Friday, September 19, 2008

why the 21st Century world of music pretty much sucks

The Spice Girls have beaten Led Zeppelin to an award for the best music reunion of the last 12 months.

The girl group won best live return at the Vodafone Live Music Awards after getting back together for a world tour.

It was judged to have been better than the one-off comeback by rock legends Led Zeppelin, with The Verve and James also nominated.

The nominees were chosen by a panel of judges, with the winners decided by a public vote.

Emma Bunton was the only Spice Girl present, and said she was "a bit shocked" to beat such venerable rock acts as Led Zeppelin.

now then, there's some really dumb developments in modern music (Pop Idols wanders joyfully to mind), and then there is acts of folly that seem hard to beat. the entire idea of "best reunion" as some sort of award is very much in the latter camp. what precedent is there for this? why didn't Kubrick get a "best comeback" Oscar for either Full Metal Jacket or Eyes Wide Shut? will writers who leave a gap of 6 or 7 years between novels be up for a "best return to publishing" award? i am reminded of the radio episode of Knowing Me Knowing You where Alan Partridge references an Oscar for "best use of an animated dinosaur"!

perhaps the only thing more ridiculous than the award existing is the notion that people actually to the time, trouble and imagination to vote for it. the winner, however, suggests an en masse burst of sarcasm, though. i mean, the world had somehow managed to struggle along without the Spice Girls for what, 5 years (at best) until they reunited for a tour that, if i recall, ended after a mere two shows due to in-fighting and arguments about, amongst other things, matching tattoos.

it's not like the other options were any better. Led Zeppelin, and i know this is an unpopular view, were a mildly talented if somewhat limited quasi-blues band that managed to inflate their reputation to be remembered rather than their talent (or lack thereof). exactly how it is they have been suggested as "best reunion" contenders is a mystery since they never split up in an official sense. the current ranting and raving about Led Zep is less to do with a genuine affection, more to do with the fact that, for one, they are still (mostly) alive, and secondly because the proper legends (Stones, Who, Beatles) have been exhausted in the nostalgia stakes for the time being. and what reunion, if anyone could call it such? a one off gig for a "charity" that somehow managed to raise millions for several parties, not all of them charitable?

as for James, they were ace in their day, but it's been more of a rapid decline since their "Best Of" album in the late 90's and it hasn't got better since they "reunified". a sad thing to say of them as their light shone rather bright, but boy did it burn out quite some time ago.

The Verve? do me a favour! tiresome one-hit wonders with the magnificent Bittersweet Symphony, conned music journos into believing they were "The Smiths of the 90s" (they were not), disappeared once music buyers clocked that it wasn't ever going to be as good as that one hit record, came back and it still isn't any better. Richard Ashcroft, the self-styled "voice of a generation", is about as much of Morrissey as is he a monkey. one can only hope that the next batch of "artistic differences", which can only be as far off as the meeting to discuss why their "comeback" album has been a qualified failure, sees them disappear forever this time.

we have awards like this because we live in a world where 4th runners up in a second rate "talent" show are guaranteed record contracts, contracts that they tend to squander on ill-advised cover versions before vanishing into obscurity after (surprise surprise) failing to sell too many copies of their own composed, produced and performed efforts. stupid is not a word to be used lightly, but this is a stupid idea for a stupid award with four stupid nominations.

as i am sure you can guess, i cannot quite fathom why a large number of people would deploy all our fantastic new technology (cell phones, the internet) to make it clear that they were sad to see the Spice Girls go, but were equally thrilled to see them make a brief return. the way things are going, some sort of revival or critical reappraisal of Spanga, Bros and/or Taylor Dane can be but merely months away.

be excellent to each other, and try to pay attention to proper music....................
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