Tag Archives: James Blunt

The ongoing genius of The Onion

The Onion

The Onion is probably the only website that can be consistently relied on to make me laugh. Others, such as The Daily Mash, have made a valiant effort at importing its news satire to a British audience, but The Onion is the original and best – and has perfected the art of turning mundane reality into mock news.

A couple of pieces this week really hit the nail on the head. First, for anyone who has left a small town behind to live in a city and is planning to return home for Christmas (or Thanksgiving), the tale of Jordan McCabe will ring eerily true:

“Early reports indicate that the mingling of assholes will likely trigger a fight between the hours of 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.”

Secondly, any James Blunt bashing (and bashing of those who buy his records) is always welcome on this blog.

Got any other Onion favourites? Care to share?

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Coldplay are so dull they cause sleep, officially

Chris Martin after singing himself to sleep

Newspaper and website editors were finally able to publish a headline today that until now has been just a cynical complaint of the tasteful minority: ‘Coldplay sends you to sleep‘.

Yes, Chris Martin and his fellow bland members have been voted number one in a poll of 2,248 Britons who were asked what music sends them to sleep, by the internationally respected research body and provider of cheap hotel rooms, Travelodge.

Other high-ranking bores included James Blunt, Snow Patrol, Take That and Norah Jones.

Granted, this news is about as surprising as ‘sleeping pills make you sleep’, given the above artists’ lack of edge.

But the depressing thing is that this list could also be a list of the highest selling artists of today.

I’m off to bed with a cup of cocoa and a Rage Against the Machine album…

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March in singles: the good, the bad, the Blunt

M.I.A - Third World copper vixen

Attention all you closet Bryan Adams fans: was Everything I Do the soundtrack to your first game of school disco tonsil tennis? Then I’ll be kind. I Thought I’d Seen Everything (**, 10 Mar) heralds Adams as the new Bob Dylan. In a parallel universe where Dylan wrote infantile, wuvvy-duvvy swill, that is. On that note, James Blunt, the finest modern addition to Cockney rhyming slang, offers more saccharine pomposity with Carry You Home (*, 21 Mar). The thing that really irks me about Blunt – apart from his disgustingly awful music – is the fact that, by giving him a bad review, he’s making this column as predictable as he is.

Having nominated themselves spokesband for the Jeremy Kyle demographic, The Enemy present a more serious snapshot of pill-pushing pram-pushers with This Song is About You (**, 17 Mar). It’s determinedly real, innit, but too plodding to be a hit. Another poster-boy band, Panic At The Disco pre-empt their new album with Nine In the Afternoon (**, 17 Mar). The song takes some interesting turns, but the syrupy production and pathetically contrived singing leave a sicky aftertaste.

A product of that post-millennium slump of unexciting, grown-up indie that gave us Travis, Coldplay and Doves, Elbow made next to no impression on this scribe. But their bluesy comeback single Grounds For Divorce (***, 10 Mar) isn’t half bad. The rise of the equally earnest Editors has been extraordinary. Just three years ago they were unsigned; now they’re colossal, in an Interpol-gone-soft way. But Push Your Head Towards the Air (**, 3 Mar) finds them in anthem mode, and dull as dishwater. Another class-of-’05 alumni, The Futureheads were inexplicably dropped by their label in late 2006. Their self-released new single, The Beginning of the Twist (***, 10 Mar), sees them in defiant, fuck-you form, without reaching the career pinnacle that was their Kate Bush cover.

They may have grown up in the concrete wasteland of Cumbernauld, but that doesn’t seem to have dented The Dykeenies‘ spirit. Waiting For Go (**, 10 Mar) is bright but conventional indie-pop, and that seems to be the full extent of their ambitions. Glasgow-based Highlanders Cuddly Shark may sound a bit mid-’90s with their flat guitars and slacker ethos, but The Punisher of IV30 (***, 3 Mar) – a reference to their old Elgin postcode – is a likeable, quirky diversion from the serious world of mass-market music. Continuing the shark motif, Nottingham’s Swimming are an interesting proposition. Debut single Tigershark (***, 8 Mar) is a synth/guitar-led oddity that flits between the slightly cringey and the eye-openingly inventive.

The B52s put colour back into puritanical post-punk when they burst out of Athens, Georgia in the late ’70s. Now they return with Funplex (***, 10 Mar), the title track from their first album in 16 years. With its power chords, synthetic beats and snide lyrics, it sounds like The Offspring meets Peaches. But single of the month goes to the untouchable M.I.A. The world-pop doyenne has enraptured critics with her cross-cultural pick’n’mix beats for a few years now, and her latest, Paper Planes, (****, 3 Mar) is huge fun, with its playground rhyming, Clash sampling and gangsta gunshots.

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