18 & 17 Big Thief vs Big Thief!

Both ‘U.F.O.F’* and ‘Two Hands’ are fantastic albums. Certainly, nobody has had two albums in the Necessary Evil top 20 before, and it’s certainly to be commended how an artist can release two separate albums of general quality as these two blasts of mana. But let’s temper our explosive ejaculations just a bit, yeah? The two albums last a total of 82 minutes (perhaps. I honestly don’t trust my own maths). Lupe Fiasco’s criminally underappreciated ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ was NINETY EIGHT fucking MINUTES- because Lupe is mildly insane- and was far better than either of these records. There are twenty two tracks spread across these two records. Pffff! ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ has twenty four tracks! And that was 24 tracks narrating the story of the transatlantic slave trade and making it work as an analogy for rebirth and second chances. What’s that, Big Thief? Woozy Impressionism of banal domestic themes? You’re gonna push that for twenty two tracks? Alright. Ha! You thought I wouldn’t have the chance to talk about Lupe Fiasco this year!

Yes! What’s that, Lupe?! What’s that?! He’s talking about you again! Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?!?!

 

(*Unidentified Flying Object Fuck. I mean… I assume… It doesn’t say on its Wikipedia page, so I’m out of ideas**)

(**it stands for friend! Unidentified Flying Object Friend!! Dudes, that’s so lame! I’m just saying, if I was 10 years old, I’d call it ‘totally gay’. Luckily, I’m older and wiser and fatter and gayer these days, so I understand the offensive connotations of referring to something as ‘gay’ in the pejorative sense. That’s why I am not saying that calling your album ‘Unidentified Flying Object Friend’ is ‘really gay’. So it’s not. But it totally is, do you understand?)

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The Best Albums of the Tennies (kind of…) Part One

Has this even been a decade? Like, other decades were definitely decades, weren’t they? The 70s were definitely a decade, I’ve seen pictures. It was all flared jeans and Ashton Kutchers. I remember the 80s, it was all primary colours and He Man toys. Except I’m 29 years old, which now unfortunately means I was born in 1990, so I don’t actually remember the 80s. Shame.

Yeah, I know, the Megadrive version was better…

The NINETIES though! Remember the NINETIES?! That was an unarguable ‘decade’! There was a undeniable vibe to the 90s. The 90s was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air doing the Macarena after scoring the winning penalty against Ginger Spice in the Euro 96 quarter finals. Remember that? It definitely happened and was definitely 90s!!

I turned 16 (or possibly 10) three days before the year 2000, and since then life doesn’t really deal in decades or conveniently distinct periods of time anymore. Every decade, every year, every day is now a seemingly unending trudge through hideous adulthood. Life and popular culture just trundles off in a different direction and your major marking points become all the more onanistic and self-centred. I started getting fucking old. And when you’re fucking old you’re beaten down by capitalism’s endless rat race that you don’t even fucking care what year it is.

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Money in the Ranked part 3 (5-1)

OK, we’re definitely finishing this fucker…

Part 1

Part 2

5: Wrestlemania 24

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How many words have I vomited onto my fingers then indelicately smeared across my keyboard in respect of Money in the Bank matches? Ten thousand? Fifteen? A million?? Probably closer to the latter*. A lot, I think we can agree.

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(*Or should I say, probably closer to the LADDER?!?! Yeah. A good, solid pun. My worry is the word ‘latter’ is probably not in wide enough usage for the fucking killer joke to really hit home. I know, it’s not fair, my burgeoning comic career is being badly hampered by my audience’s lack of vocabulary. Again. It’s like when my 12 night stand at the Comedy Club received scathing reviews (“If AIDs had sex with cancer, and frequently drank moonshine during the pregnancy, the severely mentally disabled child would be Alex Palmer’s stand-up set” – Time Out) because nobody understood my hilarious observation of how the word ‘Brexit’ kind of rhymed with the third person singular active indicative of the Latin word for ‘understand’. Screw you, plebs, my 45 minutes on the topic are killer and I ain’t dumbing it down.)

