Posts Tagged ‘Simon Cowell’

The Origin Of Faeces

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
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American Idol judge Simon Cowell will receive an international Emmy award for having “reshaped 21st century television and music around the world,” the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced.

In the UK and the US, where Cowell mainly plies his trade, there is a long and proud tradition of musical excellence with a succession of great bands and artists creating original music, voicing their message, pushing boundaries, innovating, inspiring others and sometimes even shaping society. The lines of influence are very marked through modern musical history. It’s Darwinian in nature in that the cream generally rises to the top. The best acts exert the most influence on the next generation who carry the baton of musical excellence, propelling it forwards or diversifying it in new creative directions. Sure, anomalies occur and become fleetingly popular. They may add small amounts of peripheral mutation, but they rarely have any significant influence on core music genetics.

Since Cowell’s strangle hold on the music industry took root, this Darwinian process has all but stopped. Rather than the fittest surviving, the sick and weak are artificially elevated into a position of strength. They appeal to a lazy and unimaginative audience, content to be welded to their sofas and be told what to like. They deceive the talentless into believing that greatness is achievable without exerting any effort.


Cowell devotees may try to defend him by arguing there is a punk ethos in what he is doing in that he is providing the platform and the opportunity for anyone to get up there and give it a go. This, of course, is horse shit for at least a million different reasons. Punk was largely about the music with its motivation stemming from a reaction to what was considered an elitist rotten musical landscape. The Cowell karaoke* scheme is the new rotten musical landscape and the motivation of all participants is the desire to be famous at any price and amassing obscene amounts of personal wealth. The music is but a distant faded afterthought and takes the form of karaoke* with the participant’s sole aim being to show off by torturing a single syllable through five octaves for a few minutes.

Cowell is leading us into an era where every act has the prefix of ‘X-factor winner’ or ‘Britain’s got talent star’. He is interfering with the process of natural selection and his genetic manipulation techniques have led to a situation where rather than having a strong and diverse musical gene pool we now have a turgid homogenised one that lacks the variety and diversity needed to continue evolving.

The devotees of the karaoke* merchants may call this view music snobbery. I’m not saying that any form of music shouldn’t exist. Not everyone is blessed with the necessary creative brain patterns to push the boundaries but they should at least be aware that the boundaries exist, what direction they are in and have the common decency to wander over and say hello.

Giving Cowell an award for reshaping the music world is like giving myxomatosis an award for reshaping the rabbit world.

*    Ka•ra•o•ke [kar-ee-oh-kee]
A form of entertainment in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song minus the lead vocal.

In an act which defines the word ‘bewildering’, the day before a general election The Sun newspaper headlines with the views of political microbe Simon Cowell. These are the views of a man who, in December 2009, expressed his idea of politics in TV show format where the public would ‘debate’ key issues (Key Is-sue [kee ish-oo] subject of discussion, exaggerated in importance by disproportionate tabloid media coverage in order to scare the bejeezus out of the masses). Not content with the wholesale dumbing down of the music industry, Cowell would like to apply his infantile paint by numbers ‘entertainment’ formula to the world of politics, the outcome of which would affect the quality of life of every being in this country.

On set would be a red telephone which would allow the Government to explain its position

You couldn’t make this stuff up


He went on: It would be a good way for me to get involved in politics … it would be controversial, the  public would eventually make the decision. He gives an example …or knife crime, I don’t think that the  justice system is working properly at the moment.

Brilliant. So a lot in the way of regurgitation of tabloid scaremongering but not a smidgen of a hint of an attempt at a proposed solution. What about ‘Why oh why can’t we have world peace?’ or ‘I don’t think  people are trying hard enough to find a cure for cancer’. Surely all these pesky problems can be solved by a simple TV show voting system. Or maybe if we all close our eyes and wish really hard everything will be alright. And of course to attract ratings, and more importantly personal revenue, the ‘controversial’ nature of the show would need to be magnified in order to attract waves of opinion from every unhinged extremist nutjob out there.

The majority of our wealth of talented people aren’t being given the chance they need to grow and bloom at the moment. Britain’s got talent, enormous talent, that’s very obvious. I have had the great fortune of being able to see so much of it as I have toured the country for my TV shows over the past few years.

