Sunday, 12 May 2013

Some notes on Alt Musique

Punque Roque died with Nancy Spungen at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978.

People who do that thing where you go on Mastermind and choose the Clash for your specialist subject as if it's sort of the equivalent of knowing a lot about quantum theory are idiots.

Approximately 94% of all punque roque and indie bands could have been much better if they'd signed to a major label who would have forced them to make decent records.

Indie basically died when Perfect by Fairground Attraction came out, although it was a while before anybody realised. Was it really 1988?

George Best was in fact perfect. The Wedding Present could easily have called it a day there and all would have been well, although the Ukrainian album was pretty awesome too.

Morrissey is a lousy cocksucker.

The Pastels are a million times more important than the Smiths.

Talulah Gosh are around 8 to 9% more important than the Pastels.

Little or no doubt about it, Primal Scream peaked with Velocity Girl. Bonny Bobby Gillespie's output at the time can only have been informed by his brief tenure with the Jesus & Mary Chain whose first album remains kind of awesome and thensome, although you can happily ignore all the others. The first album rule of course applies to many, many bands including some of those listed here but not the Ramones despite what some of the rockocracy will tell you.

Honestly, the Stone Roses are rubbish.

Madchester never happened. Unless you're talking about the Fall I spose. And then obviously Magazine and the Buzzcocks too.

The Skids were brill. Big Country were kind of awful. The Armoury Show had some great moments, thanks to the good grace of Jobbers and John McGeoch too.

The Ramones were far and away the greatest band in evolutionary history thus far. Shonen Knife are clearly placed second on the same list. There is no third place.

Penny Rimbaud is probably a genius. Crass were the best band on Crass. The Mob were the second best band on Crass. Dirt were probably third. All those other jerque-off anarquo-punque bands were ghastly, including Conflict who are probably the worst idea to have come out of that whole thing. That one by Zounds was quite good though.

RIP Johnny Thunders.

Pearl Jam are disgusting. Likewise Radiohead, Coldplay, the Pixies, REM Speedwagon, Sonic Youth, the Beatles, My Bloody Valentine and all those countless other Dad Rock grotesques.

That's it for now. More news as it's made.


  1. You're wrong, of course...

  2. Well look, I basically wrote this thing as a sort of gift to the world, for the children of the world and also the children of the future, so that they may come to form a better understanding of this weird period of humanity, where rampant capitalism gets all dressed up as bohemian nonchalance and what have you.

    Anyway, I sort of knew that it might prove difficult for some of you young people but I wasn't expecting it to prove difficult in its entire entirety. What is it that is wrong for you me auld flower, me auld bamboo? I think it's the stuff about Primal Scream and the Stone Roses, isn't it? I reckon you're probably in complete agreement about everything else really.

  3. Dom, I am surprised, disappointed, alarmed, unsettled and ultimately saddened that you could write something like this without any reference to the JAMC. Yes, you know what I am talking about.

    As I process some of the thoughts here, I have a question. I don't think I have heard the Pastels, although I suspect they were on C86. A quick Google search shows a range of fuzzy black and white photos of them looking like they are able to exist while depending on very little. How did you gauge their importance in relation to the Smiths? Surely they have not precisely expressed the feelings of as many teenage girls? Have their songs been put on as many mix tapes that have been given to others to help communicate complex emotions? Or have they convinced as many people to be vegetarian? Or wear glasses?

  4. Well now you mention it I too am bewitched, bothered and bewildered as to why I have failed to mention the JAMC. If I am to be honest — and i think honesty can only help with clarity — then it is because I forgot about them. And to forget about them is to suggest that they never existed. I think you have to leave this one with me to ponder a while and work out what it is that must be done.

    As for your comments on the Pastels vs the Smiths, well you make some good points, but as I said on another thread to Toby earlier, and if the same rules are to apply, then if you have to ask why the Pastels are more important than the Smiths then you are never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never get, it.

