"Later With Jools Holland" can never be on late enough, for me at least. In fact, I'd have preferred "Never With Jools Holland", a sort of elusive non-show, with Jools never quite managing to make an appearance in a show that never quite existed. This would be a kind of twilightzoneish scenario, but even the most malevolent episode of that 60s fantasy series is a picnic for its main protagonist compared to having to listen to Jools and the talentless, over-hyped "artistes" he invites to his sleepy program.
Not once have I heard interesting music played there. Not once has any band or so-called "artiste" played their music with more energy than is barely contained in a small, near-death table lamp. The audio drowsiness LWJH's music emits out of the small screen can only be matched by the soothing voice of a master-hypnotist as he puts his client into deep slumber. Except that Jools & co have become such experts over the years that the nap is more like a deep coma. No wonder it's "later" with JH: UK television execs aren't foolish enough to put their viewers to sleep before prime time...
To make matters even worse, even more predictable, Jools calls all his guests "artists". Everyone's an artist today, even 50 Cent; soon even janitors will be praised for their artistic tackling of our waste products in emergency situations in toilets around the world. Who knows, maybe the mere ability to drink water out of a glass will be praised as "art" in a few years. Perhaps burping, as well? The term "artist" used to mean something. But thanks to MTV, the lobbyist media, the general dumbing-down of the increasingly riff-raff-ish Western populace, and cowardly types such as Jools, we now have a situation in which Green Day and Nelly Furtado are on par with the likes of Rembrandt and Debussy, at least semantically.
Even when - by pure chance, I imagine, or by severe miscalculation on the part of the show's clueless/tone-deaf/bribed producers - Jools invites a band of quality, they manage to sound their worst on this ultra-lame show. Jools has a talent, no doubt about it: the rare talent of getting the worst possible performance and sound out of everyone. There is something magical about Jools. He inspires his "artistes" to dig deep, very deep, down, down, to find that inner worthlessness that even the most experienced and sold-out musicians never knew existed in them. Jools draws the absolute worst out of everyone, which can serve as an inspiration to us all, sending a clear message: YOU CAN BE THE WORST YOU CAN BE IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. Sort of like the reverse of the American Dream. Let's just call it The Dream of The Jewels. Money for nothing, jewels for free.
Are the Netherlands offended that Jools carries their other name? I'd be. They ought to sue his sorry little ass. And after they bankrupt him, he can write a dull, emotionless ballad about "them da blues he's feelin'" on his long-suffering piano. Come to think of it, pianos should sue him, too. Music, also. Notes, as well. Do re mi fa... all twelve of them ought to sue him. God forbid he should invite a band heavier than Coldplay! They might wake up the MTV-slave crowds sitting pathetically at home or in that badly-lit studio...
Fans of Jools and his non-glittering jewels praise how uncommercial the program is. They remind me of those severely deluded 20-something Take That fans who believe that they're listening to "adult music". LWJH features easily-digestible commercial pap, rarely going beyond the realm of charts - or "artistes" that were once in the charts (but now that they aren't, are considered by their fans to be "super-artistes"...)
I've no idea how this guy got his own TV show. He has the charisma of a fish. I mean the kind of fish species that has so little personality than even the hungriest shark will delete it from its menu for fear of getting contaminated. The thankfully brief interviews he does are a perfectly dull prelude to the apathetic music that nearly always follows. It's almost as if the conversation between Jools and the "artiste" serves as a way to drain away the last ounce of motivation and energy (if there is any to start with; usually not) from the "artiste", so that he can achieve his maximum in the art of under-performing.
The fact that nearly all of these guest "artistes" put on a cowardly, fake smiles on their collective faces while appearing on this show only goes to further prove how little pride or integrity they have nowadays. Prostitution has a new name, and it's called "agreeing to appear on Jools' lousy program".
Seriously, even Tobey Maguire's lifeless, unmotivated, blank face doesn't make me nod off as much as Jools and his non-traveling, static, studio non-circus does.
For more of my music-related rants: http://rateyourmusic.com/~Fedor8
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