special poll: should you die before you get old?

the fact that this poll only has five answers per Q means I didn’t circulate it very well, but I do want your answers so please put them in the comment box below (and please don’t be anonymous, it’s no fun). today’s questions are all about whether you can be too old to rock.

1 is there a particular age when someone should stop playing pop music?
lupe pipas: probably between the age of reason and l’age d’or – ie, 40 and 60. take chantal goya as an example.
gerard matador: shortly after conception
stephen the real tuesday weld: 18
daniel handler: no. I wish there were folks in their 80s and 90s playing pop.
gail cf: I don’t think they should be allowed to start playing until they’re 25.
2 who is an example of someone who should really stop because they are too old to, uh, rock?
lupe pipas: johnny marr. he may not be old looking but I think he’s old in a deeper sense. elton john. he should just be sampled into a piano and let the kids make their own elton.
gerard matador: jascha heifetz
stephen the real tuesday weld: joss stone
daniel handler: sting, I guess. he mortifies me. I’m not sure that has anything to do with age, but he didn’t mortify me when he was young.
gail cf: anyone who signs a record deal with starbucks is clearly too out of it to rock.
3 who has flourished in “old age”? who is your “old” idol?
lupe pipas: morrissey, who will never be too old, saggy as he may get. bjork, considering she was a child star, she’s aged pretty well. vashti!
gerard matador: I’m hesistant to say. regardless of how well adjusted they might be, I don’t know anyone, old or young, who likes being called old.
stephen the real tuesday weld: john cale
daniel handler: tom waits.
gail cf: vashti.
4 which towns/artists/scenes have “old” indie audiences and which ones have “young” audiences?
lupe pipas: old: london. where are the youngsters? don’t tell me, they’re in myspace. stockholm/gothenburg young towns par excellence. they’re born with an earmarked encyclopedia of pop under both arms.
gerard matador: I really have no idea. I mean, I see young people and old people all over the place. I’m sure there’s a more interesting demographic breakdown, but I’ve never really thought about it.
stephen the real tuesday weld: guildford/the fall. dunno
daniel handler: I was just at a metric show in my hometown of san francisco and was told very sternly by two women in their 20s that my friend andy and I should stop dancing because they couldn’t see. we pointed out it was dance music and a rock club. they scowled. this made me feel old and young at the same time.
5 who is the best looking oldster in pop? the least attractive?
lupe pipas: ok, here I go repeating myself: vashti/morrissey/nana mouskouri/celia cruz (to some the ugliest woman in music, but getting to 80 is beautiful!)/john cale/bob marley. ugly: mick jagger. needs more beef, blubber would actually be nice for a change. he looks like he doesn’t eat enough. mick makes keith look like a cherub.
gerard matador: ha! see my answer to number 3. being called the best looking oldster in pop is the kinda faint praise I’m not gonna lavish on anyone I actually like.
stephen the real tuesday weld: roger waters / van morrison
gail cf: ira kaplan = pretty cute. lou reed = not. (people so full of themselves they may burst tend to look unattractive)
6 can you think of any “aging” popstars who are not mentally ill and yet are still relevant / interesting?
lupe pipas: many – let’s just think of cher for a moment…
gerard matador: depends on how you define popstar, I guess. does bob dylan count?
stephen the real tuesday weld: beck, bjork, damon albarn, cher.
daniel handler: tom waits, john fahey (oh – he’s dead), peter jefferies (is he old? I’m not sure.)
gail cf: graeme downes, where are you hiding? I know loads of relevant old people but like me they are in denial that they are old. wearing converse sneakers shaves off about a decade!
7 should 42 year olds be allowed on american idol?
lupe pipas: yeah!
gerard matador: I don’t see why not, though I’m not sure why they’d want to be.
stephen the real tuesday weld: definitely not
daniel handler: american idol should be strictly 90 and older.
gail cf: only if they’re in the aluminum group!
8 should 16 year olds be allowed inside venues?
lupe pipas: all ages!
gerard matador: as long as they promise not to fuck shit up, I don’t see why not.
stephen the real tuesday weld: I thought they were – but if they aren’t, they shouldn’t be
daniel handler: sure, but they should be required to stand in line at the bar for any 35 year old who requests it.
gail cf: only if they keep quiet!
9 how old are the youngest people with vinyl records these days?
lupe pipas: like i said above, they are swedish kids just beginning to teeth.
gerard matador: I have no idea. you might well ask how old are the youngest people who actually buy CDs.
stephen the real tuesday weld: my neice is 6 – she has a ‘pinky and perky’ record – I gave it to her
daniel handler: I believe the youth of america have switched to reel-to-reel tapes.
gail cf: toddlers whose parents ran indie labels.
10 why can’t the young write their own new songs?
lupe pipas: they’re effin lazy! and they don’t teach them how to write any more, just curse.
gerard matador: who says they can’t?
stephen the real tuesday weld: there is nothing left to say
daniel handler: who’s writing these questions, andy rooney?
gail cf: the girls from magnolia can certainly rock.
post your own answers in the comment box please!

