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Tuesday, 22 May 2012


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In science fiction fandom we're especially prone to using larger ludicrous intensifiers than "the world".

If you are into the Smith and like that sound you should listen to:

Seedling's CD's Elevator Tourist......and of course Lets play boys and girls. A great Dutch band discovered by the late John Peel for his BBC show and more popular in England than in my itsy bitsy backward country (I've seen them at least 50 times live all around, sometimes in an audience of 4 (exclusive taste I know) but judge for yourself).


Greetings, Ed

No exaggeration at all. The Smiths are/were awesome, and so is Morrisey!

Could I possibly be the first to comment this post of all time?

Then there are the tongue-in-cheek ludicrous intensifiers. For over fifty years an annual sports car event in Chicago has used PR like:

ODHDC will present Heroes’ Hectic Holiday Hangover Hassle (HHHHH), the “best rally of the year so far” on Tuesday, 1/1/13, New Years Day.


Also the best band in the universe headed up by a celibate. (If the article I read in the LA Times 20 years ago was not lying to me!)

"I cried and I died, I cried and I died"

My impersonation of the Smiths. I think just about every girlfriend I had loved them. Me not so much. I preferred Mojo Nixons version of Girlfriend in a Coma.

I know, I know Big Mouth Strikes Again.

There's a nice ironical subtext to your piece Mike. You choose examples that are mostly American, then with some mastery illustrate and give a final example of a British band.

I do feel that it is only chiefly the US, but willingly followed along by the UK, that indulges in this sort of nonsense (not you, the ludicrous intensifiers).

BTW, Morrissey is in some disgrace, and rightfully, in the UK for going to Argentina and encouraging the audience to whine and wail about the Falklands. There is a bit of "verbals" going on between Argentina and the UK at the moment over those British islands. Most Brits want him to stay in Argentina if that is how he feels. They are welcome to his one-man version of misery. We've since sent a destroyer, a nuclear submarine, an infantry battalion and a prince, just to show we care.

I'm going to have to stop you- I have heard this one before...

but i am enjoying the off-topic posts as of late, since my printer is sitting in a moving box for the next month or so.

Two events poped into my head while reading this articls. Thw World Series and Mr. Universe.

I saw Mojo Nixon in concert once. With the friend who's the most into the Smiths.

You gotta like a guy with song titles like "Jesus at McDonald's" and "Debbie Gibson is Pregnant with my Two-Headed Love Child."

You might also enjoy Done Again's "Don Henley Must Die"....


Referring to an something that is completely obvious, my favorite ludicrous intensifier is: "the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind!" And yes, it has to be American, thats a no-brainer, in fact the biggest no-...

Nice post Mike and I absolutely agree, no exaggeration!

Haven't been listening to their songs for a long long time. It's only a couple of weeks ago that I started browsing iTunes and YouTube looking for some of my old favorites. 
25 years later and still amazed how good they really were.

Can't resist to post this YouTube link to a live version of one of their greatest songs ever; I just love those hips :-)


When it comes to Manchester indie-bands, I was more of a New Order fan...

In Australia we have the charmingly pathetic "biggest x in the southern hemisphere."

Does "World Series" fit this category?

One of my favorite Smiths collections was done by a lass called "Janice Whaley" she redid a Smiths song a day with just using her voice as the instrumentation.

Really neat reworkings.

Girlfriend in a Coma... man, that was a great song.

Geographic ludicrous intensifiers, you say? I've always wondered what Japan and other baseball countries think about our World Series.

Mike, perhaps you could come up with a list: 'The ten most ludicrously intense ludicrous intensifiers of all time'. Or something.

And doesn't Morrissey look positively nerdy in that picture.

Think you'll have more than one reader mindfully reminding you (and rightfully so) that the greatest indie rock band from Manchester was called Joy Division. As for me, it will always be- The Fall.

Walk don't run. If music biz does as usual, the Ultimate remaster will be worst than the originals and be too loud, compressed, clipped but profitable. Like bad HDR for the ears. Seek the originals, I have, way better!
These marketing guys, the Bob "improved" Cashflow type, will tell you anything to make a quick buck. Recently I have seen "gluten-free" ham ans chicken. Well, duh!

Ethics dissolves in money!

Yep, Just checked in the dynamic range database, headroom went from 12 to 15db on the original release to 9db. Not as horrible as the 2008 version (6db) but the proof is in the pudding.


Blank CD I take it.

I've told you a million times - don't exaggerate!

'—as if there were Southern rock bands in the Philippines or coastal Madagascar'

Note to self. DO NOT read Johnston while eating sushi in public; it's messy. 

Mike, I now have visions of 5 little Phillipino guys rocking out 'Free Bird' to an audience in Manila. Thanks for that. 

Ahhh, the Smiths. How wonderfully neurotic!

