April 18, 2005
I guess I still don't get rhyming slang
Maybe you've seen posters for the new movie It's All Gone Pete Tong in your local movie theater. And maybe, like me, you've become totally confused.
This is the tagline on the posters:
Thankfully, Manohla Dargis has explained it all for me in her review. It turns out that Pete Tong is famous enough in England to have inspired his own bit of rhyming slang: "It's all gone Pete Tong" means "It's all gone wrong." The movie is a mockumentary about a fictitious DJ named Frankie Wilde who created the big Ibiza scene, got really rich, had it all, and then lost it when his hearing started to deteriorate.
Through the course of the movie, we see many scenes of Frankie's wild hijinks and opulent DJ lifestyle (a culture rich with material for satire--why hasn't someone, besides DJ King Pigeon, done this before?) until he starts to lose his hearing, and his mixing and production skills go down the toilet, his friends start to abandon him, and finally, there's a scene in which he stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean, unable to hear the crashing waves, and clutches his head while screaming at the sky.
Manohla Dargis pretty much likes it. A brief bio of Frankie Wilde on the movie's website suggests that the filmmakers understand the humor of their subject material. On Frankie Wilde's enormous influence on music production trends: "Frankie’s sets were wildly varied. He was the first club DJ to integrate rock elements into a chunk of house and techno. Frankie could easily segue from 4-on-the-floor style Chicago house, to an obscure Rolling Stones track, to the Sex Pistols, and then onto a ridiculously hard piece of Belgian techno. It was shambolic, but it was passionately felt, and the crowds went absolutely mental for it. Many critics and music pundits believe that it was Frankie’s devotion to eclectic mixes that gave rise to the current vogue for 'mash-ups,' in which two songs from disparate genres are blended together to make something totally new. Every hip-hop DJ nowadays who self-consciously squeezes a Steely Dan song into a set of rap owes his fee to Frankie. 'Cut me and I bleed vinyl,' he would scream to the throngs."
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