Archive for November, 2007

November 29, 2007

Morrissey Controversy

After reading the Morrissey feature story in the NME http://www.nme.com/ today (29 November) I feel it is only right that I vent my spleen regarding the whole affair.  Interestingly NME do not display the feature on their website, readers have to buy a copy to witness the controversy.

Here is a summation of the debate from http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/

 NME v Morrissey

Magazine interview causes a stir28 Nov 07 – Morrissey and his management team have threatened NME Magazine with legal action today. It follows an article published in the music magazine this week which accuses The Smiths man of using “inflammatory” language centred on the issue of immigration in Britain.Morrissey’s team heard about the possible damaging nature of the feature in an anonymous tip-off in October. In response, NME editor Conor McNicholas reportedly said on 29 October they were just “rumours and untruths” and that Morrissey’s words were “benign when argued in isolation.”The NME journalist that carried out the interview, namely Tim Jonze, has personally written to Mozza’s representative Merck Mercuriadis denying that the comments had anything to do with him. The credits for the piece read: Interview: Tim Jonze / Words: NME.According to true-to-you.net, Jonze, who also writes for The Guardian, said:“I should mention that for reasons I’ll probably never understand, NME have rewritten the Moz piece. I had a read and virtually none of it is my words or beliefs so I’ve asked for my name to be taken off it. Just so you know when you read it.”Merck claims that upon receiving this, he immediately wrote to NME Editor Conor McNicholas, who allegedly replied after three days.

In response, McNicholas claims that the comments in the piece are “fair and balanced”, and writes: “Obviously no-one is accusing Morrissey of racism – that would be mad given what Morrissey says – but we do say that the language Morrissey uses is very unhelpful at a time of great tensions.”

  • Tim Jonze, the journalist in question , should be responsible for his own work.  It was his feature and therefore his questions.  Provoking a negative reaction from a well-known, outspoken, social critique is lazy and irresponsible journalism.  To bait Morrissey on these issues was inciteful and malicious.
  • It occured to me whilst reading the article that Morrissey was very willing to discuss the immigration issue in an open manner.  However this was only fuelled by Jonze’s desire to extract as much controversy as possible.  Clearly the whole interview didn’t need to focus on this one issue, but because of the journalists antagonizing this is what eventuated.  No NME reader wanted to read a whole page of this discourse, surely it would have been in everyones interest to eventually discuss something else.
  • There was no other reference used apart from England.  If Tim Jonze wanted a balanced article shouldn’t he have asked Morrissey what he thought of immigration issues in other countries where he has resided.  
  • Morrissey is clearly expressing concerns that are engulfing the whole country.  Whether in Politics, Sport or Education this has become a very important issue that the whole country needs to debate.  Michel Platini expressed similar concerns the other day when discussing the English Premier League and he was not labeled a racist for his views.  
  •  The social fibre of England is frayed when debates such as this are systematically beaten down and lambasted in the fight to appear liberally just.  This marginalising of a serious political issue only contributes to the support of the radical fringes of society.
  • Why did the NME contribute to the feature by adding their own negative, accusational editorial.  This set the tone and mood for the piece that threw Morrisssey’s interview out of context.  
     
November 24, 2007

Vent of the week

After looking at the XFM shortlist http://www.xfm.co.uk/Sectional.asp?b=reviews&id=20117  for debut album of the year, there was one thing that struck me!  Where is all the talent?  One of our leading radio stations in discovering and promoting new bands has compiled a list of wretchedly average indie-pop that has manifested out of a burgeoning alternative scene.  The insidously plain music of The Pigeon Detectives and The Wombats et al, has been a direct marketing assault from the record companies to cash-in on a thriving indie scene.  The problem now is that the quasi indie bands are starting to steel the thunder of the real-deal, thus rendering the once flowering genre impotent…..

November 23, 2007

Gigs of the year

Still in the afterglow after the wonderful performance from Arcade Fire last weekend.  Another great gig and yet another band to tick off on my most wanted list.   Still it’s got me thinking about all the other gigs I’ve been to this year………There is a certain few that spring to mind.  Next week I will reveal my favourite.

November 20, 2007

Fire at the Palace

“I’m going to relentlessly ride your arse until you have a good time”, Win Butler remarked, during the early stages of Arcade Fire’s slow burning set at Alexandra Palace on Sunday Night. 

On a cold and wet November evening in North London this is just what the Canadian 10 piece had to do.  Performing in the imposing Victorian Palace on the top of windsept Muswell Hill was all always going to be draped in isolated grandeur, and so it transpired.   The stage was wonderfully lit in blue neon, with several small oval screens scattered amongst the band.  At the front were vertical fluorescent tubes protruding up from the stage, strangely resembling a row of light sabres. 

The band were in the barrel end of a very long tour, but displayed a desire and ambition to give the crowd a typically engaged experience.  Interspersing their songs with fanatical rants on religion and money – displayed on the small monitors – the set gathered pace like a political rally, slowly winding itself up to seduce the viewer into emotional and physical com-pliancy.  Much of their opening was garnered from second album ‘Neon Bible’, while the set lost momentum with ‘My Body is a Cage’ – normally a brooding set highlight – this time rendered useless with Win Butler’s mic turned off.

By the end though the crowd were entranced by the whole experience.  ‘Rebillion’ expressed jubilation amongst the thronging crowd while ‘Wake up’ nearly lifted the roof of the Palace.  The walk back down the hill seemed a whole lot more purposeful than walking up.

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November 17, 2007

Music Blogs

Welcome, all like-minded citizens.  In my official opening of melodicmatter it feels absolutely vital for me to discuss the importance of an engaging weblog.  Where do we start?  We could spend hours discussing the infinite details of Thin lizzy’s back catologue or  trawling through the archives of Prefab Sprout.  However without wishing to sound churlish, it would miss the point of a progressive and reflexive blog, a communal ground where people can converge ideas and share experience.   Focus, issue and relevance is what we need.

Please send me your suggestions on what makes an interesting music blog and then we’ll get started…..

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