Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

John Adams –Short Ride In A Fast Machine.

I must admit to being slightly nervous about posting this cursed track.

Short Ride In A Fast Machine had originally been scheduled to be played at the Last Night of the Proms in September 1997. However, it was swiftly pulled after Diana Princess of Wales had her own short ride in a fast machine – you might have heard about it at the time.

On the 30th August, after an evening living large at The Ritz, she and her millionaire playboy boyfriend were driven through Paris in their Mercedes at twice the speed limit by a drunken chauffer without wearing a seatbelt when, surprisingly, they had a fatal accident. She was like a candle in the wind, you know.

In another move that showed her reckless disregard for her own life earlier in 1997 she had apparently been in talks with Kevin Costner about appearing in The Bodyguard 2. The latest name put forward for the Diana role is Jessica Simpson. And why not?

Not ones to be deterred by just one international tragedy, the Proms nabobs rescheduled the performance for the Last Night of the Proms on 15th September 2001 (you’re way ahead of me). Of course, the ‘tragic events of 9/11’TM meant it had to be pulled again.

On the highly scientific principle of ‘third time’s a charm’ the piece was again scheduled to appear in the Proms in 2004. However, to ensure that any collateral damage was restricted to perma-grinning, cocaine fuelled children’s TV presenters, it was to be part of the Blue Peter Proms. Luckily, Richard Bacon and Konnie Huq made it to the performance unscathed and the curse was lifted - I hope.

Drive safely kids.

John Adams – Short Ride In A Fast Machine

Buy the score if you happen to have two flutes, two piccolos, two oboes, an English horn, four clarinets, three bassoons, and contrabassoon, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, bass tuba, two synthesizers, timpani, high wood block, snare drum, crotales, glockenspiel, suspended cymbal, pedal bass drum, large bass drum, sizzle cymbal, tambourine, large tam-tam, medium wood block, triangle and xylophone hanging around that you want to make good use of.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Foo Fighters – My Hero

"You’re no-one in music until you have feuded with me or until you sleep with Winona." Courtney Love.

In 1997 Dave Grohl realised that, although he’d done plenty of the first, he had egregiously neglected to do the second. So it was out with Louise ‘Veruca Salt’ Post and in with 'Noni'.

Ryder’s list of rockstar boyfriends reads like a list of everyone who’s picked up, or even looked at, a guitar in the last 20 years (including, but not limited to, Ryan Adams, Evan Dando, Dave Pirner, Adam Duritz, Jay Kay, Jakob Dylan, Conor Oberst, Eric Schrody, Jack White, Paul Westerburg, Pete Yorn and a partridge in a pear tree – that’s not even starting on the actors). In fact, if you laid all Winona’s exes end to end you’d have wasted a huge amount of time on an essentially pointless exercise. There’s no doubting she’s had a lot of stick (no sniggering at the back) for her long list of beaus but it’s no mystery why arty, sensitive boys are attracted to her.

As well as his split with Post, 1997 also saw Grohl split with two of his band members: drummer William Goldsmith and guitarist Pat Smear. Replacements were found in the shape of Taylor Hawkwind (off of of The Alanis Morissette Band) and Franz Stahl (a former bandmate of Grohl’s from the pre-Nirvana Scream).

The focus of My Hero, from The Foo Fighters second album The Colour and The Shape, is the subject of much discussion. According to Grohl himself the song is, “my way of saying that when I was young, I didn't have big rock heroes, I didn't want to grow up and be some big sporting hero. My heroes were ordinary people and the people that I have a lot of respect for are just solid, everyday people - people that you can rely on." However, with lyrics like, “Don't the best of them bleed it out/While the rest of them peter out,” it was inevitable that many people would see the song as a tribute to Kurt Cobain. Grohl muddies the water further by often dedicating the song to Jim Craig (an ice hockey goalie who helped the USA win the 1980 Olympic gold).

Foo Fighters – My Hero

Buy The Colour And The Shape

Watch a rather fine acoustic version of My Hero

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Veruca Salt – Volcano Girls

A girl can’t spoil herself, you know.

With perhaps one of the most unappealing band names in history, taken from the Willa Wonka character, Veruca Salt still managed to be one of the few bands to survive the downfall of grunge.

The band, lead by Nina ‘the blonde one’ Gordon and Louise ‘the other one’ Post, rose to early prominence after scoring a hit with Seether after only playing a handful of gigs. This brought them to the attention of Geffen Records who released their typically demurely titled EP Blow It Out Your Ass, It’s Veruca Salt!

They followed this in 1997 with the album Eight Arms To Hold You and its standout single Volcano Girls. The song was an immediate success thanks to its catchy chorus, rawk guitar solo and a video that’s as much fun as you can film without providing proof of age.

1997 also saw the cracks begin to appear between the two frontwomen. Whilst on tour in Australia Louise Post found out her then boyfriend Dave Grohl was cheating on her with celebrity kleptomaniac Winona Ryder. This prompted her to set off on a drink and drugs binge ending in her passing out topless on stage. Gordon and her boyfriend, Veruca Salt’s drummer Stacy Jones, were less than impressed. Jones left the band at that point and Gordon followed the next year.

Post recruited Suzanne Sokol to replace Gordon but Veruca Salt but never regained the chemistry the original band had. Gordon went on to have a similarly lacklustre solo career – at least until last year when blogland went crazy over her lilting acoustic version of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton (hear it on her website).

Veruca Salt – Volcano Girls

Buy Eight Arms To Hold You

Saturday, March 04, 2006

CAKE – The Distance

1997 saw a concerted campaign to keep kids away from the drug that was scything down members of Prague’s ‘Boon rave’ culture. Cake, also known as ‘Russell Dust’, ‘Loony Toad Quack’ and ‘Hattie Jacques’ Pretentious Cheese Wog’, is a bi-sterbile cradabolic anphetamoid which acts on the Shatner’s Bassoon region of the brain causing such known side effects as vomiting out one’s own pelvis, crying all the water out of one’s body and ‘Czech Neck’. News that the drug was on its way to the UK caused an outcry; opposition groups were set up, high profile names such as Noel Edmonds, Bernard Manning and Bruno Brookes implored the youth to stay away, and questions were asked in parliament (read Hansard).

Thankfully, the feared Cake epidemic failed to materialise. This was largely thanks to the fact that it was made up my media-prankster Chris Morris for the show Brass Eye. Morris first came to wide attention on the radio, and later TV, spoof news show The Day Today. He took the elements of parody of the clichéd self importance of news and stretched it even further with Brass Eye. In particular, he received a great deal of publicity, positive and negative, for conning C-list, rent-a-gob celebrities and politicians into supporting non-existent causes. Most amusing of all was convincing Paul Daniels and Carla Lane to speak out against a zoo that had allowed an elephant’s trunk to get stuck up its rectum.

The first and only series was originally intended for broadcast in 1996. However, the series had been held back due to the inclusion of a sketch about a musical version of the life of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe. A de-Sutcliffed version was finally broadcast in 1997 with other material taken out but with the addition of a highly unflattering subliminal message about Channel 4 controller Michael Grade.

The band CAKE, with their jaunty riffs and catchy melodies, were much less like to make anyone vomit out their own pelvis. CAKE have been going since 1992 but only once entered British consciousness; with the melancholy but fun The Distance.

CAKE – The Distance

Buy Brass Eye

Buy Fashion Nugget