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Some things for the weekend…


The Keith Moon Final 24 re-enactment/documentary, shown on the Biography Channel Wednesday night, was much better than I feared. I was especially relieved that the producers got hold of and interviewed Annette Walter-Lax, Keith’s girlfriend at the time of his death and the last person to be seen alive with him. At the time they came upstate to interview me, they hadn’t yet found her, and I worried that I was being asked to quote her words; as it turned out, we ended up offering almost identical accounts of Keith’s last day(s).

Essentially, it was all the Usual Suspects on camera – Dougal, Barney, Wiggy, Alice Cooper, Larry Smith – plus Kenney Jones and Annie Nightingale and, for the first time ever on camera, Keith’s daughter Mandy, whose input was excellent. Personally, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know about Keith’s life and death, and I cringed at the re-enactments: I promise, people will be welcoming Mike Myers to play Keith Moon after they see this! But, leaving aside any inherent comments on tabloid TV, it was a faithful, honest, and, I would like to believe, accurate telling of Keith’s life and death. Plus, they focused on his drumming and its legacy, which is really the most important thing. Props.

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The Village Voice Annual Pazz and Jop poll, the biggest in the States and a useful opportunity to see what’s currently twisting the American music critics’ melons, was published this week, and there were no surprises. LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver was the number one album; Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” the number one single. I voted for both, as I did for a few of the other top 10 albums: Kala by M.I.A., Neon Bible by Arcade Fire and Magic by Bruce Springsteen. I take a slightly perverse pride that I can always place albums in my top 10 that nobody else seems to have noticed (Felice Brothers and Youth Group), and a few that were only barely noticed (Carbon/Silicon, Busdriver, Underworld). I was a little less delighted to see that the electronic voting system allocated some of my singles votes to completely the wrong records. As it turns out, these were for songs nobody else voted for, so it was a slightly moot point, but it certainly demonstrates the fallibility of electronic voting – even in an open format. Those mistakes have now been corrected, for what it’s worth.

You can view the complete list of Top Albums and Singles online. You can read the accompanying essays, should that turn you on. Or you can just view individual writers’ ballots (mine is here), click on their choice of albums and singles and see who else voted for the same records. Trainspotters be warned: you may spend the rest of your day doing this.
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Two quotes from the current Mojo, one of which made me smile, the other that made me laugh out loud.

“I honestly feel we’re like a very good first division football team. We had a couple of good seasons in the Premiership but we couldn’t take the pressure and we plummeted down. That’s where we find ourselves. And believe me, it’s not so bad.”

Billy Duffy‘s analogy of the Cult’s position is quite lovely. I may never think so badly of them again. As opposed to Muff Winwood‘s comment about Adam and the Ants:

“If they’d have stayed together they could have been as big as The Who. Seriously.”

Seriously, I want to know what Winwood’s stuffing his pipe with these days.
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Finally, a quick nod to four other albums that have made it onto the CD player this week (yes, labels still sometimes send us CDs): District Line by Bob Mould, Made In The Dark by Hot Chip, Dracula Spectacular by MGMT and Morning Tide by Little Ones. New Year is always such a great time for new music. And a special thanks to BMG and its publicists for sending me not one but two copies of the new Kenny G album. If anyone wants both, just holler.

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