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25 Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red

“It get lonely at the top and I do it by myself
I got everything I want without anybody help
Do you think I give a fuck? Only care about myself
I’m a stone-cold killer, couple notches on my belt”

How much do you think your life is governed by your own actions? How much do you believe it’s actually under the jurisdiction of outside forces that are not of your making, or even understanding? That’s right, it’s Boxing Day and, as Thomas scoffed at Jesus as he sceptically rolled his eyes, it’s time to talk about your locus of control.

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See that picture there? Yeah, that pretty much explains what a ‘locus of control’ is. I’m going to explain it again here though because, I dunno, you might have a very specific type of blindness, or maybe your version of Netscape doesn’t support pictures. It’s important for me to explain it myself, because I don’t like to feel that a blog this insightful, inspirational and- dare I say it?- woke, could just as easily be written by pasting appropriate pictures from Google images. Also, my sponsor pays me by the word, so this completely superfluous paragraph has already made me a very rich man. Anyway, locus of control:

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69 Noname: Room 25

“My pussy teaching 9th grade English/My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism/In conversation with a marginal system/In love with Jesus”

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When Noname released her second album back in some time in the past (there really is no way of knowing), Amazon offered the opening (and possibly best) track, Self, to listen to as a sample. Early in the song she states “Y’all really thought a bitch couldn’t rap huh?/Maybe this your answer for that, a crack era/The Reagan administration that niggas are still scared of?”, and being the sucker I am for commentaries on the (still) worst US President of the modern era. Soon afterwards, she utters the aforementioned bang up the elephant line that you really should be well aware of by now, and I was sold. I immediately chucked £7.99 at Noname and her scholarly vagina. I later found out that she was also on Bandcamp, so purchased it again in the assumption that she was likely to see a lot more of the money, judging by the amount of cash Amazon siphoned off when I published a couple of books a couple of years ago. For that reason, ‘Room 25’ is the only 2018 album that could be considered so good that I bought it twice.

The thing is though, what does that line actually mean?

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Best Albums of 2013: Necessary Evil’s Chris Benoit

I’ve tried to put this off for a long time: the 2013 best albums list that I originally emailed off to ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ around Christmas that year is the final collection to be posted onto the webisphere and officially archived. I considered never doing it, denying its existence and never admitting to the shameful mistakes it contains. However, when I write my NE2017 list (soon, I promise) I want to make a point of referring to artists’ past entries in the Necessary Evil Blogging Universe (NEBU), so I’ve relented and made it available to read.

I was mainly worried about two things: firstly, I spent 6 months of 2013 in hospital, occasionally politely coughing and making my existence known to death’s door, so the fact that I managed to still mash out a top 50 at year’s end- while being an astonishing achievement warranting some achievements in disability award- makes me assume that a large portion of it will be unreadable madness.

Yes, very funny: more so than usual

Secondly, Arctic Monkey’s award for best album was soon revoked in light of their tax dodging selfishness, and the records for 2013 now show Hjaltalin’s astonishing ‘Enter 4′ as the greatest album, as despite it only finishing 5th in this initial list, by the time Arctic Monkey’s were stripped of the award it had grown into my favourite release of the year. Arctic Monkey’s win in 2013 is now viewed in the Necessary Evil Online Community (NEOC) with the same divisiveness as Benoit’s Wrestlemania 20 Heavyweight Championship win, and doubtless the posting of this list will be viewed as an extremely controversial move by victims of the Arctic Monkeys’ crimes. I apologise for any offence caused, but you must understand the importance of establising the legitimacy of NEBU.

So, I re-read the list for the first time in years and…

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It’s…

…not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I’d say that 2013 might contain some of my best and most incisive actual music writing, and I didn’t cringe nearly as much as I feared. Jesus, some of the entries (The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Kanye West…) are some of the best normal writing I’ve ever done! From death to coherence: I’m such a fucking inspirational figure

It’s far from perfect- I make a quip about Bowie not dying, I’m a little too subtly sexist in my Haim review, Steve Mason is number fucking two…- but I’m not completely overwhelmed by shame posting them

Also: Daft Punk are only no.42, Vampire Weekend 34, that’s pretty gangsta

NE2017 soon, I promise

I love you all

Except you

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