Phew, that last entry was a bit of a mess, wasn’t it? Barely mentioned the (excellent) song and just flew off into TMI land. It won’t be the last time that happens, I’ll often have something to get off my chest that I feel can’t wait until December, but I always feel that there has to be some overarching ‘point’ to each entry and this series is literally the only outlet I have for that. At least until I get around to starting ‘Sing of the Thrill’ [TITLE TO BE CONFIRMED], my long promised/threatened King of the Hill episode by episode retrospective that’s currently the second most eagerly anticipated literary operation behind George RRRRRR Martin’s ‘No, No, No, This is What Was Supposed to Happen!’. To make up for Entry #4, this time around I’m actually just going to talk about one of the greatest songs ever for a thousand words or so, all tangents and flights of fancy will be kept to an absolute minimum, and if anything I’ll be undersharing, yeah? We cool? We cool.
This post contains a lot of information cribbed from Simon Reynolds’s fantastic Pitchfork article from last year. I might call him a ‘contributor’, but the fact is that he’s very likely to sue me for royalties once the money starts rolling in.
I don’t mean to say ‘don’t answer that’ as a joke, like the answer would somehow be difficult to hear, it was an entirely serious suggestion. An order, really. It would really slow this entry down to a standstill were I to pause now to open it up for reader’s suggestions. It’s pretty much the definition of a rhetorical question, see? I’m not actually expecting you to answer, merely just asking it for dramatic effect. Do you see? Good.
What makes a pop star/musical artist an actual star? What makes them compelling? What makes them inspirational? What makes them essential? What exact element compels you to drop to your knees and pledge eternal allegiance to some pop stars, making an oath that even if they were to release autotuned snippets of gas being released from their intestinal tract you would crawl naked over broken glass to purchase it the second it’s released? What renders them different from those artists who are given short tenancy in your consciousness, occupying next to no time in your thoughts and plans outside the three to four minutes it takes for their music to pass between your ears?
If you’d said ‘the music’, you’d be completely wrong. You’re an idiot and I never want you to talk to me again. Yes, that’s it, turn your chair around. Bow your head. Think about how fucking stupid you are.
I’ve explained on this blog before how music journalism is absolute bollocks. A person’s response to music is a primal and unconscious reaction that simply can’t be described in words. Because of this paradox 99% of music reviews are the writer vainly attempting to explain why he or she likes or hates a song and twisting themselves into utter bollocks. You like a song because it sparks an unnamed fuse in your belly and twists your stomach in a knot*. You like a song because it reminds you of a time you were happier. You like a song because it reminds you of someone you love. You like a song because it soundtracked the sex scene in Trainspotting. You like a song because you really want to fuck the singer. You like a song because you did fuck the singer. All music journalism assumes an objective truth that can never be, and supposes there is any use in a larger knowledge of context. Just because you’ve religiously listened to all of Avril Lavigne’s records in the past doesn’t make your opinion on Hello Kitty any more valid. No matter the circumstances, no matter the knowledge, no matter the context, you can never force yourself to either like or hate a song. These things are primeval and undefinable.
(*Evidently, reactions to music are primarily based in the digestive organs)
Music journalism could never hope to describe- or even comprehend- that dizzy and nauseous feeling you get when you fall in love with a song. This series isn’t a ‘review’ of the greatest songs ever, it’s simply aiming to be a practically collated list of all the songs that electrify your innards.
There is an extremely high chance that I’m going to die relatively soon. Like, probably tomorrow.
OK, not probably tomorrow. Possibly tomorrow. OK, maybe not even ‘possibly’. Maybe tomorrow.
Alright, the chances of me dying tomorrow, or even in the upcoming days, are admittedly quite remote. But I could die any minute.
I mean, admittedly, we could all die at any minute of any day, such is the deliciously cruel randomness of life, but let’s face it- I’m far more likely to die a long time before you. I am a medical wreck; I take very few measures to protect my life; I have a dangerous curiosity when it comes to both legal and illegal substances and yet so blissfully unaware of my surroundings that the likelihood of me being hit by a bus or eaten by an escaped hyena* (that everyone else noticed was coming from miles away) are extremely high. This is all despite the fact that you so deserve to die before me! Come on, admit it- you’re a fucking waste of your disgustingly over extended skin!
(*Yeah, I know hyenas only generally feast on dead carcasses, but have you seen me lately? I’m sure they’ll take one look at my decrepit body and decide “Close enough”. Cheeky sods)