#71 BIG|BRAVE: Vital

See that punctuation mark between the ‘big’ and the ‘brave’ in this Montreal band’s name? That actually has many names, depending on what context it’s used. In computing it’s called a ‘pipe‘; in Sanskrit it’s known as a ‘danda’; and in logic it’s known as a ‘Sheffer stroke‘. The ‘Sheffer stroke’ is named after early 20th century logician Henry M. Sheffer who, in cruel irony, actually died of a stroke. Maybe. Probably not. I don’t actually know how he died. Also, I’m not sure that counts as irony, but that’s a debate for a different time. In general, that long, dripping ‘L’ is simply referred to as a ‘vertical bar‘.

Anyway, just thought I’d explain the definitions here so I could say the following sentence: See that vertical bar in BIG|BRAVE‘s name? That’s pretty cool, innit? Don’t know if I’ve seen a band use that before.

GLAD TO GET THAT OUT THE WAY

#75 Marissa Nadler: The Path of the Clouds

In 1928 the newly wed Glen and Bessie Hyde had honeymoon plans that would likely put yours to shame (definitely mine). You know how when your talking to your fiancee about your future wedding plans and one of you inevitably suggests trying to break the world speed record for traversing the Grand Canyon in a boat? In reality, this traditional fantasy never comes to pass, but six months after their marriage Glen and Bessie actually tried to walk the walk. Bessie would also become the first woman to run the canyon, so she was absolutely #girlbossing the shit out of everything.

“When are we going after the world speed records that I want to break…?”

On November 18th 1928, the couple visited photographer Emery Colb at his home and studio on the Grand Canyon rim to take some photos commemorating them setting off on their history making trip. And off they went. Forever! Dun dun duuuuuuun! A search party was launched about a month later, when the couple failed to make it to places along the Canyon as expected. They found the boat still full of the couples’ supplies, notebooks and equipment. Bassie had #girlbossed too close to the sun, and her and Glen were never seen again.

Or were they??

CLICKBAIT!!

#76 Aunt Sally: Aunt Sally

Before we criticise the gross and indefensible spectacle of the 2022 World Cup – where perhaps billions of people around the world tune in to watch a spectacle so polluted by decaying capitalism that hundreds or perhaps thousands of ill treated migrant workers have forcibly sacrificed their lives in order just to provide us global ruling classes our shits and giggles – let’s at least compare the quality of competitive entertainment to what it was a few hundred years ago. The game Aunt Sally dates back to 17th century and was played at fairgrounds in pub gardens across the middle English counties. It involves participants throwing sticks or battens at a ‘doll’ placed upon a pole. Traditionally, that doll is an old woman named ‘Aunt Sally. It has also been suggested that the doll eventually got its name ‘Aunt Sally’ because it was at one point meant to be in blackface and inspired by the character (sigh) Black Sal in the 1821 novel ‘Life in London‘. So, essentially, it was a game where drunk middle Englanders would throw things at an old black woman. But don’t despair at missing out on such good old fashioned competitive hate crimes – the The World Aunt Sally Open Singles Championships takes place every year in Oxfordshire. The first event in 2011 was attended by David fucking Cameron, because of course it was.

“Take this, you little pickaninny…”

An ‘Aunt Sally’ is also what you’d call an easily disprovable fallacy, so maybe I’ve been really clever and nothing I said in the previous paragraph is true and wouldn’t stand up to even the briefest of research. However, I know I’m safe, as none of you fat lazy slobs can ever be arsed to extend even the most minute of effort. It’s also the name of a 1938 film English film, which given those two pieces of information is also likely to be extremely racist. What I’m saying is: it’s not easy to Google the extraordinary 1970s Japanese punk band Aunt Sally.

That Aunt Sally rereleased their 1979 debut album in 2021, and provided more evidence for my reasoning to fucking hate punk music.

BAIT AND SWITCH?? ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT!

