>Paris Hilton, Verb Confusion and Today’s New Band – I Am Austin

>I’m still persevering with my Spanish class, much to the surprise of, well, me, mainly. I think it’s because it was paid for up front and I’m too tight to drop out. Anyway, any progress that was being made courtesy of my guapa Argentinian teacher was dashed last night when it was revealed to us that in Spain they have two verbs for “to be”.

This mind-boggling Ta-Da! Surprise! threw me, as the decision of whether you use Estar or Ser – the offending verbs – hinges on some sort of arbitrary psychological hunch of whatever situation is being described. And all the while, my well-meaning teacher was making personal guarantees that Spanish is actually a very easy language.

Simplicity is comforting. This alone can explain the popularity of say, Paris Hilton. You know exactly what you’re going to get – and in her case it’s teeth-grindingly annoying vacuousness. It gives people a nice simple starting point for whatever they want to do or feel next.

Music is the same. There’s a reason that DJs at wedding discos the world over always play the same crappy songs ad nauseum. You won’t find Uncle Tony frugging to Aphex Twin‘s Canticle Drawl after a few too many sherries anywhere.

Today’s New Band are super simple – a straight down the line, groin thrusting, cymbal smashing rock band. It’s a combination that produces duff bands with unerring regularity. I am Austin though, have got it right, right, right. Stripper sounds as sleazy and grimy as you’d expect. It’s about strippers, having a good time, and then writing a song that describes it all. What more do you want for it? Contextual analysis?

I Am Austin are all hair, hormones and songs about lust. This Air Is Acid, which I hope is a song regaling the pungency of a particularly toxic fart, lurches at you drunkenly, scrabbling for balance and not finding it. It’s a big, bruising song that always threatens to explode violently. Similarly, Zombie Town rages and clanks dementedly.

I Am Austin are in that happy, early, just-enjoying-the-feeling-of-making-this loud-noise phase, with the added pleasure of creating great, mental songs along the way. And none of the band members are called Austin, either. I like that. You’ll like them too – listen here!

>Strippers, Lust, Pigeons and Today’s New Band – Hot Like Curry

>I got eyed up by two strippers yesterday, as I was walking through Chinatown. I say ‘eyed up’ – what I mean is that they broke off from their cigarette break out side the strip club, performed that glance-at-your-face-then-shoes-then-face-again routine and carried on talking about thongs or lubricant or whatever it is strippers chat about.

I suppose the reaction to their casting an eye over me was fairly non-descript – there were no deep, longing sighs or anything, but I like to think that the conversation was then all about how truly dreamy it would be if someone like me would lustily tuck ten pound notes into their garters instead of sleazy businessmen.

Walking away, not sure if I felt elated or mildly underwhelmed, it occurred to me that they may well have been chatting about Quantum String Theory, for all I knew. Perhaps they were the kind of strippers from the movies that are only doing it to pay their university fees, and actually have very incisive views on Foucault‘s Post-Structuralist ideals. People aren’t who you might assume them to be.

Take Today’s New Band, Hot Like Curry. They say that they ‘can’t play their own instruments’ (not strictly true) and are ‘a gimmick’ (possibly strictly true). They have one song, Pigeon. “You’re so seedy – we love it really,” they squeal. It’s a great, pocket-sized, buzzsaw song that’s worthy of two minutes of anyone’s time, and then another two minutes. Hot Like Curry have only been in existence for about as long as it’s taken me to type this, which frankly, is reason enough to feature them on ANBAD.

Hot Like Curry sound like a roomful of teenage girls having a ton o’ fun with the twin powers of guitars and yelping, but who knows, they could be an offshoot from a Women’s Institute music project, or teenage boys with very high voices. It could have been those two strippers. Who cares, it’s about as new and fun as any song you’ll hear for, like, ages – so listen to it here!