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November 21, 2008

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Signed on to all of the above.

"The Jam are severely underrated."

Totally agree. To me, they were up there with the Clash. But they were so much more a "British" group. A-Bomb in Wardour St, Eton Rifles, Down in the tube station, London Traffic, English Rose, etc.

Did you see "Stranger than Fiction"? They used "That's Entertainment" at a very serious moment in the film. I was gratified.

Forgot my music recommendation for the OT:

Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning

Echo & The Bunnymen > The Smiths

Oh, and:

Creation Records > Factory

1) yes. Though I bet 30 years from now, people will likely remember "Wonderwall" over any Blur song. And I hate "wonderwall."

2) Yes, but I think The Great Escape gets underrated.

3) no opinion.

4) They are, but the Buzzcocks were even more so.

Blur is better than Oasis.

But who cares?

Blur is better than Oasis, but Pulp is better than either.

Becoming out of touch with popular music and hopelessly unhip is an occupational disease that correlates strongly with age, so I haven't got much to add other than that I've always liked The Silencers.

Oh yeah, and I used to go and see 10,000 Maniacs play the 9:30 club in DC back when they were basically a high class bar band. Top that, you yung'ins.

Now get off my lawn!

Blur?

The Jam are underrated by everyone EXCEPT Paul Weller; The Buzzcocks even more so.

I saw Trouble Funk at the 9:30 club in 1986. Top that, young'uns.

Also grossly underrated . . . Everything But the Girl.

What TLTIABQ said, except the age correlation is even greater in my case and I have no idea who s/he was talking about.

Kids these days… GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!

Did you see "Stranger than Fiction"? They used "That's Entertainment" at a very serious moment in the film. I was gratified.

I did, and was pleasantly surprised. The movie pleasantly surprised me as well.

yes. Though I bet 30 years from now, people will likely remember "Wonderwall" over any Blur song. And I hate "wonderwall."

Sad, but likely true. Girls & Boys might have some longevity as well. Song 2 also.

But I'm not a big fan of either.

The Jam are underrated by everyone EXCEPT Paul Weller

Piont conceded.

Pulp's last album We Love Life is really in a class of its own. For me, it's the coda to that whole silly Britpop phase. Up there with OK Computer for fists-in-air majesty. More life-affirming than Radiohead, though, not that that's so hard to pull off.

You wanna know who's really underrated? Pale Fountains. (Yeah, I know: Pale huh?)

ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Actually hadn’t seen yours when I posted. ;) Fixing dinner etc. But I think mine was more effective with the caps. So there.


But I think mine was more effective with the caps. So there.

No problem. Considering which parts of the country we live in, I have no doubt that your lawn is far nicer than mine, and thus more worthy of shouting at the kids in defense of its leafy green goodness.

Somehow "GET OFF MY SPURGE/DIRT/GRAVEL/RUSSIAN SAGE/WINDBLOWN BURGER KING WRAPPERS AND ALBERTSONS BAGS!!!" just doesn't have the same zing.

;-/

Well, mine is actually sand with beer bottles and dog sh!t. But it’s the principle of the thing…

4 is absolutely the case. And though I may be burned in effigy for saying it, the underrating of the Jam is directly proportional to the amount by which Led Zeppelin is overrated.

Also, Americans would do well to become more acquainted with Stone Roses.

But I think mine was more effective with the caps. So there

Also, in keeping with the theme of this open thread, the instructions to which specifically call for generous application of said ALL CAPS.

'Slightly less than severely underrated': I'd settle for such an obituary.

And though I may be burned in effigy for saying it, the underrating of the Jam is directly proportional to the amount by which Led Zeppelin is overrated.

I might ignite it myself.

Also, Americans would do well to become more acquainted with Stone Roses.

Love em.

The Jam are underrated? - that must be a US thing. I've read more articles declaring The Jam the greatest thing since sliced bread than I care to remember.

that must be a US thing

Absolutely. That comment wouldn't make as much sense in Great Britain.

Americans would do well to become more acquainted with Stone Roses.

Seconded.

I also dig Gorillaz and the few songs by Jamiroquai I've heard (was sick of Virtual Insanity for awhile, but back to likin' it since no one plays it on the radio anymore).

