Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not Your Mother's Downtown Sleaze Mecca

So, back when we were in England, about ten days ago now, we suffered a fairly revolting drive back from Cornwall to Scunthorpe. Ten hours, thanks to a detour via Heathrow, we suffered the worst that the English motorway has to offer, with nary a Little Chef for comfort. We snaked along the M4, lurched along the M25, and stopped moving altogether for many of the first few junctions of the A1.

But more unpleasant than the physical aspect, which could in any case be alleviated by Red Bull and the natives' pitiful attempts at iced coffee, was the mental torture to which we were subjected. To whit, English radio. Not the digital stuff, and not the talk stuff, which is bearable 30% of the time. We're talking about the horrors of the top 40, because while we were inching past Potter's Bar the charts foisted themselves upon our frazzled brain. Our radio being unable to talk to the iTrip, it was Radio 1 or nothing.

So towards the end, into the studio were ushered the Pussycat Dolls, ostensibly to "see where you chart", although since only three blind teenagers now buy pop singles it would have been pretty easy to usher the audience into the studio that day, let alone get tipped off on who's going to be number one.

In truth, they were candid and fairly funny, one of them sporting the stupidest English accent we've ever heard (at number one is....well, one of you knows). And then it came back - these were the young slappers being utterly upfront about their homewrecking ambitions on the telly a few weeks ago. The stupid song was all the rage in the US during the summer, they sold a few copies of the album to the vulnerable and then decamped to England when hurricane season commenced.

Anyhoo, we were sadly misinformed as the provenance of this abomination of purest popclown. Apparently the whole thing was not dreamt up by a coke-snorting promoter down in Florida, but grew out of a bunch of bored LA hipsters trying to revive burlesque, or classy stripping, for the nth bluddy time. Read about the music made by choreographers here. It's empowering, ya see.


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