Shortest. Blog. Ever.
Stay Out Of Our Beach Community, Deadbeat has ended, You Can Call Me Betty has begun. It's pretty much a place for me to air opinions on what comes to mind - not so specific as the beach community, and not with bloglines, i.e. not rubbish if you want to post feedback.
To start with, let me re-post today's vent on the joys of G4: post numero uno for Betty; I'm easily provoked so there's bound to be more.
If you'd like to read some actual reviews, check out Record Collector each month, or visit http://www.noripcord.com
In G4 We Trust
I could've picked Busted for a first entry. I could've picked McFly, or Madonna, I could've picked System Of A Down. But I though I'd stay topical, and today I'm inspired by that bastion of critical thought, London's very own free commuter paper, the Metro. Today there were three letters in the Letters page (funnily enough) expressing vehement disagreement with what must have been a previously-expressed opinion in the rag. These were all in high-level support of this group G4.
Now, I treat G4 as a novelty act. Which they fairly obviously are: the worlds of classical and popular music are not without potential for crossover, but this is not the route to go. If you're not familiar with their work, the act first came to prominence on Pop Idol. They actually lost in the final stages, but have enjoyed significantly more success than the eventual winner (as evidenced by the fact that I can't name them... Steve maybe? The fat bird?). They have, lets say, a unique approach to
interpreting popular song, namely four-part choral harmony in the style of, say,
a JS Bach chorale, or maybe a nice Renaissance motet.
Anyway, I first saw them while watching Pop Idol as well. Come on, we all do it, it's fun for the audition rounds, then you worry you'll get sucked in, but you never do, because after that it's rubbish. So there they are, they come on in their matching suits and sing a baffling version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as, say, Bach himself might have written it. I saw this done once before. I believe it was on Room 101, just an amusing clip to play out the show: a choral quartet from an Oxford college singing Bo' Rhap', and of course, everyone had a good laugh because, of course, it was hilarious. Cringe-inducingly, knuckle-bitingly, watch-between-fingers-clenched-over-your-eyes embarrassing. And G4 were no different, which made it all the more curious when the panel of judges fell over themselves to congratulate them. Interesting. Now, I'm not a cynical man, but I guess they smelt a quick buck, like with the blind kid and the kid with the withered Beadle-hand.
And so G4 find themselves with a career. Really, it's your civic responsibility to burn every copy of their recorded material you can find, as a good citizen. If you have never heard of G4, consider this: forewarned is forearmed. Maybe slice off your own ears, Chopper-style, if there's a possibility you'll find yourself listening to them,
anything works. Or, check out their version of 'Everybody Hurts', which convincingly strips a decent song of all vestiges of emotion or feeling, rather like taking an industrial sander to trim your bumfluff moustache, or drinking paint-stripper to ease your sore throat. Whatever, up to you.
I didn't want this to be a solely negative affair, so I should probably recommend
something worth listening to, maybe along similar lines. I dunno, all I can come
up with is the Beach Boys. Come on, there's a million bands who can sing in
harmony, you don't need to resort to me having to tell you what to listen to, at
least in this instance (usually I'm spot-on right). Tell you what, when I get
home and get a moment, I'll upload some music by Low for your delectation - to
my mind the finest example of male/female vocal harmony you could ever wish to