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?

Continue reading “69 Noname: Room 25”

77 The Body: I Have Fought Against It, but I Can’t Any Longer

Fuck me…

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.

Anyway, as I was saying: Fuck me…

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Continue reading “77 The Body: I Have Fought Against It, but I Can’t Any Longer”

78 Lil Yachty: Nuthin’ 2 Prove

 

Longtime readers of this blog (hi, Mum!*) will know I have a bit of an obsession with Lil Yachty. I honestly think he’s a fascinating figure who has the sufficient lack of self-awareness and disregard for the supposed former statesman and accepted tropes of his genre that he could potentially create something very special. His sound is obnoxious, flagrantly disrespectful and nonchalantly artless. But then, I’m a depressingly old white idiot: the sound of 2018 should sound borderline offensive to me! Lil Yachty is 21 years old, he’s already released one stone cold classic song (fight me) and a patchy and imperfect debut album that nonetheless showed flashes of the buoyant/obnoxious/genius/overjoyed style that is all his own and that could see him take over the world before too long, to the fabulous irritation of old farts everywhere. Whether you like it or not, this was evolution and it was frickin’ exciting!

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(*My Mum has far too much self-respect to read my blog. Only people with a base level of pitiful self-respect would ever waste time reading this shit. Yeah, I’m talking about you. Aunty Cheryl, however, loves it! She is, however, a shameless crack cocaine addict and, if I’m being completely honest, has been dead for 12 years next April)

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Necessary Evil 2018

An Unwanted Return That Nobody Really Wants and Everyone is a Bit Embarrassed At

‘Necessary Evil is for better or for worse the imaginative record of man’s sexual will’

-Peter Michelson

‘On Necessary Evil, every platitude leads to an obscurantist pretension and back again’

J Lloyd Samuel

Necessary Evil 2016 was posted in October 2017, Necessary Evil 2017 got a little closer by starting in February 2018 and now- look!- Necessary Evil 2018 actually comes out in two thousand and fricking eighteen!!

Yes, the countdown finally gets back to starting on December 1st in a vain attempt to capture the relevance it once had way back in 2015 (remember my review of Drenge’s ‘Undertow’? Special times, we’ll never have that type of magic again). And- fuck me!- the main consideration this year in to finish the thing before I go to bed early on New Year’s Eve, cryong over the fact I have no friends. So this year’s list won’t have as many 6000 word philosophical ruminations on the human condition as loyal readers of this blog might have come accustomed to. Also, in the name of brevity I have tried my hardest to condense 2018 into the 15 essential records that deserve whatever little attention this blog affords.

At least, that was the idea, and I honestly tried to exclude as many records as I could. As always, though, it turns out that there are just so many records out there! Loads of legitimately brilliant records that I want to shine light on; loads of perhaps less accomplished records by more obscure artists I believe deserve the attention; loads of records that might not be ‘good’ in the scientific sense but, to quote Jonathan Swift, light a spark in my whoopsie; loads of records that might not be ‘good’ in the scientific sense nor ‘good’ in any sense whatsoever but I want to tall about anyway because I love the sound of my own keyboard taps; and of course, as always, there are records that are the sound of Brexit.

I managed to scale it down to 82. Kill me.

It’s been another great year for music, with some NE mainstays delivering their greatest album yet out of nowhere, some old favourites releasing puzzlingly unsatisfactory records, and many artists jumping immediately to My New Favourite Thing status.

I’m still not sure if there were any amazing records released in 2018. All of the best albums of the year have at least one glaring flaw, and despite their being a perhaps record number of Extremely Good albums with four stars spilling out of their anuses, I’m not sure any 2018 album will in the future be regarded as a classic. Because of this, I’ve never struggled so much over which record should be number one, and there’s a very good chance I’ll change my mind about it in the 3’185 days it takes me to write this bastard list. This is also the first list in a long time that I’ve written with no idea what the critical consensus is leaning toward, so I don’t think I’d be exaggerating were I to call Necessary Evil the purest and- dare I say it?- most woke albums of the year list on the internet.

