Before we criticise the gross and indefensible spectacle of the 2022 World Cup – where perhaps billions of people around the world tune in to watch a spectacle so polluted by decaying capitalism that hundreds or perhaps thousands of ill treated migrant workers have forcibly sacrificed their lives in order just to provide us global ruling classes our shits and giggles – let’s at least compare the quality of competitive entertainment to what it was a few hundred years ago. The game Aunt Sally dates back to 17th century and was played at fairgrounds in pub gardens across the middle English counties. It involves participants throwing sticks or battens at a ‘doll’ placed upon a pole. Traditionally, that doll is an old woman named ‘Aunt Sally. It has also been suggested that the doll eventually got its name ‘Aunt Sally’ because it was at one point meant to be in blackface and inspired by the character (sigh) Black Sal in the 1821 novel ‘Life in London‘. So, essentially, it was a game where drunk middle Englanders would throw things at an old black woman. But don’t despair at missing out on such good old fashioned competitive hate crimes – the The World Aunt Sally Open Singles Championships takes place every year in Oxfordshire. The first event in 2011 was attended by David fucking Cameron, because of course it was.
An ‘Aunt Sally’ is also what you’d call an easily disprovable fallacy, so maybe I’ve been really clever and nothing I said in the previous paragraph is true and wouldn’t stand up to even the briefest of research. However, I know I’m safe, as none of you fat lazy slobs can ever be arsed to extend even the most minute of effort. It’s also the name of a 1938 film English film, which given those two pieces of information is also likely to be extremely racist. What I’m saying is: it’s not easy to Google the extraordinary 1970s Japanese punk band Aunt Sally.
That Aunt Sally rereleased their 1979 debut album in 2021, and provided more evidence for my reasoning to fucking hate punk music.
Yeah, you know how JPEGMAFIA’s album was just a collection of singles from the previous year? Well, Burial sees that effort and raises it by releasing a collection of singles and EPs from the better part of the last decade. Might have made sense to split the two albums up on the list. This list isn’t about aesthetics and sensible ordering though. It’s pure science. And if the science states that they should be placed next to each other, perhaps both fitted with a secret microchip so Bill Gates can track their movements, then who are we to argue?
Sigh… I’m going to have to start with an embarrassing confession. I know, many of you reading this already think all the things I write are shamefully embarrassing, but this is a distressing mark against my musical knowledge which, come on, up until now was unimpeached. In November of 2019, roughly a month before this collection came out, I wrote this:
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.