Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Look who's a bird now!"

So the Arctic Monkeys got the Mercury (Music) Prize. Not entirely newsworthy as it was all but certain, but it does give me the opportunity to do my Official Monkeys Turnaround. I've hinted at it already, but it's time to be frank. I like the Arctic Monkeys. Quite a lot. A lot. Ok I think they're great and I was wrong, dammit! I WAS WRONG. A girl can change her mind....

Far from boring, they do really interesting things musically. I've still got problems with some of the lyrics (indie-snob anthem Fake Tales Of San Francisco especially) but the festival coverage suggests they're brilliant live, and, overall... well they're actually pretty special.

Enjoy this admission of fallibility, readers, it won't happen often.
Oooh, and I'll be around a little more now I've finished work. You're relieved, I know :)


MIKEY said...

Oh anna......

While it was not a surprise, as you said, that they won, I still find them to be not a very good band.

Basically. I like their songs. I've seen them twice at the various festivals I went to this summer (ok, one and a half. It started raining, so I ran off during one). They certainly did get the crowd going with their stuff, as it is pretty catchy for the most part.

What I don't like about them, is the lead singer. He seems to be so full of himself its unbelievable... When I saw them the first time, before playing whatever song that is now their single, he turns to the crowd and goes 'This is our soon-to-be next hit'. I thought that was a little pretentious saying... despite the fact that like every other song they've released has done well. Don't tempt fate.

Also, during the second time I saw them, and I've noticed it from other performances I've seen, he always mumbles into the microphone between songs. I swear, I couldn't hear a thing. Then between songs he'd also turn towards members of the band and just talk for like a minute, like he'd forgotten we were there or something....

Anyway, thats my thoughts on the Artic Monkeys. Good songs, but incredibly overhyped.

For REALLY GOOD live bands, go see Gogol Bordello, or Broken Social Scene. At BSS, I've never seen a load of adult's go so mental (and that was just in the crowd!)

Also, scissor sisters. I'm not kidding. I also saw them twice this summer, and it was fantastic...

Sorry to make this so long anna, and hope you had a good summerrrrr

MediumRob said...

Oh dear. You once were right, but now are wrong.

Still, maybe you don't have the insight into their music that living below Arctic Monkeys fans who play their music (and _only_ their music) full blast at 3am will give you.

(They stopped once I kneed their door hard enough to nearly take it off its hinges. They got the point then - I get angry when I get woken up at 3am by the same tune every time.)

So boycott the Arctic Monkeys: if you don't, it only encourages their fans.

AnnaWaits said...

I still have a problem with the hype, and they're not worthy of constant plays, but I do think they're doing much more interesting stuff than a lot of the rubbish around at the moment (*cough "new rave" *cough*).

SimonHolyHoses said...

Absolutley Anna.

There's nothing wrong with the Arctic Monkeys - it's the hype that is annoying and wrong. I sort of feel that there are so many reps and A&R types congratulating themselves on getting it so right with the Arctic Monkeys. And that sort of irritates me.

Also the whole hype about them not being hyped, makes me want to spit. It's just so incorrect. They've beem marketed every bit as much as, if not more than, any other band. It must annoy the Marketing people to hear that they haven't done anything to contribute to the commercial succes of the band.

Ouch! I've just fallen off my soapbox!

Paul Fuzz said...

It's the exceptionally well-judged Arctic Monkeys backlash backlash! Comgratulations: Ms Waits, you have attained new-heights of indie-snobbery...just as everybody else is beginning to say they're ptetty much fed up with the Monkeys, and they've become so mainstream that they've won The Mercury Award, you do a complete U-turn and decide you ACTUALLY REALLY LIKE them, having spent the past year flying in the face of universal Monkey love? When will it end?!

...but seriously, you're dead right. I have more time for them this month than I did two months go. I really like that old soul tune they've covered for a recent B-Side, and the video for the A-side is brilliant too. I have a certain amount of time for anybody who always does exactly what you want them to do, and the Arctic Monkeys have settled nicely into their roles as sarky, moody, mumbling smart arse scallies, who can be relied on to a)take the piss a bit, b) write a decent lyric & c) grow increasingly good hair. The hype wasn't their fault. Selling gazillions of LPs wasn't their fault. Nu-Yorkshire wasn't their fault.

...also interesting to note that Alex Turner was bitching in the NME about people writing 'gritty' lyrics and how he's 'so bored with that shit.' Which even a hardened Monkey's apologist would have to say is a bit rich. I don't really care that Alex is bored with social realism now. I've been bored by it since The Smiths, and sure as hell could have done without the Monkey's millenial version, but I'm happy to forgive them their Faded Romance In The Rain Sodden North shtick if they put out as many great songs as Morrisey & Marr.

AnnaWaits said...

You go all soap-boxy all you want, Simon - that's why we're all here, right?!

And Paul - I'm glad I misses that Alex Turner comment - might have put me right off my U-turn! He might as well now change the lyrics to Fake Tales to 'you're not from Rotherham you're from Shoreditch..'