49 Ezra Furman: Transangelic Exodus

Earlier in the year, I went to the cinema with my brother Mizdow. In the 72 minutes of adverts beforehand, one advert obviously aimed at people with no taste included one with that terrible singer* with a hat. You know that one? With a hat? Yeah, that one.

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(*I don’t know he’s terrible, only that everything I’ve heard that has definitely been by him has been terrible. Never assume you’ll hate something. Also, as will soon become clear, I don’t really know who he is. I just know he exists and he does things)

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9 Jane Weaver: Modern Kosmolosy

Modern Kosmetics

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The Weavs has had an astonishing career.

Her first band, Kill Laura, were about 4% as bad as you’d expect a band who released their first record while Weavo was still at college- in 1993- to be. Kill Laura ended up on a record label run by Rob fuckin’ Gretton, where one can only assume the band were paid in horse tranquillisers and forced to record their songs while Rob aimed a crossbow at Weavy’s forehead and masturbated into a tin bucket full of custard ‘for the acoustics’. Weev actually recorded a solo album while at Manchester Records (really, Rob? That’s actually the best you can come up with? Fucking waste of space) which was never released because it coincided with Gretton’s death (I’m sorry for your loss. Bur Manchester fucking Records?? That is such bullshit! I’m not saying I’m glad he’s dead, not at all).

Weaverino went on to form Misty Dixon, a band who you can tell from that one song were roughly 76 times better than more than two thirds of your embarrassing record collection. As they were always likely to be, as they featured the talents of not only Weaverine but also Dave Tyack, one of the founding artists of the Twisted Nerve label. The release of their debut album was overshadowed slightly by the disappearance of Tyback. He was found dead in Corsica, two years later. Misty Dixon had already broken up by then. The quitters…

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12 The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir

Stephin Merrit’s Life, Ranked

(Wait, is it with an ‘i’?? I have been misspelling him my all life…)

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The best Magnetic Fields albums always come with a good, solid gimmick, don’t they?

We all know (and love. If you don’t love it we can never be friends. Or even sexual partners. Unless you have, like, really nice tits) ’69 Love Songs’, but there was also the brilliant ‘i’ (where every song began with said letter); the less brilliant ‘Distortion’ (where every song was layered with Jesus and Mary Chain levels of interference); ‘Love Gas from the Digestive Tract’ (which featured Stephin Merrit burping after every line); ‘Hank and Peggy’ (in which all 259 tracks were based on a separate ‘King of the Hill’ episode, which was a brilliant way of honouring one of the most underrated TV shows of all time which I’m totally going to steal!); and ‘Fabio’s Groove Ride’ (the tale of Fabio killing a goose while on a rollercoaster. No, I will never stop referencing that incident! It happened on this very day in 1999, have some fucking respect).

[I started this ‘review’ yesterday, so it’s now exactly 19 years and one day since it happened]

’50 Song Memoir’ is what it says on the tin, with each of it songs referring to a different year in Merrit’s life. Yes, there’s 50 songs, because Stephin Merrit always prefers to go absolutely gall bladder out when he’s got a gimmick he really likes.

It’s not as good as ’69 Love Songs’, because of course it isn’t as good as the best album ever with a number in its title, but it’s still an astonishingly strong collection. The highs are no way near the heights of ’69…’,

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but a far greater percentage of its songs are worthwhile: there are no piss-taking throwaways like Punk Love or Experimental Music Love and far less contrived arch jokes such as Love is Like Jazz. I might even argue that there are more great songs on ’50…’ than they are on ’69…’, but there’s nothing here anywhere near the sheer majesty of Busby Berkeley Dreams or The Book of Love or All My Little Words or The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure or I Don’t Want to Get Over You or I Shatter or…

[continues for several minutes]

I once had the brilliant idea of, instead of attempting a full Necessary Evil 2017 countdown of albums that I’ve barely lived with for three or four months, why not just have a top 50 of the songs on ’50 Song Memoir’, going into detail on all the topics and emotions brought up!? Pretty awesome, yeah?!

Unfortunately, I got that brilliant idea after I’d already started this stupid fucking list. I mean, I’m still going to do it, it just won’t be as good. Hope you’re all fine with that.

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24 Waxahatchee: Out In the Storm

Love is Undefinable

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“See, I always gravitate toward
Those who are unimpressed
I saw you as a big fish
I saw you as a conquest”

It would have been late 2010. I had spent the day drinking, because in 2010 my only three states were

  1. Drinking in order to get drunk
  2. Drunk, and drinking in order to get more drunk
  3. Asleep, possibly passed out after drinking

Now it was late at night at the choice of pubs in Dushanzi were extremely limited. Sean suggested we get a taxi to nearby Kuitun and go to a club. I was still in my 20s, so going to a club didn’t automatically seem like the most horrendous idea in the world. And I was drunk, so going to a club seemed like the most awesome idea in the world.

We jumped in a taxi, we got to the pub, we ordered a bottle of vodka for about £10 to exhibit to the rest of the club quite how big a deal we were. And we danced, convinced that we were the coolest fuckers these people had ever seen!

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42 Pixx: The Age of Anxiety

Anxious Geography

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“Here me/Hear me cry out/Everything is weird in/America”

America is a different country from Britain. Like, completely different: it has its own laws and everything, and is entirely full of people who are very different from the people in the UK. Not only is there a lot more of them but, let’s face it, a lot of them are probably a lot fatter, so their combined weight of humanity would be so much more that it would render Britain’s almost inconsequential.

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56 Young M.A: Herstory

Old A.P Loves Young M.A

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I always appreciate cultural recommendations: if you mention a song, album, movie, TV show or wrestling match you think I’d like, or simply something that you really like yourself, I will always afford it close consideration. I once watched a fricking eleven hour movie in freaking Korean (the lamestream media claim it’s only 2 hours 36 minutes, but it’s definitely eleven hours! #FakeNews) and an entire TV series about American football just because a friend suggested I do so. If someone is really interested in something, it’s always worth investigating. Chiefly for the following reasons:

(Bwa-ha-ha! That should ensure they click the ‘read more’ link!! #Clickbait)

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