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??
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“.
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.
Self Esteem’s Rebecca Louise Taylor will not… Oh, I’m sorry, they hadn’t finished…
Roaw! Roaw! Rrrrrow-oooh!
Is that a woman making that noise?? Is it Rebecca?? It really sounds like a dog. Kudos to whomever makes those barks. Especially if it’s actually a dog, because dogs always deserve kudos
Sorry about that. As I was saying, Self Esteem’s Rebecca Louise Taylor will not rein in her need to be completely free, even if that freedom needs to occasionally be protected by imitating a pack of dogs while out with her friends. When men talk about protecting our freedoms, it’s generally concerned with not being forced to choose ‘English’ as our language when using ATMs or having to wear dirty Communist masks to stop people dying of an infectious disease (which is exactly the same as fucking Hitler by the way! The Nazis was all about mildly inconveniencing people in order to save lives! Wake up sheeple!). When women in 2021* talk about protecting their freedom, they generally mean having to go out of their way to protect their freedom to exist, to protect their freedom of their own agency, protect their freedom to, y’know, live, when roughly 50% of the population are the people who have shown time and time again how much they hate you and would happily rape and murder you. Oh, and I guess if you’re a man – especially in countries that generally have a more laissez faire attitude over killing machines, our freedom also includes the right to kill other people. Maybe women, I dunno, stop trying to politicise my bloodlust!!
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!!
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.
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!!
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
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?”
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.
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?
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.