  5. I am never going to get it, but do try and explain why the Pastels, a band that so far no-one has heard of, are 'a million times better' than The Smiths? Oh, and I largely disagree with you (with honorable exception of Coldplay) but thank you for your gift to the world.

  6. Finding common cause over Coldplay is no biggie really is it. It might just be me but you sound a little sour so what have you got to be so sour about? I'm not minded to enter into discussion with you about the obvious merits of the Pastels over the Smiths, not least you have failed to identify yourself — "anonymous" cuts no mustard in these parts I'm afraid.

    **UPDATE: The J&MC conundrum has been fixed and has been merged with the Primal Scream section so as to facilitate good flow n that**

  7. You are right about Morrissey.
    And mostly about Coldplay.
    But that's it.
    Nuff said.

    PS. And Shonen Knife are shockingly shit.

  8. Phil (Anonymous)12 May 2013 at 20:48

    I am not Anonymous I am Phil. Or at least up there I am/was. I can't account for the ones below. I don't know how to operate this. And do mind to enter into discussion about the Pastels. Love you.

  9. Love you long time Phil, love you long time.

    Shonen Knife are the BEST. And when i say BEST i mean second only to the Ramones of course.

    Honestly the pre-eminence of the Pastels cannot be overstated. And it is too vast a subject really for this little boxy thing, it would require a book on its own. Or a movie at least. Here are some links for you:

    The Pastels on Wikipedia:

    The Pastels' webshite:

    A completely ace but not necessarily completely representative song by the Pastels:

    A nice bit of Pastels trivia which may help you better understand:
    Stephen Pastel set up the record label 53rd & 3rd, you may have heard of them. All releases on 53rd & 3rd came with serial numbers prefixed with AGARR. AGARR stands for As Good As Ramones Records. Now think on.

  10. I think something is clear. Now you have touched the Smiths you have struck a rock, you have dislodged a boulder.

    So, these Pastels of which you speak. Are they called the Pastels because they dress in pastel colours? It seems they prefer black and grey. Or maybe because they are artists and like to draw with pastels? Or maybe (and I think this is most likely) that pastel colours evoke a delicacy that represents their shyness and vulnerability?

  11. Are you suggesting that I will be crushed by legions of Smiths fans?

    I think you are probably on the money. Pastels are soft and also they are soft shades, vulnerable to all sorts. Also the Pastels are artists. That's it I guess. A riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in mystery and quietly forgotten by most everybody it seems.

  12. I remember where I was when the news arrived that The Smiths had split up.
    I was lying in bed in the spare bedroom of yer olde ma's house reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    I cried.
    And you might have done too.

    Your list is mainly wrong because it doesn't include Public Enemy and anyone with any sense knows that they are the greatest group ever.

  13. Are you suggesting that Public Enemy can be filed under Alt Rock? (Nice reminiscences about they North London dayze x)

  14. There has been no mention of Alt Rock.
    There has, however, been mention of Alt Musique.
    Jess sayin loike...

  15. Oh that's actually completely true, mi scusi.

  16. sheebee: 'Your list is mainly wrong because it doesn't include Public Enemy and anyone with any sense knows that they are the greatest group ever.

    Domo: 'Oh that's actually completely true, mi scusi.'

    There we go.

  17. Oh well I don't think you can everything all ways always forever. And on this front I think we've already established the Ramones in first place and Shonen Knife in second. Perhaps Public Enemy could be persuaded to be just pleased enough with bronze.

  18. Public Enemy do Blitzkreig Bop with Markey Ramone:

  19. Wow! Well if that ain't nice then i don't know what is.

    Apparently Public Enemy are not pleased with the third place thing. I will be posting their evidence in a couple of days.

    Meanwhile here is Jay-Z with the Ramones, it's pretty awesome, straight up:

  20. Postscript: we heard from Public Enemy who were unhappy with where they were placed in this thing that we're all going through. Full skinny here: