2021 #48 (Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gil Kalish)
Remember ‘Caroline Shaw: Narrow Sea‘ at #48? Yeah, I know, that was a bit of a while back now. Jesus, I spoil you ingrates with three posts in three days over the weekend and now you’re expecting daily updates?? I do have a job, you know?? Sure, it’s only a flat fee per month to suck Paul Scholes’s daughter’s toes whenever he’s too busy to satisfy her, but it’s an honest job God dammit! Anyway, remember that album? That was a bit of a bop, wasn’t it? But you know what it was missing that would make it that little bit better?
Firstly: what up brothers and sisters? Put you’re hands in the air, yeah? Like you just don’t care, yeah? Can I get a ‘what what’? Respect the flex of Necessary Evil 2020! We might have finished Necessary Evil 2015 by the 13th December, but that was beginning to feel like a much missed byproduct of a far simpler time. We didn’t finish Necessary Evil 2016 until November the 5th. Of 2017. Necessary Evil 2017 didn’t come all over all of your apathetic and disinterested eyeballs until the next year again, but at least had the grace to finish by April the 8th of 2018. Necessary Evil 2018 got so close to finishing in the year it was referring to, eventually wrapping up January the 3rd of 2019. And God fucking damnit Necessary Evil 2019 managed to bow for applause just one day into 2020. This year!! Baring an absolute calamity, Necessary Evil 2020 will somehow be finished before even Christmas, as we enter the final post on December 23rd and- holy shit!- I might get to relax and enjoy my festive period for the first time in five years!!
Halsey sits in that awkward position of being an extremely, very, absolutely great artist, but at the same time being weighed down by almost being suffocatingly overrated by some corners. Also, she’s often really annoying.
Now that last (factual) statement may actually be problematic. Would I refer to Halsey’s objective annoyingness if she were a man? Truthfully, if she were a man I’d probably call her a ‘cunt’, but I’m always aware of how vicious it can sound to use such violent language when referring to a woman, so I’m slightly more polite. Is that sexist? To self censor my language and treat women more ‘gentlemanly’? Am I actually doing it because I feel that the curse is hilariously infuriating to a man but actually hatefully offensive when said to a woman? Is that idea sexist?? Should I maybe not be calling anyone a ‘cunt’??
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)
I think we just have to accept that some things that are part of a nation’s identity just don’t make much logical sense to those looking in. To an outsider, a nation refusing to tighten its laws on something that causes 11.7 deaths per 100’000 of the population is absolutely ludicrous. The country needs it though, it makes it feel safe, makes them feel like they can protect their children. And anyway, the country only uses it for fun! Why should it be blamed for the other dumb countries- usually darker skinned, let’s be honest- who can’t control themselves??
“How can they let this continue to happen??” other countries self-righteously bray, “Can’t they see that it’s killing them??”. Other countries just don’t get it though, it’s a part of the country’s national pride! This country knows what it’s doing! It doesn’t kill people! People kill themselves! That’s, like, a mental health thing or summat, yeah?
If you’re not British, I can’t imagine you’d understand my relationship with alcohol.
Yep, neither Lorde nor Kendrick Lamar is my number one album: who could it possibly be?!
Have a think about it…
Yeah, it’s that one.
Maybe you haven’t heard Lorde’s Stone Cold Masterpiece of a second album, because you’re a fucking idiot, but you know what it’s about don’t you?
I mean, her 2013 debut was written when she was only 14 years old
and showed a prodigious level of writing ability that arbalested her to worldwide attention. It was a far better written (and plain better) debut album than the Arctic Monkeys’ was in 2006, and back when that was released there were some people unconvinced whether lyrics so good could have been written by someone in their late teens, and conspiracy theories abounded. There was no such debate over the much younger Lorde, because she was (and, brace yourself, still is) female, and so all of her art will always be undervalued, and people will just assume that a more naturally talented man was actually responsible for writing the songs, and Lorde just added bits about makeup and Kim Kardashian to get the writing credit.
(Hmmm, if you haven’t seen ‘The Trip‘, that Michael Caine picture might look a bit like I’m accusing him of something rather uncomfortable. Mind you, this is a guy who said he legally changed his name to Michael Caine because of ISIS, so I don’t really care)
Number 3 is as low as I’m legally allowed to place ‘DAMN’. Listening to it now, I’m not even sure it deserves to be this high.
Wait, wait, wait! Before the Court of Public Opinion (C.O.P.O. Do you see what I did in the title there, hmmmm, do you?) strikes me down as being shamelessly unappreciative of modern art, let me just get a few truths out in the open:
Sometimes I envy NME. And The Guardian. And Pitchfork. And Melody Maker. And Q Magazine. And the Manchester Evening News. And Rolling Stones. I envy The Roling Stone’s money, but I don’t envy being them, as that would mean losing 50 years of my life and a complete morality lobotomy. And Crack Magazine.
How many others are there…?
And Kerrang. And the Telegraph And NME. I said that one, didn’t I? I envy it twice. And Mojo. And Uncut. And Mixmag.
I envy all these vessels of music journalism- to different degrees and holding it to varying degrees of importance- because, I don’t know if you ever noticed, but they manage to get their albums of the year list out at the actual end of the year!!
How do they do that?? I mean, even if Mojo is in a terrible place mentally, and is considering if it’s really worthwhile writing anything anymore, it still manages to garner up the motivation to try and and convince us that David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ was the best album of 2016 (nonsense, I have the science to prove it was actually 27th) on December 11th!! I didn’t even get around to explaining the truth until October 30th 2017!!
Why do we humanoids place so much value in stubbornness? Why are the people who never change their beliefs or conduct the most respected?
You should always be changing your mind: the world is forever changing, more facts are constantly being uncovered, scientific breakthroughs are continually reversing long held beliefs. If you’re a fully aware human being, you probably shouldn’t believe the same things and hold the same opinions today that you did yesterday. If you believe the same things and hold the same opinions that you did ten years ago, you are an absolutely worthless entity and hold no value as a human. You are probably a very successful Member of Parliament.
People who change their minds are the worst. Like, slightly more respected than ISIS members, but far more hated than the IRA, who are viewed with a bit of nostalgic wistfulness these days.