The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony was cool, and I like the songs These Words and Unwritten by that girl whose name I can't remember.

"Oh yeah, and I used to go and see 10,000 Maniacs play the 9:30 club in DC back when they were basically a high class bar band. Top that, you yung'ins."

I went to see the Clash play right after the English Beat broke up and cut out as the opening band. They were forced to use a local (Pittsburgh) funk band to open up.

The audience was not amused.

@xaaronx,

STONE ROSES RULE!! And I barely know about them, but they did a song in the '80s that I really liked. It had a line in it about "she's my sister" or something.

May need to hit the Google.

And, even if Blur is better than Oasis, I really like Champagne Supernova. Which probably means I am a hopeless wanker or something.

In other news, for you young'uns, I saw Sam Kinison at Cobb's in San Francisco -- when Cobb's was still in the Marina and only held about 50 people. So, nothing to do with British pop, but just sayin'.

Also -- best album of the 80s: Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen.

Oh, yeah. And why the frell is Johnny Rotten doin' butter commercials?

The google says -- Stone Roses, "Love Spreads".

Very much excellent.

I think this google thing might catch on.

What John Miller said.

These kids today!

They call this stuff music?

"The Jam are underrated? - that must be a US thing."

That was what I was trying to say with the "much more a British group" thing. In 1979, it seemed that Americans loved the Clash and had never heard of the Jam.

Did you ever notice how much the Vapors sounded like the Jam?

And does anyone remember The Jags? Serious Jam ripoff.


Why is Blur singular, while all the other bands seem to be plural?

Anyway: I second the approving mentions of Pulp, esp. the later albums, and of the Stone Roses. Who of course gave Pulp one of their big breaks (apologies for the pun).

Growing up in '90s Britain, my memory is more of great songs than great bands (e.g. Oasis have two, possibly three great songs on their first album, but Blur win overall).

Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aReEwt_Z0kU
(only song I know by this band, but it's a cracker).

(notices E.M.'s temporary nom de plume)

Caravan of Love gets on my wick, though...

"Oh yeah, and I used to go and see 10,000 Maniacs play the 9:30 club in DC back when they were basically a high class bar band. Top that, you yung'ins."

Me and Patti Smith. See linked posts for more about when Blondie really stank, Talking Heads and Television and The Ramones before they released albums, and such.

I have a cane to shake, so there!

I knew I should have previewed.

Eric: I did, and was pleasantly surprised. The movie pleasantly surprised me as well.

I've been talking up "Stranger Than Fiction" for some time now after having seen it in a second-run theater, so it's nice to hear others had the same reaction.

However:

Blur is better than Oasis.

DO NOT WANT.

[Or, what Jes said.]

I guess it's not so bad to be in a club that includes ThatLeftTurn, OCSteve, John Miller, and Bernard Yomtov. ;)

And, even if Blur is better than Oasis, I really like Champagne Supernova. Which probably means I am a hopeless wanker or something.

I'm afraid so. Such is the way the world works. It's out of my hands.

ok, TLTIABQ, I'll top that: When 10,000 Maniacs needed someone to help them get from their venue to the Camper Van Beethoven concert following, I got to ride with them.

Creation Records > Factory

4AD > Creation Records

"The movie [Stranger Than Fiction] pleasantly surprised me as well."

Me, also. After watching some bits and pieces on cable, I had to go watch the whole thing from start to finish to believe that I actually liked a Will Ferrell movie, and then I had to watch it a couple of more times, because I really liked it.

Emma Thompson is always great, but there are all sorts of lovely bits of metacommentary on writing fiction, and lovely moments, and it's very charming.

Though the musical highlight for me was the scene where, well, it's this, exactly, actually.

I'm that way when I'm in love with someone. (Cue me here just wishing I had someone as much in love with me as vice versa.)

Caravan of Love gets on my wick, though...

Me too.

But I always liked this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLOyF50wlBU

And all this time I thought Brit Pop meant Squeeze, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson, and Graham Parker. Now get off my lawn and take your new fangled Brit Pop with you.