#77 Soccer Mommy: Sometimes, Forever

We all like to imagine relationships ending in flames, don’t we? We want to think that all affiliations will grow into a whirlwind of emotions and angst until one partner is Marlon Brando STELLAAAAAAAAAAAAAing their guts out to the other partner, Adam Driver, inside the house… shouting…? I dunno, I’ve not seen that relationship film where Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson shout at each other, but I gather it’s rather intense. Both of the partners will inevitably accuse the other of gaslighting them because, Jesus Christ, we just can’t get enough of using that fucking word, can we? You don’t think this Burberry scarf goes with my faux leather pants? Quit gaslighting me. You fascist.

“No I am not getting changed before the wedding, stop gaslighting me. If your sister has an issue, maybe she should first think about how fat she’s got recently. Glass houses, know what I mean? You both get it from your bitch mother…”

When we see an old friend and find out that they broke up with Alan, we’re always so disappointed to hear they just ‘drifted apart’. No, fuck that! Where are the story’s of Alan punching through walls or cutlery being thrown across your apartment as you both exchange obscenities!? Where’s the anecdote of both of your infidelities coming to light on the day you were supposed to get married when it’s suddenly revealed that you’re both fucking the Imam officiating the wedding?? One of life’s most depressingly dull facts is that the vast majority of relationships end with a sad whimper. Listen, there are billions of relationships in the world, and billions of people will be in multiple relationships. The majority of these relationships won’t be good fits. They might have thought they were in love at one point, but more likely they just really liked each other. Then they started to merely like each other. Then they tolerated each other. Now, they just find each other a bit annoying. It’s fine, it’s normal, and I’m not talking about your relationship, you and Stuart are meant for each other. Yeah, that’s the person you’re happy to spend the rest of your life with, yeah? Yeah?

The rest. Of your life…

#78 Jordana: Face the Wall

Allow me, if you will, to present a tale. A tragedy, really. One that took place in 2022. The biggest thing to take place in 2022. Yeah, I know, I previously said that some other shit was bigger, but I was just fronting, this was the tale that truly defined the year.

May I please be as bold as to take you back to last year’s Legit Bosses list, upon which Jordana appeared five times?

Pretty ballsy of me to state that Jordana not agreeing to an interview meant that she automatically hated me and everyone reading? Perhaps for other people, but I have always been confident in my writing skills and the affection that Jordana has for her fans, especially one who has been with her from the start such as me. Also, I have generally been good at judging this kind of thing in the past: I haven’t done many interviews for this blog in the past, but every person I’ve asked has agreed.

That includes you as well, reading this now, by the way. If she didn’t agree to an interview it meant she hated me, hated everyone reading that original post and also everyone who ever read this blog, and also everyone who ever read anything, on or off this blog, in the present, in the future, and in the past. Pretty hateful thing to do, I’m sure you’ll agree. But! Like I said! No worries! I knew we had each other’s backs.

but you drive me insane

#79 Waxahatchee: El Deafo (Apple TV+ Original Series Soundtrack)

OK, OK, OK, OK, full disclosure: this ‘album’ is nine minutes long. It manages to fit five tracks into its runtime. Kinda. The first two tracks are essentially the same song. Oh, and of the remaining three tracks, two aren’t even close to lasting as long as a minute. I’m sure this will start a veritable flame war of controversy and divisive debate over whether it really deserves to be considered alongside the year’s greatest. I’m sure there will be much blood shed needlessly over this inclusion unless I get ahead of the narrative and immediately offer an apology.

(I’m not doing this bit on every entry, I promise…)

Yeah, seem to have forgotten for a second that, although this list is actually scientifically backed up and objective data based approach to the year’s best music, it’s also indisputably my fucking list and any of you chumps have an issue with that be sure to send all complaints through to suck@mygigantic.ballsack. Dot com. Dot org. Oh, you don’t like it? Well how about you make your own list? Oh, what’s that, you can’t? Well isn’t that funny? Oh, oh, oh, you’ve made a list have you? Let me have a look…

will i have a look?? find out next!

