The Bush of Goats

Marc Williams, writer & designer: 'Life's too short for empty slog ans'

Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure

The Boy is Mine – Brandy & Monica

My old friend Adam and I used to disagree vehemently over this. It came out around the time he left – as it proved, permanently for the Southern Hemisphere – and I did him a minidisc mix (ha! remember minidisc? No, me neither) which contained not only several false starts of it, but a complex set of gags about it using the editable track title function of said format.

How guilty do I feel? well, obviously not *that* guilty: it’s a great song. What is there to feel guilty about? If I wanted to have some actual guilt, I should prolly pick something by Screwdriver, or Wagner, or Tomorrow Belongs To Me (although the Cabaret scene is amazing), so there’s no pleasure part.

In my quest for guilt, I suppose there’s a not-so-subtle undercurrent of masculine infidelity, but the video puts the lie to that, with Mekhi Phifer getting the door slammed in his face at the end. He might have been slippin’ it both ways for an undisclosed period of time, but Brandi and Monica have come to an understanding and he gets a double rejection. (You can read a brilliantly deadpan promo synopsis and all the other details here.)

What occurs ot me now, writing this is that whenever I hear this, I end up thinking about a clip I once accidentally saw of R Kelly, dressed in a business suit, wearing earrings and lifting a pair of baby seats (containing babies) out of the back of a Ferrari. I’ve tried to find the promo it came from to check it is actually two babies, but after wading through the confused ego of R Kelly for twenty minutes, I can take no more. It’s a brilliantly lazy shorthand for half a dozen aspirational mores – ‘Hey, chicks, dig me – I’m professional, successful, caring and busy’ –  but it seems my subconscious has made the connection for me, whereby a pair of innocents are used only as ciphers in a male control fantasy.

OK, now I feel guilty.


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Day 12 – a song from a band you hate

Wonderwall – Oasis

(It’s a strong word, hate. I don’t know I’d really say I hated Oasis; as someone very succinctly said of Ricky Gervais’ recent call to the haters to ‘bring it’, you have to care to hate and I don’t know that I really care enough about Oasis to hate them. But anyway, hate is the rules, so…)

There was a time when I was quite impressed by Oasis. I remember seeing the video for Supersonic on the Saturday morning chart show and being impressed with how arrogant and boisterous they were; how unlike the prevailing trend (this was 1994: the charts were a cheez-rave sponsored by Lucozade) and how they seemed to make guitars matter again. But as time went by, the bravura they showed in front of camera proved to hide nothing deeper, they were that arrogant all the way down. Money, fame and attention only made them (and by ‘them’ I mean the Gallagher brothers) worse. Noel proved himself a second rate Beatles copyist, and Liam… well. Rarely has so much affection and adulation been wasted on so underserving a wretch.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the working classes – why, great-Grandfather Daddo even worked at a colliery (admittedly, he was site manager, but he still washed his hands before he had a wee) – whereas Liam Gallagher represents just about every good reason why the class system should be firmly re-established. What little stage presence he had was based purely on his evident willingness to fight anyone who could get passed his minders; over the course of a decade he had the massive chip on his shoulder gilded, feathered and sequined in an attempt to convince all and sundry of his artistic relevance, while all the time decrying anything so fey as artistry. Oasis’ appeal is/was a largely working class one I suspect: there were a lot of people for whom feelings of superstardom and power were entirely bound up with weekend drug experiences and disbelief that fit girls would be willing to screw you if you acted like you deserved it. But Oasis never did anything more with this potential: they continued to act as if they were just like the audience: lads, out for a few, with a bit sniff on a Friday and Saturday night, when they were by now so wealthy as to be able to buy huge swathes of Manchester , should they so choose. But they didn’t. They continued to stick it up their noses, piss it up the wall and spend it on Rolls Royce’s in swimming pools for album covers.

There are many Oasis songs; I don’t even hate this one the most (the one about having, ‘been around the world’ makes me want to kill dead things). I chose Wonderwall because while on the surface it was a great record, it quickly became ubiquitous and was adopted by everyone as a special anthem. It was at this point I turned on them because everyone was starting to love them and if they were who they claimed to be, they should have been The Fall and told everyone to fuck off.

These days they’re reduced to whining at one another about clothes and side projects to drum up the column inches. Perhaps they only thing that depresses me more than the Gallaghers is the music press’ willingness to give them the attention they think they deserve.

Filed under: 30 days of music

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November 2011


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