And while I'm posting video linkies, I might as well share this one (to be played at my wedding someday):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA0XsAqjizE

I also dig Gorillaz

Who are fronted by Blur's lead singer. Case in point ;)

I'm afraid so. Such is the way the world works. It's out of my hands.

Doh! I knew it!!

Here's one from Echo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3M6HonQSe4

And I might as well round it out with the Jam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivm0inFdJL8

Spent too much time in an excellent wind orchestra as a young person: while I'll listen to a variety of things if I'm drinking, Bach, Handel and Mozart if I'm listening seriously.

Did I get the italics?

Did I get the italics?

Yes. Look, Typepad needs hilzoy, publius, eric, sebastian and von more than those fine folk need the service. Call them up. Tell them that closing unmatched tags in a comment IS NOT HARD. That you'll go elsewhere if they can't fix the problem. I'll write Perl for them if that's what it takes. K?

@JanieM:
I guess it's not so bad to be in a club that includes ThatLeftTurn, OCSteve, John Miller, and Bernard Yomtov. ;)

Only if we can have Gary as our bouncer. That cane of his might come in handy. Can't be letting the riff-raff in the front door, you know...



When 10,000 Maniacs needed someone to help them get from their venue to the Camper Van Beethoven concert following, I got to ride with them.

Gee thanks Suzii. Thanks for reminding me that the downside of the internet is that there's always somebody with a more better hipper story than the one I have to tell.

|-<


Just kidding. Nice to see you commenting.

OK, so now you've forced me to haul out my anecdote heavy artillery: when I was a little kid and was on a camping trip with my parents in upstate NY, I wandered off one afternoon and later came back several hours later - this is back in the era when parents didn't freak out over the prospect of their little ones going missing (in fact I'm starting to wonder if that was viewed as a mixed blessing, actually). Anyway, I toddled back into camp to tell them all about this very nice man and his dog named Charley, who were camping nearby, and with whom I'd just spent the last several hours pleasantly chatting.

Turns out it was John Steinbeck.


Well, I saw Joe Ely -- with Charlie Sexton on guitar -- open for the Clash in Austin, so ALL y'all can just git off'n my LAWN!

And not only are Echo and the Bunnymen underrated (especially Ocean Rain) but so are Split Enz (especially Time and Tide).

Seriously. OFF. MY. LAWN!

Punks.

The Jam are severely underrated.

True. The rest is bollocks.

"Oh yeah, and I used to go and see 10,000 Maniacs play the 9:30 club in DC back when they were basically a high class bar band. Top that, you yung'ins."

I saw the Clash when Mickey Dread opened for them at the Capitol Theater in Passaic. There was nearly a riot. Half the crowd hated him and half the crowd loved him. I'm pretty sure at least a few beer bottles were tossed. Finally Joe came out and told the audience that if they didn't let him finish their set the Clash wouldn't play.

Of course I haven't got anything on Gary Farber.

Damn CS.

That's some hardcore lawn evicting. But TLT just napalmed the patio.

London Calling = most overrated album ever

there, i said it.

woah... WTF is up with this thread? when i commented, there were only like 4 comments above me. then i came back and there are dozens, and my comment's gone, and the whole thing's turned italics.

OMG. now my comment's back and i only see TLT 9:14, CS 9:25, Andrew 9:34, Eric M 9:37, and my comment(s).

i was only drinking wine tonight... were the jalapenos on that pizza psychoactive?

10,000 Maniacs . . .

Showing my ignorance at even asking the question, but wasn't (isn't?) Natalie Merchant the lead singer?

Always liked her serene, mature, hippy manner.

And her voice.

P.S. "Gary as our bouncer . . ." -- indeed, no riff-raff would pass through those club's doors. Pity those riff-raffers who even try (especially if they don't cite:) -- good night.

i was only drinking wine tonight... were the jalapenos on that pizza psychoactive?

ahhh... i get it now, there's something truly funky going on with the comment pagination. sometimes i get the second page, sometimes i get the first.

this is too much for me.

Does no one remember James? Have a soft spot for them.

Nigel Godrich is a GENIUS, well, except for the bits with Travis. Honestly, Travis..why?