“Until They Smash the Manmade Order of Things, Race Having No Meaning Won’t be a Possibility” – mynameisblueskye Interview

Boston’s mynameisblueskye can often seem a little… daunting.

And I don’t just mean his extensive and creatively rich discography. Since releasing his first music back in 2010, Skye has rafted dozens of albums, EPs, artistic projects and other ventures, dedicated to exploring the limits and potential of his own art. Even the partial catalogue available on his BandCamp page presents a vivid kaleidoscope of lucid cover art and arresting titles. Guy once released a record called Diary of a Pretty Corpse. Dude is metal as fuck. And all this is before you even listen to his music, which is often the sound of black holes collapsing in on themselves but expressed through the smallest rocks in the galaxy crashing together. You could probably describe mynameisblueskye as ‘lo-fi’, but this is often less a stylistic choice and more a necessity of his real world constraints. He manages to create magic using just a few keyboards and a laptop. But only because he has to. If you offered him a forty eight piece orchestra and the St Winifred’s School Choir, he’d sure as hell use them.

No, interviewing mynameisblueskye also felt a little daunting to me. I know very little about the guy personally, but from following his dedicated release schedule for maybe four years since being introduced to his world through a Z Tapes compilation, and from following his frequent incisive Tweets… I kinda got the impression.. that he’s a really smart guy

mynameisblueskye straddles the black, LGBT, autistic and creative arts communities, seems to have a deep understanding and respect for all of them and is able to consume and analyse the culture of all the communities he intersects. And he isn’t an artist worried his music might be ‘too political’. He’s always aware of big issues and always has the confidence to take them on. Even that song which I glibly described as having a ‘metal as fuck’ title is actually about the state murder of black people and how people often only care when they’re presented with a body: “Diary of a Pretty Corpse is about feeling like a black life that doesn’t really get his due in the world until he was dead, and when he does die by the hand of cruel people, they get the audacity to rule it as something dark as a suicide.”

See? How dumb am I going to look asking him about superheroes and professional wrestling? He even knows far more than me about music, any interview could be a bloodbath.

Still, the release of ‘One Last Look’ – a collection of rarities and songs recorded for various compilations over the past five years – gave me an opportunity to reach out, a chance to get a quick idea of how the world looks through mynameisblueske’s eyes. The interview went to some truly fascinating areas, and Skye really stepped up to nail and then elaborate on each question. He was a fantastic interviewee, and after reading this you owe it to yourself to investigate one of our most singular artists further. And have you seen that back catalogue? Best get started…

Continue reading ““Until They Smash the Manmade Order of Things, Race Having No Meaning Won’t be a Possibility” – mynameisblueskye Interview”

30 Jordana: Something to Say to You

2020 #59 (Jordana), 2021 #56 (with TV Girl)

Jesus, everyone, Jordana was twenty one years old when she released this incredible record back in December 2020 (Making it. Eligible. For this year’s. List. So sick of having to explain how this works), isn’t that just terrifying?

For her, I mean. This isn’t one of those “Whaaaaa! They’re so young and I’ve comparatively failed in life!” takes. Partially because – Jesus fucking Christ – those mournings are so boring. We’ve all failed in life, that’s what connects us so beautifully as people, and even the ones we assume haven’t still think they have, let’s not create divisions by imagining any one of us is making a better go of this shitshow we call existence. Mostly because, seriously, you eventually get to an age where fucking everyone is younger than you (except Caroline Shaw, of course), you stop being such a big baby about the whole thing (“Malala Yousafzai was only fifteen years old when she was shot in the face by Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan gunmen?! Lucky!! What had I done by that age??”) and instead switch to being in constant mortal dread of your own imminent demise. It’s honestly a cool transition.

I’ve got something more to say to you