Is ‘The Men Don’t Give A…’ too obvious?

That logo is a little off-centre. Might even sort that out soon. What is going on in Neighbours these days? Just watched today’s episode and for once I couldn’t pick it up. What is Karl doing? Who are most of these people? Why is Steph with Toadie? Anybody think I need more to fill my days with? Ah well, I’m in a good mood today after finally getting hold of my Rugby World Cup tickets that have been floating somewhere between here and France for sometime. All is well.
So, music. Received a signed copy of ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck‘ by the Super Furries in the post this morning, after a winning bid on eBay. Listening to the two remixes included on the CD reminded me of the golden era of pointless alternative versions.
When I rummage through my pile of CD singles I can find any numer of truly terrible remixes that do nothing but add a tacky beat to a tune and remove most of the vocals. I could understand your average pop tune having six different remixes to get played in the ‘clubs’ (in inverted commas because, for some reason, I feel rather old writing that sentence, not sure why), but why did SFA need bizarre mixes from Howard Marks (!?!) and Matthew Herbert. Did the Manics benefit from their association with the Chemical Brothers? As much as I love to hear all the different versions of songs I’m hugely fond of, is there any need for the six minute plus reworkings that take small bits of the song and create something else, something not altogether worth listening to?
My single buying years are behind me – much like every person in the world, seemingly – but I still encounter these mixes via bonus discs with albums and downloads. I can’t remember the last great remix I heard. Which brings me back round to the Super Furries. I frequently discuss this band with a mate who’s also a fan, and his theory is that, rather than tarting up half-decent songs with good production like most bands do, they make pristine pop gems and then deconstruct them for the sheer hell of it. I think he might well have a point. ‘Hey Venus!‘ is the purest pop thing they’ve ever done, and while I’d not really thought of them as particularly contrary, I was listening to ‘Hermann Loves Pauline‘ this morning and the ‘Marie Curie was French bred’ line, which is followed by Gruff shouting ‘French Bread’ and a manic laugh and was suddenly struck by the fact that this was a Top 40 hit ten years ago. I’ve always loved them, and so I’ve never had to find a way through their ‘weirdness’, but listening back I can now vaguely understand why they’ve never quite cracked through to the mainstream. They deconstruct at will, twist songs out of shape and add noises and in-jokes because they want to. Their attitude is ‘why not?’ Working on the theory that Rough Trade, their new label, are aware of this, I can’t see any reason to change this approach and I hope they don’t.
My point? God knows? And who’s that woman Boyd’s with?

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