Echo and the Bunnymen are the greatest, along with Pulp.

Anyone here ever listen to half man half biscuit? Hilarious. Joy Division Oven Gloves!!

Agree with everything, except the praise for the Bunnymen.

I gave them a real chance (listened to Crystal Days box set, etc.) and the only really good things they ever did were their moodiest, catchiest singles. Killing Moon, Bring on the Dancing Horses, Lips like Sugar.

On the whole, the Church were a far superior neo-psychedelic new wave band. Of course they're not British.

"That you'll go elsewhere if they can't fix the problem."

There is a long list of more serious problems (in my view) I'd prefer fixed, or in other words, why I desperately wish the ObWi owners would move to another service (Blogger is free! It works fine!): the elimination of optional email addresses under one's name; the mandatory pagination; the crazed [WORD REPLACED WITH "s p a m"] filter that prevents more than four links per comment, and then prevents using the word "s p a m."

That's for starters.

And what happened when I tried to post this?

We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment s p a m. It has been held for review by the blog's author.

Go back to Open Thread: Brit Pop Variety.

The software doesn't like it when it's criticized.

Oh yeah, and I used to go and see 10,000 Maniacs play the 9:30 club in DC back when they were basically a high class bar band. Top that, you yung'ins.

I saw Traffic on a double bill with J.J.Cale. At a hockey arena. Both bands were freaking great. Absolutely brilliant.

Plus I saw Keith Emerson with the Nice. He stabbed his organ with knives and then rode it around the stage. Highly entertaining.

But I didn't go to Woodstock. Too young.

So, you know, GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN.

But I have no clue about Brit pop after the mid-80's.

Did I mention the part about getting off the lawn?

Thanks -

The Jam was underrated? The Rezillos were underrated. The Anti-Nowhere League was underrated. The Jam? Boring. 2 good songs, maybe, if I'm being charitable.

People seem to always gravitate towards the blandest representatives of any movement, musical, artistic, political or other.


The Boo Radleys' Giant Steps had better melodies and more fascinating orchestration / soundscaping than anything by Blur or Oasis. Probably I'd even pick it over anything by Brian Wilson, though that's tougher.

Blur's nightmarish 13 deserves some props here.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine were the best Britpop band of the 1990s, although it annoys me that their best albums (Starry-Eyed and Bollock Naked; Worry Bomb; I Blame the Government) didn't get American release. They were worth importing, though, and I say that as a cheapskate.

New Model Army rock too hard to count as Britpop, and are far too cranky and reactionary to want the label, but otherwise they'd be the best Britpop band going.

(In similar logic, Cannibal Corpse might be the finest Britpop band if they were British, and poppy, and not completely terrible. Fine, be sarcastic, see if I care.)

Showing my ignorance at even asking the question, but wasn't (isn't?) Natalie Merchant the lead singer?

Always liked her serene, mature, hippy manner.

And her voice.

Yes, she left the Maniacs in 1993. I remember listening to their last joint album Our Time in Eden over and over again, probably because its melancholy sound fit my emotional state back then more or less 1:1.

I fell in love with her voice too and had she, for some strange reason, knocked on my door asking to marry me, I wouldn't have hesitated for a second back then.

You know who were really good? The House of Love.

Oh God, Eric, I love you. The last time I went to YouTube for The Housemartins there wasn't much there. Now there is so, so much, mostly from South American fans, bless 'em.

(For you youngish folks, this was the band that Fat Boy Slim started in. For you slightly less youngish ones, this was the precursor to The Beautiful South.)

Build: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9NjGG9ijA

Think for a Minute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnLFCY2vWoI

I can't listen to the last one without my brain inserting the warble that came up at certain points on a well-loved and well-worn cassette tape. Weird how that aural memory is still burned in.

I guess it's not so bad to be in a club that includes ThatLeftTurn, OCSteve, John Miller, and Bernard Yomtov. ;)

Glad to have you, JanieM.

Hmm. Whereas I find 10,000 Maniacs completely unlistenable because Natalie Merchant seems constitutionally incapable of singing on pitch. (After she went solo, I'm told she had that fixed in the mix.)

