Anti Twat Music

In Editorial

If you want to make good pop selections with ease, you’ll need to first make a sacrifice. Give up three hours of your (spare) time on a Sunday afternoon and listen, really listen, to the Radio 1 chart show.

It won’t be easy. It won’t be pleasant. You’ll go into the task at 4pm with trepidation, maybe even enthusiasm, but by the 7pm finish you’re likely to have irretrievably a lost a couple of IQ points – and possibly all hope for the progress of mankind.

douchebag
Want this man in your bar? No? Better sort your tunes out then.

Down be too downhearted; you’ll also have developed a sort of primal memory, an instinct for what constitutes terrible, unlistenable music that must be avoided in your bar. The top 40 is full of it. It is never less than, ooh, 94% pitiful and never more than 6% great. The former, larger fraction is what you most need to bear in mind – and then avoid like it were dissolvable beer glasses.

Mawkish Twaddle

Let’s take a glance at this week’s 20 bestselling pop tunes. They include a mawkish charity single, a cover by a pair of reality show berks, two versions of an old Journey track, lots of what is ambitiously called R ‘n’ B, and the bloody Black Eyed bloody Peas.

Be assured that the people who buy this sort of twaddle are not the sort you want in your drinking establishment, because they’re:

  1. under 18
  2. lacking class
  3. both of the above.

And the people who you do want to patronise your gaffe (hopefully) have both a semblance of style and a lust for crackin’, chart-style pop, old and new.

Here’s what you might like to give them – Download this playlist from Spotify

  1. True Skool – Coldcut feat. Roots Manuva
  2. Change Clothes – Jay-Z
  3. Rubber Lover – Marmaduke Duke
  4. Don’t Do Me Like That – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  5. Headlock – Esser
  6. Confetti – Lemonheads
  7. Blind – Hercules and Love Affair
  8. Tuff Enuff – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
  9. Downtown – Heloise & the Savoir Faire
  10. Dead End – Master Shortie
  11. I am the Dynamite – The (International) Noise Conspiracy
  12. Free Yourself – The Untouchables
  13. Rich Girls – The Virgins
  14. Now ‘Til ’69 – The Shortwave Set
  15. No Rain – Blind Melon
  16. Hitten – Those Dancing Days
  17. Golden Age – TV on the Radio
  18. B.A.B.Y. – Rachel Sweet
  19. Cruel to be Kind – Nick Lowe
  20. Happy Sad – Pizzicato Five

A closer listen: The Shortwave Set

They’re a lovely little band, this British three-piece. They turn out what they call “Victorian funk”, which is a cute phrase, but it doesn’t explain much.

It’d more accurate, albeit less interesting, to say that they’re steeped in the quasi-psychedelic pop of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with its sunny melodies, vocal harmonies and swirls of curious sound.

And yet The Shortwave Set’s music ain’t anachronistic. It has its place in the now. It’s also very good. Try the band’s 2007 album, Replica Sun Machine, in full. It’s delivered one or two worthwhile and pretty hip remixes, including the Marshmallow Mike Remix of Glitches ‘n’ Bugs.

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