OK, fair warning- maybe even a trigger warning, but I’ve got to be careful because some people get so fucking angry when you word a content warning that way*- but this post might go to some pretty dark places. I mean, I’m just going to talk about my life a bit, which is always going to be a bit dark, isn’t it? For you, I mean. I’m alright with it, I fucking live with it, but I appreciate how some people might get a bit uncomfortable. These people can just read my Princess Nokia bit again, that was pretty funny. I’m going to use the brilliant ‘B/X’ album as a jumping off point to talk about how I was ‘freed from my body’, then masterfully bring it back at the end to Don’t Do It Neil. It’ll be a fucking amazing post, and I don’t know why more people don’t read this blog, it’s fuckin’ straight fire.
(*because some people- and I can’t stress this enough- are fucking dumb)
Your affection for Lizzo’s third album will all depend on how well acquainted you are with it. If you absolutely love it then you’re almost certainly a recent convert to the Lizzo cause. Maybe as recently as October, a friend advised you that a few spins of the record really ‘takes the edge off’ a fentanyl binge the night before. You try it out and- you know what??- it really does! Its infectious and unashamedly boisterous confidence acts as a vital kick start to your vital organs. “‘The only exes that I care about are in my fucking chromosomes ‘!!* That’s so true!!”, you announce to yourself, before curling up into a ball on the floor and weeping as you consider how ashamed your mother must be of you.
(*obviously, you’d say this out loud, so that pun would make a lot more sense)
Maybe you appreciate it in moderation. This will because you were first introduced to it back in July, after Temposoundtracked your particularly memorable sexual experience, after it happened to be playing on the radio of the Audi A4 you were carjacking at the time, and these things tend to stick with you. You’re always happy to give Lizzo a listen and appreciate what stellar pop songs the album’s highlights are, but can rarely stomach a full 42 minutes at any one time. You’ve started to cringe ever so slightly at Lizzo’s constant, overbearing shtick of ‘I DON’T NEED NOBODY I KNOW I’M AWESOME NO MATTER WHAT I’M GOING TO DATE MYSELF KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE I’M FUCKING AMAZING THAT’S WHO JET FUEL DOESN’T MELT STEEL RT IF YOU LOVE KEANU REEVES IS EVERYBODY HAVING A GOOD TIME?!?!’ , plus the fact that a good 45% of her lyrics are simply viral Tweets that she liked (and, erm, then attempted to trademark) ensures the the love you briefly held for it after first hearing it has now cooled significantly. Yeah, I know, you have to really read between the lines for that jet fuel stuff, but it’s there.
Yeah, I know, continuing my proud tradition of naming the year’s best movie alongside the albums of the year countdown. ‘Under the Skin‘ was named 2014’s movie of the year, but the award went unclaimed in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and indeed every year before 2014. However, the (latest) masterpiece by Ken Loach, ‘Sorry We Missed You,’ was such a powerful piece that inspired such painful bolts of recognition and sheer fucking anger that I had to make space in 2019 to talk about it.
Oh, and by the way, this isn’t going to be one of those “Ooooooh, look at the camera angles! isn’t the mise en scène lovely?! Hints of Akira Kurosawa’s vagina dentata, perhaps??” reviews, as I have no interest in actually talking about the movie. Instead, these is mainly going to be a thousand words or so of me ranting about the twisted nature of capitalism in 2019. Like I said, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
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.
Why are we encouraged to state what ‘The Best [CULTURAL CONTENT] of the Year So Far’ is at the start of June? It isn’t half way through the year. It’s just over five months in. The Guardian stated what were the ‘Best albums of 2019 so far‘ on June 4th! That’s only 154 days into the year!! That’s only 42.19% of the way through!!! Unless I’ve forgotten how to work out percentages!!!! Which is very possible!!!!! Wow, I’m using a lot exclamation marks in this paragraph!!!!!!
Well, anyway, I want in. I want a mouldy old piece of that rotten SEO pie, though released far closer to the actual year’s mid point of July 2nd. I’m not going to list the best albums of 2019 though, because I already often struggle to think of things to write come December, and I don’t want to waste that awesome simile I’ve devised to explain my thoughts on the new Jonas Brothers album six months early. Be patient. It’ll blow your mind. So I’ve decided to list the best songs of the year so far, similar to what I did in 2016. Although this time I didn’t just want to add my feeble, narcissistic voice to the chorus of intellectual critics praising songs like Old Town Road or Sweet but Psycho. You already know these songs are great, yeah? So I’ve tried to shine light on amazing songs by amazing artists off (mostly) amazing albums that there’s a chance you might not have previously heard. Get investigating, yeah? They’re in pretty much the order I remember to list them, because, seriously, fuck lists.
