Music Blues

You know you’re getting old when songs that were hits when you were in high school are getting used in chain store commercials.

The song in question is Two Princes by the Spin Doctors (off the album Pocket Full of Kryptonite*), and the chain store in question is the ubiquitous K-mart. Apparently getting sick of the eighties track they’ve been using for the last few years (the name and artist momentarily escape me – something by the Steppers I think) they’ve jumped forwards a few years, and grabbed a hold of the “doob-ba-doop, dooba-doop ba-dooby-dooby duba-duba-duba-duba-duba-duba-duba-duba-duba” bit, which is annoying because it was one of my favourite songs of 1992-93. Heck, it was so popular that even the severely pissweak cover band they booked for our graduation ball played it!* And now it’s reduced to a funky backing track for cheap leisure wear adds. Damn but that’s depressing.

Similarly depressing is the fact that Get Your Juice by Starburst seems to be hovering at about 18 on the charts. What’s so disheartening about this is not only is it a pathetic rip off of Kylie Minogue’s latest single (stripped of even the small amount of talent that makes that vaguely listenable) but it’s not even a real song! It’s a promotional campaign for a confectionery company!

About a month ago “teaser” adds started appearing on TV with skimpily dressed women gyrating around on giant bits of computer generated fruit, alternately moaning (you could hardly describe it as singing) and whispering seductive phrases such as “Come and get your juice boy!” then licking their lips*. After a few seconds of this wiggling it cut to a colourful “Starburst!” logo. Since the company has been running adds suggesting that Starburst is a band (as opposed to a range of sweets) for some years, I instantly recognised this as a further development of this rather stupid trend, and dismissed it from my mind, as I am generally wont to do with such trash.

Not long after this however the next set of adds started, which were longer, showed more of the so called “video clip” (revealing it to be ripping off Holly Valance as well as Kylie, which frankly doesn’t bother me one iota), and finished with a voice over man groaning “You’ve heard the song, now go and get the hot new single Get Your Juice from Starburst!*”.

It was at this point that I started to worry. “Surely” I thought, “Surely they can’t have released that derivative piece of horse doo-doo* as a single?”. Unfortunately they have, and according to the weekly ARIA chart I get in my email, it’s actually selling quite well. Which just goes to prove you’ll never go broke catering to the lowest common denominator. In the last week or so the adds have expanded again to finally include the product, a new range of “extra-juicy” jellies, but the damage has already been done. The modern music industry (not to mention the modern music buying public) just sickens me.

To complete my total disillusionment with the world of music, I got an email on Friday from Sanity explaining that the extended delay in shipping my copy of Rough Dreams is because they don’t actually have any copies, don’t plan to get any copies in the foreseeable future and they have no intention of fulfilling my order. They are refunding my debit card*, but this is still a major – well, annoyance isn’t quite the word all things considered. What gets me is that they actually had the CD advertised for order on their website, and I pre-ordered it, which I would have thought would involve them reserving a copy before the ones they imported sold out. If they imported any at all that is, and if they didn’t import any why did they put it on the website in the first place? Grrr!!

I went into town after work on Friday and scoured the CD stores trying to track down a copy – with no success. I think the few copies that made it to Perth were snapped up by other Shivaree fans in the first week after release, while I was happily sitting at home twiddling my thumbs waiting for Sanity to do what I paid them to. So now I guess I’ll just have to order it from Amazon or somewhere, and pay for international delivery. Bastards!*

Friday wasn’t a complete dead loss music-wise though. In my Shivaree motivated wanderings from CD store to CD store I managed to pick up two great albums going fairly cheap. The first is Flaunt It by Sigue Sigue Sputnik, a relatively obscure eighties group who recorded some of the most deranged sounds of that whole rather deranged decade. They’re sort of like sexually ambiguous New Romantics* with a campy tryhard cyberpunk edge who got in a nasty road accident with a drum machine and a mobile film library. You can’t really describe their work as music, it’s more like an assault by Japanese techno commandos with big hair, armed with electronic machine guns and the sampling deck from hell. It’s so unlistenably bad that it approaches a kind of magnificence by stealth. In other words it’s great! πŸ™‚

The other is Complete B Sides by the Pixies. There’s some great stuff on this, including the famous version of the lady in the radiator song from Eraserhead that they used to end their concerts with. But the three standouts for my money have to be River Euphrates, The Thing (basically just a jazzed up remix of the fade out from The Happening but very funky none-the-less), and the weirdly laid back “UK Surf” version of Wave of Mutilation, a song that you wouldn’t think could work as an acoustic ballad*, but does. Throw in the video clips for Here Comes Your Man and Allison and it’s a pretty good deal for only $17.00. Go JB’s HiFi! πŸ™‚

Finally (before I go and do the washing up) I must note that Helen has accepted my offer of a date, conditional on me making it to the UK at some point, and us still both being pathetically single. Cool πŸ™‚ Until then I suppose I can at least claim some slight amount of cred by saying that I asked a girl out and she said yes. Of course whatever cred I do claim will go out the window when my listeners ask “So what happened?” and I have to explain the circumstances and that said date hasn’t actually gone ahead yet, but still it’s got to be better than nothing πŸ˜‰

Anyway better go. Gotta get this place cleaned up. A pox on entropy I say! A pox πŸ™‚

* I didn’t have to look that up. Sad.

* On second thought they might have sung Little Miss Can’t be Wrong off the same album, but still.

* Did I mention that these women were coloured? Like purple women in purple clothing on giant blueberries, and red women in red clothing on giant strawberries? Yeah. No kidding.

* It seems incredible to me that adds can call a single “hot” when it’s only just been released, and hasn’t even charted yet. It’s even more incredible that saying its “hot” seems to ensure that sufficient numbers of people will think its “hot” enough to rush out and buy it – thus sending it up the charts and making it “hot”. It is just me who finds this entire process vulgar in the extreme?

* Not the actual word I used, but I’m trying to keep this log fairly clean πŸ™‚

* Frankly I would have got seriously grim all of a sudden and set fire to their Hay Street store if they hadn’t.

* So much for keeping things clean eh? πŸ™‚

* OK, more sexually ambiguous that usual New Romantics πŸ˜‰

* Well as close to an acoustic ballad as the Pixies can get I think πŸ™‚

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