47 Big Thief: Capacity

Sibling Thievery

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I’ve already mentioned how much I always appreciate recommendations and referrals, how I am always fascinated by what exact pieces of culture push different people’s buttons and charge up their dopamine. I am always intrigued by different people’s appreciations and infatuations, and am always eager to investigate them further if I have no working relationship with them.

(Once, back when I was drinking, drugging and fucking at university- believing I was living an impossibly cool Hunter S Thompson-like gonzo lifestyle while actually near irreparably fucking my life up for more than a decade- I was in a girl’s room the morning after a CONQUEST the night before- #LAD- and was perusing her CD collection. I laughingly put down the ridiculousness of much of her collection, explaining to her at length how fucking shit Jamiroquai, Sublime, The Mighty Bosstones etc were. She slapped me in the face. Like, hard. I immediately realised how much I deserved it, and changed my life accordingly. I later married that woman. True story)

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I also introduced you to my brother, Mizdow, implying how much stock I put in a recommendation from someone close to me that I love very much.

Well, I also have another brother, who I don’t hate. Let’s call him ‘Johnny Cash’ as a little rib, because he freaking hates Johnny Cash and seriously thinks that anyone who likes him or listens to his music is- in his own inimitable words- ‘a fucking shit munching mongoloid who deserves to get cancer’. Yeah, I know, he’s pretty passionate about it, and is unafraid of using language I personally would find rather distasteful.

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He’s also a proper journalist, successfully living in London surrounded with a group of cool professional friends. He’s a fucking sell-out and a disgrace to a family of good honest layabouts. I also used his name in the title of one of my blog entries for the Necessary Evil 2016 list which subsequently became my most viewed post of the year, which is both great for my self-esteem and exhibits how big a name he is in comparison to me. He was the first journalist to break the news of Sean Hughes’s death, which qualifies as a decent anecdote until I tell my story about the band Cleopatra* again and blow him out of the freakin’ water!!!

Anyway, it’s (kayfabe) 2017: ‘journalist’ isn’t even a proper profession anymore, you just think of a hot take and then search Twitter. Let’s say I fancied writing an article about how Big Thief are actually racist, I just put those three words into Twitter and:

Boom, bash out 500 words on that: obviously the Muslims think Big Thief are racist. No need to click on the link (I certainly haven’t), I think all the information you need is in the Tweet.

I approached the same artist who spent so long crafting the breathtaking portrait of Mizdow and requested he render my other brother Johnny Cash with similar artistic flair. He’s currently based in a camper van in the grounds of an abandoned biscuit factory, because his work space at The Lourve is currently closed as they try and sort out that boll weevil infestation, and he obviously had to charge double this time due to the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his last piece, but the investment is definitely on display in the finished product:

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See? A journalist, with the hat and everything. Let’s not forget that the artist’s idea of a defining feature for my other brother was the MGMT album ‘Congratulations’. Think about that, Mizdow.

Anyway: Johnny Cash was fervent in his praise for the latest album by Big Thief, so I decided to investigate it with absolutely no prior knowledge of the artist. Johnny Cash is usually a big fan of underground rappers that I’ve never heard of- like Gentleman Grabnuts, Tur-Key Twizla, Gateway Gongrabbit, Initial Right of Residentz, Sexual Catherine Wheel and Stuart the Most Notable Humdinger- so I assumed an artist named ‘Big Thief**’ would be some rather boisterous rapper with a notably stout build ‘spitting rhymes’ about how often and how comprehensively he commits minor-to-major larceny.

Then I saw the cover. Oh God, I saw the cover…

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Wha…?

What the fuck is that?!

Is that Big Thief***? Is this album that Johnny Cash raves so constantly about**** some snotty white boy rapper? Did Johnny Cash try listening to Lil Peep

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but decided he wanted his obnoxious white-boy rap delivered with slightly less tattoos? I immediately decided that I hated the album and that Johnny Cash’s affection for it was just further proof that he’s an idiot and therefore Mum definitely loves me more. Oh, you’ve got a proper career and a steady income have you, Johnny? Well, you like shit music!! Ha! I win Christmas once again!

Then I finally listened to the record and… it’s not that… like, at all

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It’s the kind of music that I wouldn’t have given much time if it weren’t for Cash’s blessing: namby-pamby, acoustic warbling. It’s fucking subtle music that blossoms into near genius after repeated listens!! Who the fuck has time for that?

Because of Johnny though, I did give the album time to worm into my decrepit and morosely cynical soul, and listening to it now I wish I had more time with it. It may be a genre that I’ve decided I don’t like, but frequently exposing myself to it has proven that the only reason you don’t like the things you don’t like is because that’s the person you’ve decided to be: nothing in my genetic makeup decrees that I don’t like country music (which- by God!– this record often veers into), it’s simply a character trait that I have consciously decided to embody. Nothing about your cultural self is set in stone.

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People, this post’s lesson is this: if you have a younger sibling- even if their a really ugly one with serious body odour issues and a weird twitch- sit them down and ask them what music they think you should listen to, and listen attentively as they explain what they love about it.

Then, tell them it’s shit and punch them in the genitals: it’s still important to maintain the natural order

Score

Age (of singer Adrianne Lenker): 25 (-9)

Album Length: 41 minutes (+5)

Very Good Songs: 5 (+10)

Brilliant Songs: 5 (+25)

AMAZING Songs: 1 (+10)

% of Album Worthwhile: 100

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Cover:

 

Sigh…

Listen, I get it: the singer Andrianne McThiefyface is the baby in the photo, being cradled by her uncle who looks remarkably similar to Adrianne McThiefyface, it’s some real ‘cirlce of life, wheel of fortune, leap of faith’ shit, but I still can’t stress enough how much I freakin’ hate this cover!!

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Previous Entries: None

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Meta Critic: 81

Asterisks: 4 (+20)

I occasionally count the asterisks used in the ‘review’ now, and their score varies depending on how many points it turns out I need

Total: 297

https://bigthief.bandcamp.com/

*I have no anecdote about the person Cleopatra. She actually died several years before my birth

**I have spelt that incorrectly literally every single time: ‘i’ before ‘e’, Alex! Except when it’s not!

***Got it right that time. Life is a process of learning from your mistakes, and possibly blogging about them

****He might have mentioned that he liked it one time, but I have to secure the narrative here

Epilogue

In searching for a suitable Jamiroquai picture, I came across this:

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Like, someone actually took the time to make that. It presumably honestly reflects somebody’s views. There really is a whole cultural underclass that we are enturely unaware of. I think I need to set up a charity

9 thoughts on “47 Big Thief: Capacity

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