Saturday, July 19, 2003

20. ‘Stop’ – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Fortunately, the first single from forthcoming second LP Take Them On, On Your Own just about manages to stay on the Good side of the Jesus & Mary Chain / Oasis divide, like the majority of the first record. Outfit news: messrs Hayes, Turner and Jago are wearing black.

19. ‘Strict Machine’ – Goldfrapp
I’m in love with a strict machine” – not sure quite what Alison Goldfrapp is singing about, but it sounds positively filthy. Deliciously slinky and sexy electro. This is getting a lot of play on Q – if the channel’s demographic is anything like that of the magazine, then there are thousands of white balding thirty-something men in living rooms all over the country getting sweaty palms and inappropriate urges.

18. ‘I Luv U’ – Dizzee Rascal
The Streets meets Squarepusher – in other words, quite astonishing. There’s some serious talent at work here, it just took me a while to get my head around it.

17. ‘First Day’ – The Futureheads
Pure idiosyncratic genius, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the emergence of The Coral. They’re all wearing white coats – surely they’re the ones that should be in the straitjackets?!

16. ‘Super Trouper’ – Abba
Anna-Frid, Agnetha, Bjorn and Benny made some unsurpassably fabulous pop songs – but then they also made some unsurpassably bad videos too, didn’t they? Nice knitwear, mind.

15. ‘Race For The Prize’ – The Flaming Lips
Glorious widescreen splendour from Oklahoma’s finest. The lyrical content – ambitious and determined scientists competing against each other in the search for a cure – is hardly the standard fare of rock ‘n’ roll, but then The Flaming Lips are hardly the standard rock ‘n’ roll band. Long may they continue to amaze.

14. ‘Seven Nation Army’ – The White Stripes
Sadly, hearing this might have led Mondeo Man to believe he knows all about ‘the blues’, but there’s no denying it’s quality through and through. If you’re prone to getting migraines or have an irrational fear of triangles, though, watching the video is best avoided.

13. ‘Psychosis Safari’ – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Fancy a journey into the fucked-up world inside Guy McKnight’s head? Well, hang on and enjoy the ride! The Brighton psychobilly rabble are resolutely ploughing their very own unique furrow - just don’t let them near your mother.

12. ‘Golden Retriever’ – Super Furry Animals
What’s great about this can be narrowed down to three things. Firstly, hair, hair, so much hair. Secondly, a twin-necked guitar. Thirdly, the appearance at the end of the video of a real golden retriever, which proceeds to piss on the cardboard box the band have been playing in – unfair comment, I feel.

11. ‘West End Girls’ – Pet Shop Boys
Smart, literate and charming pop music, like most of their early stuff. Shame that they’ve been off the rails for the last ten years or so.

10. ‘Pass It On’ – The Coral
Merseybeat with a country twang, and another effortlessly brilliant pop gem from one of our finest bands.

9. ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – Muse
Take the material from Origin Of Symmetry and turn it up to 11. One day Matt Bellamy and company are going to go so far over the top that they fall down the other side – but not just yet.

8. ‘Hard To Explain’ – The Strokes
And to think I’d forgotten how great Is This It sounded when it first came out. Doh!

7. ‘Saturday Morning’ – Eels
Powerpop magic soundtracking a video which somehow moves from E selling home-made pancakes by the side of the road, to him playing guitar in the back of an articulated truck and surrounded by zombies.

6. ‘Just Because’ – Jane’s Addiction
A blazing proclamation of their return, this track could come straight from the first half of Ritual De Lo Habitual. Thirteen years may have passed, but little has changed – Perry Farrell looks the very embodiment of camp flamboyance in his pink jacket, tight silver trousers and pink boots, while Dave Navarro still appears to have a fear of clothing designed for the upper body.

5. ‘Windowlicker’ – Aphex Twin
One of the best videos ever made, and surely the sweariest. Deeply and delightfully disturbing.

4. ‘There There’ – Radiohead
Wandering through a dark wood Thom Yorke comes across a gold jacket and a pair of gold boots. When he puts them on, he’s chased down by a pack of ravens and turns into a tree. The moral of the story is, I assume, don’t try to steal from Perry Farrell’s wardrobe.

3. ‘Growing On Me’ – The Darkness
Sorry Mr Farrell, but even you have been upstaged in the camp flamboyance stakes. You can’t get much better than a revealing pink all-in-one Lycra bodysuit worn by a long-haired pouting gentleman from Lowestoft. On second thoughts, Muse have evidently got some way to go. It’s all so wrong, I feel so dirty etc etc.

2. ‘Crazy In Love’ – Beyonce feat Jay-Z
Single of the year? Quite possibly, and that’s despite Jay-Z’s irritatingly smug and incongruous rap stuck right in the middle like the aural equivalent of an eyesore. With a song this amazing, it’s not immediately obvious why Ms Knowles should feel the need to borrow his cred. It’s also not immediately obvious why Ms Knowles should feel the need to use her body to sell the song to us, but boy oh boy does she sell it. It’s all so wrong, I feel so dirty etc etc.

1. ‘Gay Bar’ – Electric Six
Good clean homoerotic thrills in the White House with President Abraham Lincoln. I wonder if George Bush gets up to this kind of thing – wearing Lycra cycling shorts and sticking pepperpots into bodily orifices – when he’s not busy choking on pretzels or being stupefyingly ignorant. #1 by virtue of being endlessly watchable and always raising a smile – the bit where the riff starts up again and the hamster starts crawling through the tube is fucking superb. It’s all so wrong, I feel so dirty etc etc.

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