/ducks/

Thanks Bernard Y. :)

In case it wasn't obvious, I was just following along on a series of comments about age. I have never heard of 98% of the music being talked about on this thread and was feeling a little left out. This is partly because of my age, but mostly because my musical tastes are always fairly...let's say focused (to avoid saying that unpleasant word "narrow"). Folk music early on ... later, Irish and Scottish traditional and New England contradance music -- I played the fiddle in a contradance band for a few years in the 90's. It was great fun, and in rural Maine it's not even all that obscure.

Well.....maybe I exaggerate, just a tiny bit.

Like Russell, I didn't go to Woodstock, though unlike Russell, I was old enough -- it was between my first and second years in college. I was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike (among other roads) that weekend with some friends, and we had a personal adventure/mission going that seemed more important than that concert over in a field in New York State.

And why the frell is Johnny Rotten doin' butter commercials?

Because Neil Young was right about Cobain but wrong about Johnny Rotten?

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
The king is gone but he's not forgotten.

were the jalapenos on that pizza psychoactive?

With any luck...

Natalie Merchant provokes love or hate reactions. I know a lot of folks who hate her voice. I don't care, I'm immensely fond of her.

And I, also, had a huge crush on her, so I too had my marriage proposal out there.

Natalie Merchant seems constitutionally incapable of singing on pitch.

Well, I'm obviously a wee bit biased, lol, and no musicologist either, but I'm pretty sure that most of what you are referring to is intentional and I would have to throw out around 80% of my (non-classical) record collection if I insisted on pitch perfect singing.

I like Natalie Merchant too, but then, admittedly, I know little of pitch and the like. Just what sounds good to me.

Turns out it was John Steinbeck.

Heh. I was babysat by John Malkovich and I've met Prince Charles, but I think that might be cooler...

Turns out it was John Steinbeck.

Heh. I was babysat by John Malkovich and I've met Prince Charles, but I think that might be cooler...

I can eat fifty eggs.

"I can eat fifty eggs."

You're cool, Luke.

If we're talking meeting famous people, I'd be cheating, sortakinda, if I mentioned all the people I've met or known via science fiction: met Isaac Asimov many times, Arthur Clarke once, Robert Heinlein twice, peed at the next urinal to Roger Zelazny (as well as actually conversing with him various times when working on some of his books), friends with Harlan Ellison (who only about 5 years ago called me on the phone for a two-hour chat), was friends with Bill Gibson, who came to my house for parties many times years before selling any fiction (first met him in 1976), slept in the same bed as Chip Delany, was houseboy for a week to Joanna Russ, am good buds with Dave Langford, etc., etc., etc. through a very long list (Joan Vinge, great friends with Terry Carr, on and on). And also met or talked by phone with lots of writers of other genres via publishing work, including James Clavell, "Ed McBain," Whitley Streiber, Michael Herr, Gregory Rabassa, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Yossi Melman, etc., etc. Met Jim Henson briefly, and Gary Kurtz, producer of Star Wars, and, oh, all sorts of people come to sf cons. Oh, and hung out in the house of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Rosayln Yalow. Worked on Elmore Leonard's books, though never had direct contact with him; ditto for a bunch of other famous writers, which doesn't really count.

But I was kinda excited when Winston Churchill III literally bumped into me when I was visiting Parliament in 1996, since that was extraneous to both work and sf fandom.

Of course, my conversation, such as it was, consisted of "excuse me."

I was babysat by John Malkovich

The idea of John Malkovich babysitting anybody gives me the willies.

I like Natalie Merchant too

I appreciate what she does, but she just seems (to me) like such a bluestocking.

Nothing wrong with that, it's just not a vibe I find compelling in a musical performer.

Cool thread, I have hours of YouTubing ahead of me!

Thanks -

And for true excitment, I've been in the same room with Newt Gingrich.

I slept over Bill Kuntsler's house and chilled with his daughters.

The idea of John Malkovich babysitting anybody gives me the willies.

My friends, upon hearing this, always remark: "Well, that explains it."