save london treasure.


it is a bit out of our price range at £3500 per day, but chickfactor would like to have its next big fancy event at wiltons music hall, a gem of a venue just steps away from the lovely tower bridge. this recent news item stated that it is also on the list of the top 100 most endangered places, so you rich people should send a cheque to them pronto to ensure restoration begins immediately.

leonard cohen.


it took me a long time to come around to liking leonard cohen. thanks to peter momtchiloff for buying me an LC record long after I had kind of given up on him. I recently watched this documentary slash tribute show and it is worth seeing if you’re a fan, despite some overwrought performances from mcgarrigle/wainwright family members, some estrogen-fuelled singers I didn’t recognize but whose performances seem to go on…. and on……., and was it a bad dream or was that awful antony singing an LC song? and of course there was U2, the early 80s band that will not die, really kissing lenny’s ass. there were some lovely performances too, particularly anything that nick cave does, natch. (btw, here is a nice piece that will self wrote about nick cave) but in the end I think this documentary proves one thing: hearing your idols ramble on about themselves does not necessarily make them more interesting.

gingerism begins at home.

my best friend in high school was a natural redhead who never had any trouble from anyone. in fact, the boys seemed to love sheila! we just do not have the problem of gingerism in america. first, we just call them redheads. the only ginger we knew growing up was the one from gilligan’s island and she was by all accounts pretty sexy. I don’t get the whole ginger thing here, but I guess it is just down to bullies in school latching on to another group to torture.

linder.

frankly, I don’t know why they need to have these big punk exhibitions in art galleries and charge eight pounds to get in when you can just go to camden for free and see the real-life keepers of the punk flame. if anyone is rich and silly enough to go to the barbican (and what a shame that there is nothing much going on there these days apart from films), check out morrissey’s bff and mancunian scenester linder, who is performing there soon.

girls rock! uk holds its first ladies rock! weekend.

girls rock! uk is holding its first ladies rock! weekend on 17-19 august 2007 at the lambeth women’s project, london. women aged 18 and over will learn instruments, form bands, write songs and play a gig in a real rock venue – in just 72 hours! the first girls rock! uk weekend for girls and young women aged 8-18 will be held at the same venue in summer 2008. ladies rock! weekend will offer lessons in drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals and not be limited to rock’n’roll. self-defence classes and workshops will be included in the program. no prior musical experience is required and all equipment will be provided. registration for attendees is now open, see here for details. places will cost £50 and a limited number of places are available free of charge for those unable to pay the fee. the deadline for applications is 20 july. volunteers are also welcome. the weekend is run by women for women and is trans-inclusive. girls rock! uk is a non-profit organisation that encourages, engages and showcases the musical, artistic and individual talents of girls and young women aged 8-18. girls rock! uk provides girls and young women with the opportunity to become self-reliant, confident, creative women who know that their voices have a right to be heard, regardless of their age, class, size, abilities, sexuality, gender identification, religion, ethnicity, race or experience. girls rock! uk is a member of the international rock’n’roll camp for girls alliance. for more information click here. for more information about girls rock! uk including attending or volunteering or to arrange an interview please contact rebecca kemp on 07799 397727 or ladiesrockuk@gmail.com
new website is up!

spitz = spatz.

the spitz is one of those london institutions that you cannot avoid. the venue itself is hotter than hades, even in the dead of winter, and no civilised person should be forced to watch music in such conditions. and yet, there I have been a zillion times, watching many bands, over and over, or more likely sitting in the outdoor café avoiding the upstairs heat or the lame opening act. the food is prohibitively expensive and mediocre. there is always one bartender with whom no one can make eye contact because there are 30 people waiting to get his attention. still, I have had an odd fondness for the silly place because of its location in my old neighbourhood of spitalfields in the old spitalfields market, which is slowly and sadly melting away, so that new chain stores can be opened up in a vast shopping centre for yuppie city workers who probably commute in every day from tunbridge wells. anyway, the spitz is dying, or at the very least relocating (from the looks of it, being paid off to relocate) so you might want to go there one last time and sweat your head off while watching a band this summer.