Shaking A Fist Mildly at the Machines

In the car on the way back from a lovely afternoon gig of fun at Christmas Huzzah in the Red Gate Gallery, myself, Sarah Benetto, James Dowdeswell and Tom Bell had turned Radio 1 up to full volume eagerly waiting to hear just who was Christmas number 1 this year. Its not something I’d ever particularly cared about before and its probably nothing I will ever particularly care about again, but as they declared Joe X-Factor bloke to be number 2, the car went a bit crazy. Not the actual car, as though it was a transformer with its only purpose in life to be interested in the sales of music, that would be odd. No, I mean all of us, did a big cheer and a loud laugh and Tom Bell declared it to be our ‘Obama moment’. While I wouldn’t put it anywhere near the scale of such things, I was really really pleased. Before I spend time batting away the dissenters, here’s my reasons for happiness about it all:

1) I bloody love that track.

2) All Christmas hits compilations from now on will be awesome purely because I’d love to be at a do where they play one and ‘White Christmas’ seamlessly blends into Zach De La Roche saying ‘fuck’

3) It shows that when people can be bothered they can all pull together for a specific cause. Its a shame this sort of mentality doesn’t occur with political movements. I can only hope that this will make people realise its worth banding together for a worthy cause. Unfortunately most worthy causes won’t annoy a man who is tabloid wallpaper, nor be dealt with by clicking once on iTunes and thats why I reckon this is probably not the start of revolution. Still, its nice to dream.

4) It was the most downloaded single ever, which means we are now in the future. This will also confuse any Luddites who got excited that the track was by people who like smashing machines, but also needed a machine to download such things. Hooray for confused Luddites.

5) They do swears which means most radio stations cant play the whole track. This makes me giggle a bit like a naughty child. Tee hee hee.

6) It means Rage will come over here next year to gig. This means I might get to see them live and can tick them off the list of people I really really want to see live. Then I’d only have Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Buckley, the Wu-Tang Clan circa 1995 and Nick Drake left. I have a feeling that unless Tim Travel* is invented, I may never achieve this.

7) Rage have donated loads of money to charity. So have many of the people that bought the single. That’s proper goodwill. I didn’t though. I’m well poor.

Yes they might not all be the best reasons but here’s to the dissenters that say its a bad thing or something that we are all making too much fuss about:

1) Joe Mcthingy Thingy didn’t ‘deserve number 1 more than anyone else in the world’ as some woman on the radio texted in. I would argue there are far more people that deserve number one. Firstly there are all those who’ve released a song that they wrote, sung, performed all by themselves and isn’t a big pile of dogshit. Secondly there are people that could do with the dosh more than Joe. There’s a homeless man who often sits near Covent Garden playing a traffic cone like a trumpet. Personally I think he deserves number one more than Joe.

2) Yes the Rage track is 17 years old and perhaps it would have been nice to have a new track as a number one, but then again the Beatles got number one a few years back with a track that was over 40 years old and also no one recently has released anything decent. If its a choice between something old but good and something new that makes dogs and bats wail in despair, then I’ll go for the former.

3) Yes Sony own both Joe and Rage so noone’s the real winner except them. Well SyCo don’t get any profits from Rage so thats good. Rage are also donating loads of their profits to Shelter, so I’d argue that Shelter win too. But also the victors are those people that wanted a change in the music charts. By standing together and stating that the general state of music was terrible and didnt reflect a large part of the population, I would say we won. I’m including me in the winning team there. Its rare that gets to happen, so I’m doing it. I’m sure had Jon and Tracy Mortor got to hand pick who was in the team I would be last against the wall with a boy who picks his own nose and eats it and the kid with a built up shoe.

I can’t think of other arguments, but if you give them to me I will bat them away with a racket of reason. Or more likely I will put my fingers in my ears and sing ‘lalalalalalal’ until you go away. I like Rage Against the Machine so I’m probably hugely biased. For any non-big Rage fan, may I recommend KRS-ONE’s ‘Rapperz R N Dainja’ Chain Me To The Gear Remix, which is by Tom Morello and massively angry. I also like the Zach De La Rocha and Roni Size collaboration ‘The Centre of the Storm’ and lastly the Rage cover of Cypress Hill’s ‘How Could I Just Kill A Man’. Listen to all those in succession and its likely you will have to punch things for a while or attempt to overthrow the government. Merry Christmas.

* please note Tim Travel is a more effective way of Time Travel in that you will travel specifically to an era, and arrive closest to the nearest or most relevant person called Tim.