Drifting back to Patti Smith, because I'm in the mood, this video of the group doing "Gloria" on SNL from 1976 well captures the way the group performed at the time, which was the time I got to meet Lenny, et al. The main thing missing is the absolutely awful, horribly bad jokes Patti would tell between set-ups.

Two great sites for listening to fun new suggestions: lala.com and grooveshark.com.

On a vaguely related note, I'd somehow managed to stave off until just now the idea that the Ramones had ever made non-live videos, or ever been recorded performing non-live. The idea is horrible, ludicrous, laughable, insane.

This is very late. I'm looking for a mid-Seventies recording of the real Ramones, really hammering home what we felt then.

Ideally, a bottle should be smashed about three feet from one's self. And someone should vomit equally close.

And the future should seem no less unlimited.

Ok, although the photography kinda wanders around, this from 1980 comes close to what I was looking for. Nostalgia.

Someone's elbow should smash you in the mouth, though. And the whole place should stink of vomit.

Good times.

Since I'm apparently WAY older than any of the rest of you, I've never heard most of the groups/musicians mentioned, and indeed never heard of some of them.

I have heard, however:

Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963.

Joan Sutherland singing "Lucia di Lammermoor" at Covent Garden in 1965 or so, paired with an obscure Italian tenor who I did not realize until about a month ago must have been a young Luciano Pavarotti.

I also sang, with a friend, an unaccompanied duet ("Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah") to Mother Theresa while waiting for our luggage to be hand-unloaded from the plane at Hanoi airport.

So go on, kids, play on my lawn if you must. Just be sure to clean it up when you leave.

"Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963"

Whoa, what's this "electric" stuff?

Whoa, Gary, Dylan didn't go "electric" until Newport 1965!

Back In The Day, when he first played Newport (to great applause), folk was still acoustic, and therefore pure.

Like America used to be.

I'm always anticipating the future.

Buzzcocks better than everybody.

Can we at least all agree on this:

The Clash's Sandinista is the greatest work of art in the English language since the death of Wm. Shakespeare.

Can we at least all agree on this:

The Clash's Sandinista is the greatest work of art in the English language since the death of Wm. Shakespeare.

For the Pulp lovers (who have impeccable taste), today's Guardian has an interview with Jarvis Cocker.

I dunno if this most recent open thread is holding up or not. Probably not.

My girlfriend of late has finally, definitively, clearly, broken up with me, the way I felt it moving for months. "I just don't feel that way about you any more." "I still love you, but not that way." That sort of thing. The thing I saw coming. The other guy she suddenly, surprisingly, feels so much more drawn to than she thought before. The guy who acts like a complete creep to me, and who doesn't even speak to me, like anyone remotely decent would.

Another failed relationship. Another attempt I tried hard at, and couldn't make work. Another effort that, having given my best, makes me think I can't do any better at, and what's the point?

Life sucks.

I shouldn't write about it.

It just hurts, and it's all f*cked up, and I apparently can't do right at loving anyone the right way, and I don't know what the point is any more, since it never works.

I don't know why anyone else would ever fall in love with a guy like me, with major depression problems, who isn't employed, and probably is barely, if at all, employable, and can't drive (apparently a crucial point, for god's sakes, of all pettiness), and is full of sadness and emotional problems. I doubt anyone would ever find me attractive. I can't fool anyone for more than a few weeks before they realize how problematic that I am.

F*ck. F*ck. F*ck. F*ck it all.

For the record, the above comment became a lot more ambiguous the next day. "Of course I still love you. Just not that way. But I do love you." "You're a great guy when you don't piss me off. I do love you. I just don't want you to have the wrong idea." "I do love the [other guy] more, but I still love you, too." "I love you, but I want you to do what's right for yourself." "You're very lovable, and I love you, but you should find someone who makes you happier." "I do love you, you just shouldn't count on things changing, but it's not impossible that they will." "I love you, but you're a pain in the ass."

And so on. I kinda knew that last one.

Live would be simpler if it were simpler. I'd really like to meet someone who will love me as much back, but the thing is, I'm so damn picky. Etc. Hmph.

Gary:

I dig some Natalie Merchant, too, but I'm more of a Shirley Manson fan, myself.

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