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.
A man enters the bar, possibly Irish, possibly Scottish, possibly Micronesian. His nationality isn’t important to the rest of this wry story. The bar was actually in Eastern Ukraine, but the man might have been on holiday, we don’t know. He orders a double negative. The barman asks him what the hell a ‘double negative’ is. The guy says it’s what he calls a double martini. The barman says that it was a lame way of trying to find some relation to the particular album this story ends up on, but took the man’s money and served him a drink. After the man finishes the double negative, he peeks inside his shirt pocket then orders the bartender to prepare another one. The barman asks him where exactly in the world do people call a double martini a ‘double negative. The man says that everyone calls it a ‘double negative’ where he;s from. The barman asks where he’s from. The man says where he’s from isn’t important, as it doesn’t play into the punchline in any way. The barman rolls his eyes and hands over the drink. After the man finishes it, he again peeks inside his shirt pocket and orders the bartender to bring another double negative. The bartender says, “Look mate, I have to say you’re being really weird. You call a double martini a ‘double negative’, you say that everyone does where you come from then refuse to elaborate on where exactly that is. Then there’s the thing with the photo in the pocket. You’re bumming me out! I’ll bring you ‘double negatives’ all night long, but can you at least tell me why you look inside your shirt pocket before you order a refill.” The customer replies, “I’m peeking at a photo of my wife. When she starts to look good, I know it’s time to go home.”
Wa-hey! Because his wife… his wife’s really ugly… I guess… Thought I’d start with a joke, because this post is a little low on brevity. I am, unfortunately, unbearably serious about how much I love this record
If you haven’t seen and heard Tierra Whack’s outstanding album, ‘Whack World’, then you should absolutely be ashamed of yourself. But there’s really no reason that shame needs to engulf you for long. It’s fifteen fucking minutes. Here it is:
If you’re reading this, the language I tend to use would suggest that you speak English and maybe 说一点中文. You’re almost definitely British, perhaps American or European. Bizarrely enough, based on the people who read my blog, almost certainly not from Australasia. What’s up with that, Oceania? Don’t I get no love?
Anyway, you’re more than likely, through sheer luck of birth, to have never had to put up with much dividing and conquering yourself. This time, right now, is actually the most peaceful time in human history. Now, for the first time ever, more people die from traffic accidents (because we’re useless drivers), obesity (because we’re fat bastards) and even suicide (because, as I’ve put it so bluntly before, there really is no fucking point) than die from human violence. Back when we we all lived all 27 years of our miserable life milking a the family duck or sifting through cow shit to find bits worth eating, 15% of all human deaths came through human violence, usually because of the endless war that we were all stuck in. In the 20th century, it was just 5%, as we still had two World Wars to get out of our system Now, it’s only about 1%. Alright, we don’t want to count our chickens too early, and I’m sure the 20th century was looking pretty rosie throughout a lot of 1918, all it takes is an Austrian Archduke being murdered in Syria or the Korean Peninsula and it could be World War 3 (luckily, Austrian Archdukes are quite rarely spotted in Syria and in either Korea). But, in the West at least, it may be Happy New Year (War is Over)!
I’m sorry to start off on a bit of a downer here, and I know that a white person mentioning these things is always a bit of a bummer. I can hear all the white readers already:
And I hear you, bro! It’s totally easier for us rad white guys to just ignore the guilt that’s naturally eating away at every white person! It wasn’t us who enslaved an entire section of people! It was, like, our great great great granddads and shit, yeah? But, like, not my great great great granddad, he would have been totally woke in the 18th century! If my great great great granddad had slaves, then how come I have so many black friends?! Loads! Like who? Peter! He’s black! What’s that? Italian, you say? But he’s got such dark… I mean, in certain lights… So, does he not count…?
Guys, this is the fifth post I’ve written today. You want me to again write at length how fucking awesome Young Fathers are? You already know they’re brilliant! Buy this freaking album! Reward them for their art!
Seriously, you guys, pay for your music. Pay for every album on this list. Support art, not ‘New Tech’.
Mmmmmmmmmmlet’s talk about cultural appropriation.
Zeal and Ardor are one of my favourite bands. In fact, I’d go as far as calling them my favourite Swiss band. They combine black metal with ‘negro spirituals’, the bracing gospel music sung by the black slaves in the early 19th century. What’s your initial reaction to hearing that? Are you OK with it? Are you straight up against it? Do you think that merely the fact that the band are Swiss makes any use of music born from American cruelties automatically cultural appropriation? Do you want to fnd out a little more about the band before deciding your reaction? Are you immediately against it because you assume the band is white?
“Ooooh! Oooooh! Two albums on one list! Ooooh! Ooooh! This has only happened once before! Ooooh! Ooooooh! This is historic! Oooooh! Ooooo….!”
Is it historic, though? Is it? When Prince had twoalbums on the 2014 best albums list, he did actually write and perform both of the records, whereas Ash Koosha’s other entry on the list was largely written and composed by artificial intelligence, sooooooooooooooo… 1.5 albums on this year’s list?