If you’ve read NE before you’ll know what to expect- it’ll start off a bit scrappy and ill-defined, hit its peak around half way through with some legitimately brilliant posts, then descend badly into nonsense as the writer just begs for it to end. We’re gonna have a good time!

Also, because I’m really aiming to wrap this up in appropriate time, I’m afraid I won’t be filling my reviews with dumb, nonsensical wrestling references that literally nobody reading this is going to get.

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Only joking, I’m probably going to do more than ever– wait until we get to JPEGMAFIA’s album!! Oh, erm, spoiler, i guess…

OK, so No. 82 is…

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Donald Trump Breaks the Fourth Wall

There are only two real reasons that exist to justify writing, two possible excuses for dribbling over your fingers and then wiping the resulting saliva- diluted with Monster Munch crumbs from last night’s binge of consumption that attempted to comfort the desolate loneliness that eats at your soul and also from the tears that such an act inevitably result in- across a keyboard and mashing the porridge of shame into roman numerals and expecting the outside world to be deserving of it.

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The first reason is if you’re actually, like, good at writing. If you’re a proper good writer like, I dunno,  Dan Brown or David Walliams then your writing might be good enough to one day be turned into a movie, and therefore your ideas could actually effect the wider cultural conscious. I’ll admit that here’s a weird grey area that exists where you write good stuff that isn’t turned into a film- like… erm… Salmon Rushdie?- and this just about qualifies your existence. But who reads books today, honestly? Freaking nerds, that’s who.

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I obviously don’t fall into this category: I’m not very good at writing.

Continue reading “Donald Trump Breaks the Fourth Wall”

The Legit Bosses: Best Tracks of the Year (90-81)

90 Jamila Woods: VRY BLK

I’ve no idea why I love this song so much, it’s mostly just a reworking of that irritating ‘Hello Operator’ kids song with more racially conscious lyrics. But it has something, from the alluring wavey intro to the euphoric chorus of ‘I’m very black, black, black/Can’t send me back, back, back/You take my brother, brother, brother/I’ll fight back, back, back’ that gets me evry tm

89 Chairlift: Unfinished Business

Fuck me, that chorus though…

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You’re Looking at the Real Deal Now

 

In 2010 Spin Magazine listed the greatest albums released since the magazine’s conception in 1985, since I’ve been (ahem) alive for a large part of that time I’m going to quickly list the top 20 and briefly state why they’re now way near as good as the top record of 2016*:

*erm, assuming that all the records released between 2010 and now were comparatively garbage

 

20 My Bloody Valentine: Loveless

Speak up, mate, speak up! I can’t bloody hear you over all this racket! Also: know how many albums Ireland contributed to this year’s Necessary Evil? None! Your country’s a musical nonentity!

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19 Jay-Z: The Blueprint

Oooooh! Look at my big cigar! A guy smoking a cigar this big couldn’t possibly be subconsciously compensating for something else could he?? Pathetic!

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2 Bon Iver: 22, A Million

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: I’ve always pronounced it ‘Bon Ivor’

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Because of this I set up a Google Alert to tell me when somebody finally made a ‘Bon Iver the Engine’ meme, as I truly believed that such a witty reference to both an ultra hipster musical act and an old children’s’ show would truly bring the world together in these troubled times

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No, but apparently he’s one of those ultra-hipster tossers who chooses to pretentiously pronounce his name the way it’s spelled, so the reference is lost

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Continue reading “2 Bon Iver: 22, A Million”

3 Let’s Eat Grandma: I, Gemini

‘I, Gemini’ is a perfect encapsulation of why it is I love music

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Let’s Eat Grandma (great name +1) are two Norwich girls who…

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I think I’m allowed to refer to them as such, they were only 16 and 17 years old when they released this album

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No, honestly, and if they were in their 40s, or 30s, or even 20s they simply wouldn’t have been able to make an album as supernaturally beautiful as this

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Continue reading “3 Let’s Eat Grandma: I, Gemini”