Thursday, February 02, 2006

Go! Go! Go!

If this world were less wayward and insane, "The Power is On" by The Go! Team would be a bigger hit than "Hollaback Girl." It's not a completely random comparison -- the Go! Team song shares a certain cheerleading quality with the Gwen Stefani track, but it is twenty times more awesome.

This was one of the revelations that came to me while I was watching my new Cool Britannia 2 DVD, a.k.a. "the best of British Pop and Rock Live." Other revelations: one of my new favorite bands, Hard-Fi, really suck live. And one of my old favorite bands, New Order, really really suck live. Not because they sound bad, as such, but because lead singer Bernard Sumner insists on hopping around and twirling in a dementedly awkward, dad's-gone-disco unintentional parody of frontman cool. Luckily, many of the performances were by bands that looked and sounded great live -- "Helicopter" by Bloc Party, "Michael" by Franz Ferdinand, "You Will You Won't" by The Zutons, etcetera. Radiohead doing "There There" was particularly good. On the other hand, on Coldplay's "Trouble," Chris Martin jerked around like he was being controlled by muppeteers; Graham Coxon's massive musical talent doesn't seem to extend to his singing; and even Travis seemed bored by their own rendition of "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?"

And The Fall -- somebody British please explain to me why Mark E Smith is still allowed onstage. His band sounds great, but he looks older than my grandfather, and my grandfather's dead. Age wouldn't be a problem if he could actually sing coherently, or in fact do anything coherently, but all he seemed capable of was slurring and drooling on the microphone. It's possible that he's suffering from some debilitating disease and I'm being horribly insensitive, that his performance was the soul-stirring Jools Holland equivalent of, say, a quadruplegic kid breakdancing for the Pope. In any case, I will say that he embarrassed himself less than Bernard Sumner did.

Am going to go watch "The Power is On" a few more times now. Excuse me.

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