4 serpentwithfeet: DEACON

2018 #28

Seriously, three years ago today for serpentwithfeet’s previous album. No, no, duuuuuude, I’m not even joking, Josiah Wise’s previous album – the dark and forbiddingly sensual ‘soil’ – reached #28 back in 2018, and I wrote the blog post about it on December 24th 2018!! Dude, don’t you realise?? Today’s December 24th 2021!! You telling me that’s just a coincidence??

Seriously? I thought there’d be way more wrestlers named ‘Derrick’ or ‘Derek’ or whatever. Who even is this guy?? Derick Neikirk?? I’ve never even heard of him before, and I’m a fucking geek!! Not much of a beard, either. This whole thing’s been an absolute sham.

Yes. That is just a coincidence. Do we need to go through this again? Coincidences happen and they don’t mean anything, Microsoft releasing a game called ‘Omikron’ does not prove that Bill Gates masterminded the COVID outbreak, the Democrats don’t feast on child’s blood in order to survive – they would never be able to sort out anything that complex and meaningful, Biden did actually win the election even if only the losing side seem to care that much about it, whatever Gods you believe in aren’t real, and all the people you believe love you actually don’t, or if they do they will soon die anyway. Such is life. Can we start the blog post now?

CHILE I GOT US SOME GOOD NEWS

5 Ultrasound: Everything Picture (Deluxe Edition)

A synthesised orchestra bursts into life. And I mean bursts. If this were in a Disney movie and meant to signify the first buds of spring in some fantasy netherworld ruled by a giant and intimidatingly amiable field mouse, you’d still ask them to tone it down a bit. The orchestra repeats itself for a few bars, as if sweeping its arms across the landscape. Isn’t it beautiful?, it says, this world you believe to know? Isn’t life just idiotically charming when you don’t know any better?? Then, the orchestra stops, to be replaced by a single foreboding organ while the sounds behind it seem to be dripping out the last of their good will. Drip. Drip. Drop. Drip. The droplets seem to both become sparer and start to resemble a ticking clock, winding down to some unknown but anxiety inducing conclusion. The same music that had previously swept its hands in overt astonishment as the landscape that is now starting to melt away, now grabs you roughly by the collar and pulls you forward. It opens a hand to you containing a red pill and a blue pill. Before throwing them both in rage at the still deforming landscape.

“Nah, fuck that”, they say. “That trope has been done to death to such a point where it now somehow represents Men’s Right Activism. There aren’t just two routes anyway, there are an infinite ways to comprehend reality, let me show you them all“.

I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

6 Prince: Controversy

It’s a long way to the end if I want to jack you off. Year four of my approximately thirty year crusade to revisit and document each Prince album annually. I’ve so far found that His first two albums, unfortunately, really don’t stand up to modern scrutiny, but his third album ‘Dirty Mind‘ was as demonstrative a mark of His genius and as revelatory an LP in 2020 as it was in 1980. That album reached #7 on the year end chart and, fair warnings, we’re going to see a fair few of his following albums do the same, as that masterpiece officially kicked off one of the greatest run of albums any artist has done, ever.

While ‘Dirty Mind’ is much lauded over and intensely debated to this day, and His fifth album frequently joins it on lists of greatest albums ever (as does His sixth. And His seventh. And His eighth. And His ninth. And occasionally His tenth. Probably not His eleventh though), His follow up and fourth album ‘Controversy’ doesn’t get anywhere near the same attention. It seems to be looked upon as merely a transitional point between Prince really nailing down the style and the look on ‘Dirty Mind’ and then later finding the right mix of invariables to make him the biggest star in the world.

LET’s WORK

8 DAWN: Second Line

2019 #11, 2013 #24

DAWN (née Richards) is quietly becoming one of the world’s most astonishingly unique, progressive and essential artists. Well, I say ‘quietly’, there is absolutely nothing ‘quiet’ about her sixth studio album. It’s an extravagant, extraverted, shameless parade of confidence. Continuing the dissection and celebration of what New Orleans means to her that began on the (already fucking amazing. Already fucking. It fucks. That album fuuuuuucks. This one might even fuck harder. I have been violently pegged by this album for eight months now) 2019 album ‘New Breed’.

But ‘Second Line’ expands its focus far past the Louisiana city, aiming to use its Afrofuturism to comment on wider instances of black people migrating across state lines and why they ever felt moved to do so. Even when the lyrics or the spoken word montages from DAWN’s mother don’t explicitly make the statement, DAWN’s incredible amalgamation of seemingly every black musical culture of the last 500 years – jazz, obviously, but DAWN also ensures that you’d be able to consider her but never box her in as an artist performing funk, R&B, soul, hip-hop, blues or even grime – is still a pronounced statement on both the artist’s continued existence despite so many barriers, and also to the communities that were able to inspire that. There’s a lot going on here! Which is one of the reasons I love it!!

SO WON’T YOU CLICK LIKE ME?

9 Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon III: The Chosen

2020 #20, 2016 #5 (Kid Cudi) 2018 #8 (Kids Sea Ghosts)

Released in December last year, don’t make me come at you.