For example, there is Tina and Chandi a dancing dog double act and a woman who can inflate a rubber glove with the aid of a hosepipe and a penguin puppet. Rich talent indeed. If the answer to the countries problems with the economy, knife crime, national security and the environment can be solved by electing a parrot that eats mashed potato then you’re the man. In the mean time back in your box. Stick to what you know best and concentrate on dreaming up more barrel scraping ways of lining your own pockets in the entertainment industry.

Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist in the world to have a No. 1 album after she pipped The Beatles to the top spot. Her album outsold The Beatles’ remastered editions although the Fab Four did occupy 11 places in the top 40 with their reissue records

It’s an encouraging tale for all musicians worldwide. In a music industry currently dominated by pretty young things, with the ‘music’ they produce being largely insignificant in comparison to their visual image and hypeability, it’s comforting to know that acts can still be popular despite being a wrinkly nonagenarian coffin dodger or having two dead band members – infirmities which one might normally assume would be an impediment to success.

Current acts with songwriting talent but without supermodel credentials must surely see this as a breakthrough and there may be some hope on the horizon for pug ugly bands and minger songwriters.

Is music finally making a comeback?

Comeback my arse. It is yet more marketing spin from a bone idle record company in its continued attempt to dupe the public into purchasing regurgitated music.

A crew of engineers at London’s Abbey Road studios have spent 4 years working on the Beatles remasters in an effort to preserve the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings and ensure the highest fidelity the catlog has seen since its original release“. For traditionalists, a box set of mono recordings will also be available – with each disc styled as a vinyl LP.

Why stop there? Why not go the whole hog and recreate the experience of the record buying public in the 60’s? Yes we spent 15 years exacting the sound of a 1960’s multi-play vinyl record player. Each CD recording allows you to hear the vinyl plop down onto the turntable, the mechanical noise of the arm movement as it swings across and then the unmistakeable crunch of the stylus hitting the record surface searching out the nearest groove then being treated to a few crackles before being underwhelmed by a tinny sound.

Demand for Beatles remasters has steadily increased since 1987 when the Beatles were first released on CD with what many audiophile fans deemed substandard sound quality compare to the original vinyl.

Yesterday in particular is a revelation. Free of the reverb that blights the 1987 CD version, McCartney’s voice radiates a damp, autumnal proximity that foregrounds the brittle bitterness of loss.

Give me strength.

You can really tell the difference’ says Beatles expert Kevin Howlett. ‘It’s an extraordinary thing to sit there and hear LPs that you know so well and hear little nuances that you hadn’t noticed before’

The music industry has gone down the toilet and is approaching the end of the u-bend at breakneck speed and what EMI thinks we need are little nuances. Outstanding. So as to present a objective view I tested this out on my £50,000 CD player. I had to play it a few times but I’m sure I heard Ringo let rip with a little squeaker at the start of ‘A Day In The Life’. Well worth £170 and a 22 year wait.

On the bright side, Howlett remarked (and remember he’s a Beatles expert) ‘they sound louder than the previous CD reissues’.

Bugger me. That’s great news for all of us with high fidelity equipment that has an absence of a volume control.

Allan Rouse, the chief engineer for the project said ‘I’ve been working on The Beatles for about 18 years now and I don’t think anything has been a scam, the remasters are certainly not a scam,’ he laughed. ‘I mean, if you call that a scam, then all the bands that have been remastered two or three times already….what’s that then?’

Well it’s the same scam isn’t it Allan? Another marketing strategy pumped out by record companies in their route down the path of least resistance when making decisions to relieve the general public of their cash. Why make any effort to find and fund new music when you can pay a mastering engineer relative peanuts to re-work previously recorded material?

This may be seen as just some more Beatles bashing but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a rant against the current state of the mainstream music industry using the Beatles remasters as and example of the type of thing we have to put up with these days. Without doubt the lines of influence stemming from the scouse mop tops will remain with us for generations. What they achieved and their lasting influence on music and society is unlikely to ever be repeated by any other act. But until the incumbent musical mindset is challenged with the hideous musical output from monstrosities such as X-Factor and Pop Idol being drowned at birth and the controllers of music like Cowell and his ilk being universally looked upon as as greedy, manipulative, vain, egotistic, obnoxious, self-centred bullies whose sole ambition is to amass personal wealth regardless of the integrity of its source, we will continue to experience a pandemic of dumbed down music on a global scale.

‘Yesterday’ was yesterday. What about tomorrow?

Originally posted @ 14:50:54 on 30 September 2009 on