July 12, 2004

B.W. [heart] B.H.

I was mystified by this post until, fortuitously, I read this in the New York Times:

In the tradition of Stone Roses, Benny Hill, and figgy pudding, Faithless is a revered British institution that has generated little enthusiasm here.

Brian is Australian, not British, but maybe the Stone Roses travel throughout the Commonwealth. Definitely a case for some kind of relativism, though.

(That post and comments also contain some philosophy of interest.)

[Extended entry beginneth here]

Actually, I shouldn't hate on the Stone Roses, because I'm not sure what they sound like. I'm not even sure I've ever heard them. On the other hand, I find it difficult to see how I could possibly have gone through college ('88-'92) without ever hearing them, so the fact that I'm not sure I've heard them or what they sound like is in itself evidence that they can't possibly have made the best British album ever. Not that I expect anyone else to agree with my nomination, The Mekons Honky Tonkin--most people think Fear and Whiskey and Rock'n'Roll are the best Mekons albums and a fortiori the best British albums. I'm right and they're wrong, though--some people's criticisms of Honky Tonkin' rest too much on the desire to understand what every word of every lyric means, which has little to do with understanding what the music means. Though I'm given some pause by the fact that I've never heard the Mekons play any of the songs from Honky Tonkin live; every other album of theirs, but not that one.

The NYTimes link is not permanent and also contains an ad with a picture that I find kinda disturbing. I'll try to fix that if I can.

Posted by Matt Weiner at July 12, 2004 02:28 PM

I wanted a kinda disturbing NY Times picture ad, but I just got a link to a kinda disturbing picture of me, which wasn't at all what I signed up for.

It's pretty remarkable to find a metric that links the Stone Roses and Benny Hill. My best attempt to find such a metric would be absolute aesthetic value, but maybe inexplicability to Americans will do.

Actually I barely remember the Stone Roses from the first time around. I pulled out their one great album a few years ago and was completely blown away by how good it still sounded. I recently had the same experience with Primal Scream's Screamadelica, but I really wasn't into dance music as an undergrad so it's not surprising I didn't recall that from the time.

I was half-tempted to run a digression at a completely random point in that post and go through my top 10, or better still top 20, British albums, but I thought I might get enough howls of outrage as it was. And besides, if I can ignore records like Screamadelica for over a decade perhaps I'm not the most reliable judge here.

Posted by: Brian Weatherson at July 12, 2004 02:37 PM

Ooopsie. Fixed the link but the ad is gone (never say the Times doesn't listen to reader feedback!). I was thinking of digging up the photograph to explain what I meant (it's a Nationwide Insurance ad about saving for college, illustrated by a female person in a schoolgirl uniform except under her jacket her shirt is knotted in a somewhat revealing way), but that would be Ignatuising in the extreme. Actually, I think just typing that description was Ignatiusing.

I'll try to give the Stone Roses a listen, anyhow, though the chances are about nil that I will wind up preferring them to the Mekons.

So what's your view on figgy pudding?

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 12, 2004 04:01 PM

Oh, I've seen that ad. It was kinda disturbing because it took me a while to figure out she was meant to be dressed as someone much younger than she actually was, rather than as someone with quirkier dress sense than she actually had.

No idea what figgy pudding is. Some of these British things are just British.

Posted by: Brian Weatherson at July 12, 2004 05:02 PM

I think she's meant to be someone much younger than she actually is, if that distinction makes any sense. In my dark moments I fear that she may even be that young.

I missed the Stop Press news: You really do like Benny Hill? I may need to change the title of the post to make it more insulting.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 12, 2004 05:29 PM

No I don't like Benny Hill. How could you infer that from the post? Well, if you miss the *absolute* in *absolute value* I guess! It was meant to be a geek joke, and when I try those they usually backfire, so here's another data point.

Posted by: Brian Weatherson at July 12, 2004 06:35 PM

Oh, I feel so ashamed. Of course I should have got that--I was thinking of "absolute" as opposed to "relative." Carry on then--the title is as insulting as it's meant to be (I hope my previous post didn't come across as more insulting than it was meant to be, BTW).

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 13, 2004 09:00 AM

And I'm going to cut out your post and send it around to all my friends. It may be the only time someone has ever claimed that I'm not geeky enough.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 13, 2004 09:01 AM