I don’t talk about immigration law much on this blog. At all, actually. Firstly, it’s my day job, and jobs suck, right? I don’t want that shit leaking into my leisure time. It’s a freaking Saturday right now, and you vultures want me to talk about immigration law?? Can’t a playa like myself get days off occasionally?? And anyway, it’s pretty much never relevant: it’s rather difficult to respond to the latest Unknown Mortal Orchestra album while referencing the five stages approach set out in Razgar ( UKHL 27).
Your first reaction might be “Hey, that’s pretty fucking shitty! And that Rwanda deal is some gross colonial bullshit!”. And that’s OK, it’s a free country (if you’re a white European) and I applaud your engagement. However, that is obviously an emotional reaction based on philosophically debatable matters such as ‘morality’, ‘decency’ and ‘human fucking rights, you bunch of fucking ghouls‘. That’s all well and good, but I don’t wish to debate this from ethical standpoint. Up yours, woke moralists. I’m just going to examine the bill, examine the implications, examine the logistics and examine the thinking from a purely unbiased and ideologically untarnished viewpoint. I would just like the calmly and inarguably point out how this is one of the dumbest fucking things ever, and evidence of such chronic smooth brain thinking that I am genuinely worried about the mental health of its adherents. Legally speaking, this bill is as thick as pig shit.
The bill is absolutely that potent mix of cruelty and stupidity. I’m just going to concentrate on the stupidity, that’s all. As I really don’t think enough people are aware of how stupid it is.
Elle Gilliam has had ‘the feels’ mastered for a long time now. A proven guru of cerebral boo-hoo anthems. She was first mentioned on Necessary Evil when I declared the sublime song Novel by her previous project Helltown as one of the best songs of the first half of 2019 that you might not have heard. Dudes, it’s been more than three and a half years since then, if you still haven’t heard it, then I think you might be past saving, seriously. And the name of that surrounding Helltown album, ‘Picture Perfect Depression’ really describes the music that she absolutely perfected with the project: incisive and often devastating explorations of her own personal demons set to absolutely pristine (initially) acoustic gorgeousness.
Changing musical projects wasn’t the only major adjustment that Elle had gone through recently. No spoilers, but check the pronouns on those Helltown reviews. I was, obviously, desperate to interview her, and said so in my Efficax review (“if you don’t see an interview with Efficax sometime early next year it means she hates me and by extension everyone reading this”). Luckily, Elle is obviously vulnerable to emotional blackmail, so agreed.
Fair warning, this interview goes to places. Remember how Elle is so good at articulating her emotional self through her lyrics and music? Yeah, turns out she’s really good at that in her normal voice as well.
You can make a lot of easy assumptions about people based on their feelings toward Psalm One.
Not in the sense of whether they like her or not – ain’t nobody not liking Psalm One! It’s psychologically impossible – more in the sense that they’re likely to give one of two answers.
Either they’ll say “Ermagod! I love her so much! She’s been one of the most notable underground hip-hop acts of the 21st century! More than two decades of critically adored music while being one of the genre’s most central voices on the experiences of a queer person’s struggles with the industry/world’s patriarchy! Her Twitter bio describes her as a ‘National Hip-Hop Treasure’ and, folks, where’s the lie?? Most importantly though, the woman drops banger after banger after banger after banger!”
There were only 121 of these bastards last year!! Extraordinarily poor planning on my part. There’s a lot of work to do, so I am not going to spend a lot of time on this intro. I will just say though… This list was named after a Sasha Banks catchphrase in WWE, and now she’s left that company… can I just have it?? Is it 100% mine now??
Anyway: Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else: 2022’s 154 best songs.
Thirteen different artists have won Necessary Evil since it first started in 2007. Maybe fourteen, depending on your take on 2013’s infamous Arctic Monkeys/Hjaltalín controversy. No artist has ever finished first twice. Until now. 070 Shake’s ‘Modus Vivendi’ was the greatest album of 2020, and the 2022 follow-up is unquestionably the greatest album released this year, with its only viable contender being a 1982 masterpiece widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. These are the only two albums she has released.
For a Christmas present, he sent for me to come out on the road to see him, all expenses paid. It was New Year’s Eve in Dallas for the 1999 tour. That’s when I totally got it. I had never seen anybody give so much to an audience. I got weak in the knees. I was by the soundboard and the soundman got me a chair. Then I was literally up screaming with the crowd and dancing, and it was like, ‘Oh, my God. This guy’s incredible.’ That’s when I realized who I was working with.
Oh, I’m sorry, did you forget about my Prince Journey? Did you think that albums on the journey couldn’t possibly finish this high? I regret to inform you that we’ve already entered the greatest run of albums in music history, so we’re likely to see Prince albums populating Necessary Evil’s top five until likely ‘Batman’ in around 2028. Also, it’s my (29th) birthday today, and you’re not going to let me talk about one of the greatest albums ever??
Back in 1982, this must have felt like it. Prince’s fifth album must have sounded like the ultimate and crowning masterpiece of His career. Not just ‘to date’, either, as ‘1999’ is such a comprehensive set of searing yet succeeded ambitions that it would have seemed unfeasible that Prince had anywhere left to go. He seemed to have finally perfected his mission statement: combining His formative ‘Minneapolis Sound’ with rock, reggae, electro pop, and heavy metal guitar screeches to create something entirely new, and to combine it with perfectly crafted pop songs to appeal to the mainstream. Prince had a one off hit song back in ’79 with the peppyI Wanna Be Your Lover, but as He’d grown as an artist and expanded his palate with more experimental and ambitious albums His commercial success had’t matched his critical one. Now, promoted by pop hits like Delirious, the inescapable title track and Little Red Corvette – legitimately one of the most perfect pop songs ever crafted – ‘1999’ provided that proper breakthrough. Despite being a double album, it entered the the US top 10, sold a million copies in only a few months and – despite being released in late 1982 – it’s staying power was enough for it to be the fifth biggest selling album of 1983.
Of course, this was no surprise to Prince, and only exactly what He had planned for.
We’re never really taught about friendships. I’m not arguing that we get bad information, or problematic role models, just that we get none at all. Your parents show you what to expect from relationships, what sexual love looks like, and what your expectations should be. Yeah, almost entirely wrongly, and that will likely ruin your whole life, but at least an archetype exists. They fuck you up, your mum and Dad, but at least that’s something.
Who shows you what friendship should look like? Your siblings?? Either you have such a difficult relationship with your siblings twisted by hierarchies subconsciously solidified within your family’s dynamic that friendship should be an escape from those relationship, or your connection with your siblings is so strong that no unrelated person could ever compare with the history you share, and no friendship can clear the prerequisites. I love my siblings (but also: fuck them, right?), you love your siblings (but also: fuck them, right?), you might wish you had siblings (but also: fuck that, right?), but that is not friendship.
So, yeah, first of all this achievement is out of the window, so I’m naturally a bit bitter about that.
But I had to really slow down and take stock as I entered the top five, as these five records are so close together in terms of absolute genital bursting incredible quality that I felt I needed to take a step back and really evaluate the order that I’d placed them in. Despite what that insolent little prick Shawn might say, this is important. Also, I really didn’t want my number one album to still be number one, for reasons that will become clear.