Kid Cudi, if you don’t love him your opinion and emotions are wrong and you should be extraordinarily ashamed. He could very well be argued to be one of the absolute most important musical artists of the past twenty years, so maybe that could be a reason you don’t love him. You don’t like ‘modern music’, right? Because you’re a cantankerous old fool? Well, the way it sounds is very much Kid Cudi’s fault, so boohoo him all you want. You do realise that everyone who ever loved you is now dead and you’re likely to follow them off this mortal coil sometime very soon? Cool. Just making sure you were aware how grossly old you are and how you are now impossible to love.

u/Sharp_Vermicelli8470 (who seems to have deleted their account)

I can actually do a pretty good Kid Cudi impression. No, wait, come back! I promise it’s not racist!! Well, not that racist… It might be a little racist, but not that much! I can basically write a fictitious Kid Cudi song, with all the ‘Mmmmmm‘s and all the ‘Woah-uh-woah’s and all the ‘Yes yes yes yes yes’ followed by ‘No!’, or potentially the other way around. It’s fucking uncanny. But I don’t know anyone who would appreciate it. Sigh, I can’t wait to start my TikTok, it’s gonna be freaking lit bruh!!

FALL INTO THE VOID

10 Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales

Top ten! Whoop whoop! Top ten! Whoop whoop! Feeling good?? Feeling stoked?? In that case, let’s bring the mood down a bit with an Andrea Dworkin quote:

Being Female in this world is having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behaviour and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice

From ‘Intercourse

Or maybe I’ll share a quote from a Joan Didion novel, between Grace and Charlotte, two women sojourning in the fictional central American country of ‘Boca Grande’:

I recall telling Charlotte about a village on the Orinoco where the female children were ritually cut on the inner thigh by their first sexual partners, the point being to scar the female with the men’s totem. Charlotte saw nothing extraordinary in this. “I mean that’s pretty much what happens everywhere , isn’t it?” she said. “Somebody cuts you? Where it doesn’t show?”

A Book of Common Prayers
MEAUX TALES

11 Lorde: Solar Power

2017 #2, 2013 #16

God,I hate writing this blog sometimes. I introduce ideas and introduce you to complex calculations, but unfortunately the vast majority of you pricks don’t read every post sequentially – which is the only way you can properly appreciate the art! – and instead drop in and out of the artists you like. Maybe you just googled ‘Michael McIntyre spanking Hugh Dennis with a cucumber’ and it’s brought you here. Because I just said it. Necessary Evil shames no kinks. You’re all welcome here.

Except you’re not! Because now I have to re-explain concepts I only just introduced a few posts ago! I’m writing Homer’s Iliad here, and you bozos are forcing me to reiterate where Greece is at the start of every paragraph. Only this blog (and its continuing narrative) is fucking better than The Iliad, That piece of trashy macho posturing is only 24 parts, whilst this entry is the five hundred and seventieth part of the ongoing Necessary Evil saga! Suck my contemporary dick, Homer, you ancient Greek prick. Oh, what’s that? You can’t? Oh yeah, because you’re dead. #pwned.

SECRETS OF A BLOG THAT’SSEEN IT ALL

12 Taylor Swift: evermore

2020 #32, 2019 #45, 2018 #59, 2014 #24

Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift! Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift!

Fuck, man, It’s Taylor, you bunch of fucking cunts! Somehow, amongst all the brouhaha, amongst all the controversies and talking points, amongst all the will shes and the won’t she’s and the have shes and the would shes, Taylor fucking Swift has now snuck five consecutive albums onto the Necessary Evil list. For a bit of context, Young Fathers – one of my absolute favourite modern acts – have had three. Radiohead have had two. Her talents are seriously beyond serious debate now, aren’t they?

NO BLOG, NO CRIME

13 Lingua Ignota: SINNER GET READY

“Aren’t you concerned you could infect other people if you get sick inside?”

“No…”

“People who don’t go to this church-”

“No, I’m covered in Jesus’s blood. I’m covered in Jesus’s blood.”

Woman interviewed by CNN entering a church in April 2020, sampled at the beginning of THE SOLITARY BRETHREN OF EPHRATA

On her phenomenally intense and altogether astonishing latest album, Lingua Ignota/Kristen Haytor sticks her claws deeply and violently down the throat of Christian theology, pulling out bloodies entrails that even fellow damned theological researcher Nick Cave feel a little queasy. She highlights the duality and crazed hypocrisy of blind devotion, while also seeming to float the thought of requesting the all-powerful dominance (you could almost call it ‘biblical’) of that good old fashioned Old Testament God to help soother her own wounds by inflicting painful reckoning on the people that have hurt her. Well, I say ‘people’… Men. It’s not a nice story. It’s a grim and horrific story that seems to have been continued recently in her relationship with Daughters‘ frontman Alexis Marshall. I’m not going to cover any of this in detail in this piece, but I feel it is important to be aware of.

The anger and malicious retributory intent reaches such an apex on I WHO BEND THE TALL GRASS, when Hayter sems to collapse to her knees, shivering with rage as she references Corinthians 2:14 and begs God’s help to ‘Take hold of my gentle axe and split him open/Gather up my quiet hammer and nail him down/Use any of your heavenly means/Your golden scythe/Your holy sword/Your fiery arrows studded with stars’ before abandoning any pretence of deference and simply screaming ‘I don’t give a fuck/Just kill him/You have to/I’m not asking’. It’s an absolute fucking trip.

SINNER, GET READY TO READ MORE