Best post evAr, God save Johnny Marr. Best Smith, evAr.

You could easily substitute The Smiths with New Order in that phrase, depending where you're musical sensibilities lie.

Mike, that's the most incredibly cool blog post this Aeon! (Sorry, couldn't resist...)

Hi Mike
I too am a fan but Morrisy,s credibility looks a bit raw when you know he lives in an LA mansion owned previously owned by someone like Clark Gable and he drives a Porche.
I knew one of his ex's who famously whilst in a band appeared at the Hacienda in Manchester naked but for pieces of raw meat adorning her body.

I've got a few things in common with old Morrisey. We're both working class Mancunians from the inner city, had Irish parent. Grew up two miles apart

But he can not write like what I can!

Remember BMW and the "Ultimate Driving Machine".

I'm impressed that you dig the Smiths, Mike. Thanks for the tip! I'm confused you would mention "Southern Rock" in the same post, though. But Anyway...if you and others don't already know them, get the cd's of the "most underappreciated band of the last 30 years", the Sundays--- wonderful and melancholic, tuneful and beautiful. But definitely some Smiths sensibility in there. Something about the UK in those days....

Also, run out and get Best Coast's first and just released second albums. Actually the most amazing band I've heard in a very long while. California-summer-beach-surf-girlpop music viewed through the darkest possible lens.

Of course if you want to invoke Mojo Nixon, you can't forget "Elvis is Everywhere" and the classic line: "Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him".
The Smiths are great, one of the greatest bands in my limited universe of musical experience. (how is that?)
Great post.

Not sure whether I can infer from your post that you don't know the music of The Smiths.

If so, you should listen right now to "Meat is murder" and "The Queen is dead" and you will see there is no exaggeration whatsoever.

Hmm, remastered Smiths could be good... the tracks in the first go around seemed a little mid-rangey. As long as they don't smash the hell out of the dynamic range in the loudness wars. (I see someone above has addressed that).

There's something to contemplate in Greg Brophy's comments about how all his *girlfriends* liked the Smiths...Mike.

Let me suggests that the greatest ultimate Mojo Nixon song was "Drunk Divorced Floozy" about the death of Princess Diana. He has no discernible musical talent, but does have a way with perceptions.

"You could easily substitute The Smiths with New Order in that phrase, depending where you're musical sensibilities lie."

They've done for Manchester than Morrisey ever will. Would not of had the "Madchester" days without the Hacienda and you would not of had the Hacienda without Anthony H Wilson and New order. But Christ! after Ian Curtis died, we lost one of the greatest ever front men. Joy Division became New Order and a great band but a lesser one for for me

I saw The Smiths in Salford in 1986 on The Queen is Dead Tour. The ticket was £4. FOUR QUID. 5 encores and we all missed the last bus home. Outstanding...

Dragging this back to photography.

Stephen Wright who took a number of the iconic Smiths photographs including the group shot outside the Salford Lads Club in the gate fold version of "The Queen is Dead"

He is still working as a photographer and sells prints of his Smiths photos here:


I don't own any so I don't know how good the actual prints are.


"Not sure whether I can infer from your post that you don't know the music of The Smiths."

You've found me out. Very insightful, well-nigh intuitive, reading--I'm impressed.

I don't, in fact, know the Smiths very well firsthand. The fan of theirs I know is my friend Kim Kirkpatrick, a profound alternative music guru--the kind of guy who has forgotten more about modern post-VU music than most of us will ever know. I have a book of CDs labeled "Kimfluence" that is three inches thick, and there's one Smiths CD in it ("Louder than Bombs"), which is pretty much all of my personal familiarity with their music. The rest I've learned from KK.


The Smiths were great, but if you're talking about Manchester bands, someone has to mention the Buzzcocks, or at least those two blokes who called themselves Oasis.

"The Smiths were great, but if you're talking about Manchester bands, someone has to mention the Buzzcocks, or at least those two blokes who called themselves Oasis."

Really? Buzzcocks and Oasis were both from Manchester? Must be sorta like the Seattle of England.


(Funny--I just went to Wikipedia and read up on Oasis. I had no idea they were so big over there. Here, they're almost entirely known for one hit in the middle of the '90s, "Wonderwall." I actually went to Wikipedia wondering whether they were a one-hit-wonder band....)

Along the lines of the "ultimate retirement home," I've always been amused that my credit card offers me "Ultimate Rewards" points, as in, when you get that free plane ticket to Hawai'i, they'll say, "he's gone on to his Ultimate Reward."

Really? Buzzcocks and Oasis were both from Manchester? Must be sorta like the Seattle of England.


Yeah, only with more attitude and less shoe gazing.

Chuck Klosterman (spell?) interview with Oasis' Noel Gallagher...


I own a ridiculous number of Oasis albums.

Some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers. no exaggeration - that's true.

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