(If you can’t bother reading, there’s a handy Spotify playlist for the illiterates)
Fuck… I’m not going to finish this before tonight, am I…? Yeah, it’s gonna have to be a three parter. Sorry… 22-11 is here
10: 2018 Women’s MITB
I was all set to start this entry off by explaining the massive caveat in the room. I was planning to sit you all down, make you all a nice soothing drink, lightly tickle you all round the back of the ear and in a cool, calming voice explain that no, this almost definitely isn’t really the tenth best MITB ladder match of all time. As I sensually stroked your inner thighs to calm your righteous sense of injustice I would explain how aware I was of rating the first two female MITB matches as scientifically the weakest two in the stipulation’s history, and how I must have been subconsciously desperate to rank their third go around highly in order to address this imbalance. I’d kiss your cheek as I explained how dreaded context meant it was important to slightly overrate a match that would probably be deemed little better than par for the course were it contested by people each holding a presumed pair of testicles and a thick, veiny and lipsmackingly tempting schlong swinging between their legs*. As your boorish fury at men being discriminated against once again built up, I would try and save matters by explaining that the ridiculously high placing was more in appreciation of how a perfectly serviceable ladder match was managed to be put together by wrestlers with next to no experience in the stipulation, at only the third try. As you angrily and loudly threw furniture around the room and fired off multiple Reddit posts asking whether it was even legal to talk about men any more, I would tearfully explain how I didn’t want all three female MITB matches to float around the bottom of this list, and by far the best of these three was ranked so high as mainly a symbolic recognition of great strides made. However, it’d be too late. By that point, I’d have already been officially and forever deemed a shameless ‘White Knight‘, and political correctness will have decisively gone mad.
(*apart from [WRESTLER], ammi right, lads?! I’ll let you make your own joke their, as I am unarguably better than that, whereas you are patently not)
We are all history now. Me writing this is creating an (unimaginably minuscule) part of history. When you read it and go on Twitter to gush to all your girl mates about how darn adorable I am, you’re creating history. Even when you hold your nightly WhatsApp reading group to debate the day’s findings on the Necessary Evil blog you are, in a small way, writing history. When Sarah Assbring (El Perro Del Mar’s guiding force) got tired of me direct messaging her with the latest “I’d like to bring your ass” play on words that I’d managed to think up, and successfully applied for a restraining order online, she became a part of history.
This is a fact. It has many positive consequences- I like making history all up in that prick Jamie’s face whenever he’s such an indefensible noob at COD- and many negative ones. For an example, I had to cancel my planned Christmas trip to Scandinavia because it would bring me within twelve hundred miles of Sarah Assbring’s Gothenburg home. I have also thought of exactly twenty seven new plays on her name that she might never get to hear. Oh! Twenty eight!
We have to stop talking about ‘The Internet’ like it’s a distinct and separate thing, a place somehow separate to everything else. We need to stop talking about ‘The Internet’ in the same way we talk about that time I wet my pants ‘at the zoo’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at Kew Gardens’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at the UN National Assembly’. Also, we need to stop talking about the times I wet my pants, can we not talk about your day for a change??
‘The Internet’ is no longer this curious and hidden alternative to reality used only by weirdos to secretly find what other depraved people near them also believe that Star Wars was never really that fucking good in the first place*. ‘The Internet’ is now just ‘Everything’. It has no unique facets or distinctive characteristics, it’s just ‘The World’.
“My pussy teaching 9th grade English/My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism/In conversation with a marginal system/In love with Jesus”
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?
Before I start- even though by writing this I am actually starting, and it’s therefore impossible to write anything before I start because I will always be starting however I decide to claim that I am adding something before I start and so something can never be written before I start- I’d just like to let you know that I’m actually writing this entry while at work at the Manchester Refugee Support Network. After you’ve read this (hopefully short) entry, you can decide for yourself whether it was worth the incalculable numbers of Manchester refugees who suffered due to my lack of attention. Just keep that in mind.