
As with most things, all this is Better in Japan. When I tried to ask his opinion on some irrelevant matter, our own Funky Frenchman scolded my distorted priorities and let me in on the story of Minami Minegishi, 20 year old J-Pop Plopper of creepy hospital toilet clean group AKB48 shaving her head on YouTube as an act of contrition for being seen "dating". The psychological implications of this act, and potential benefit to certain fetish feeding fans, is worth a Phd thesis in itself. But she may have gone too far - even some fans seem to think that the No Dating rule and its public self harm enforcement might be a symptom of deeper diseases.
Of course, the sickness to look out for around here is the Vinyl Vulture Bug - the desire to be here at the opening of Rat's sacred door on Saturday to feast on a beat buffet beyond belief.
We'll have some fine electronic bits, such as Squarepusher, Phoenecia, Akufen and the likes, all in pristine condition.
Plenty more jazz, some original Sixties soul LPs including some rare funky compilation that got us moving.
Also fine ska and rocksteady comps in their original splendour, plenty of classic rock and punk newavy bits and given the time, we'll do our best to fill the new in 7inches box too. Why not take a look at the racks picture from mid afternoon Friday - and dream.