You know what the extra ‘L’ in ‘SPELLLING’ stands for, right? Exactly. It stands for ‘loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool’. Yeah, I know, there’s a reason they call me ‘Lolacoaster Tycoon’. They probably throw a ‘banter’ pun in there as well, but to be honest all the good ones have already been taken and I don’t want to spend this entire ‘review’ trying to ‘remember’ what they said, you understand? ‘Eric Banterna’ has definitely been taken, hasn’t it? That’s a shame, as that one would have really suited me. The ‘Wine Debanter‘? No, that doesn’t quite work…
I absolutely adore Hannah Cohen. I would go as far as saying I love her. As an artist, of course, I think she’s amazingly talented and has that certain something special that you can’t quite put your finger on. She may well be a fucking nightmare as a person. Maybe she spends half the time complaining about how dumb people are for watching Love Island, and the other half actually watching Love Island “Just to see how shit it is”. Maybe she’s a staunch believer in aromatherapy and whenever you bring up the questionable science behind it she simply states that there’s “A lot we don’t know about the world”. Maybe she prefers Jurassic Park 2 to Jurassic Park. I mean, it’s not a bad film, don’t get me wrong, but come on! Maybe she hates feminism because she “doesn’t hate men”, which leads to so many circular arguments that you know it’s a guaranteed evening wasted if you bring it up so have learned not to. Maybe, when she rides the bus on her own, she sits on the seat next to the aisle and leaves an empty seat next to the window just to make sure nobody sits next to her. Do you know these people?? Worse than fucking Hitler. Maybe- in fact, statistically, very probably– Ms Cohen is the absolute worse person in the world, that doesn’t matter, it’s the artist that I love.
‘Pleasure Boy‘ was all kinds of amazing. One of the best albums of
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.
Four albums in, and two of the artists have debilitating issues with capitalisation (stef shares similar disregard for proper nouns to american poetry club). The only two artists from America, make of that as you will. Is this the Donald Trump effect? In fact, if any human being on Earth loves capital letters, it’s The Trump, so maybe these artist’s refusal to capitalise is a subtle form of process. Fair enough, as you were…
I don’t think I had as much of a personal relationship with any artist on this year’s list as I had with stef chura. Back in early 2018 I was relatively new to Bandcamp, which is one of the Greatest Things Ever that I really don’t have time to talk about here (I’ll save that for an album where I can’t think of what to write about- there’s plenty of those coming up). I was initially overwhelmed by this new tool that was seemingly offering me endless opportunities to hear new music from artists not even yet big enough to have had held discussions over the exact makeup of the band’s logo*, artists so obscure that even if the singer committed suicide it would only make even the local news on a really slow news day, that I didn’t really know where to start. I followed a few people, hoping to get suggestions from their own opinions rather than go through the laborious task of forming my own.
(*Every band should have a logo. Listen, this isn’t a debate, I’m just telling you a fact. If you haven’t yet got one you’re obviously not taking your art seriously enough. I’ll accept that some artists might not have had the time yet, but if you’re on your third album and still logoless then you’re showing offensive disregard for your own brand. Did Steve Jobs die for nothing?**)
The human race is kind of resigned to losing all of it’s jobs to robots. In their March 2017 paper, ‘Robots and Jobs: Evidence from the UK Labour Market‘, Acemoglu and Restrepo found that the addition of one more robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio by about 0.18 – 0.34 percentage points and wages by 0.25 – 0.5 percent.
Of course, I wouldn’t be the widely lauded and routinely celebrated investigative journalist that I am if I didn’t investigate their findings and see if such statistics could be replicated in the UK job market. Unfortunately, Manchester Refugee Support Network only employs 5 people, so in order to get a proper reading on effect on one robot per one thousand employees I had to measure the effect of
one two hundredth of a robot on our work. I think. There’s really no way of knowing exactly what the maths are, but that’s what I did so it has to be correct.
It’s hard to truly say what would represent 0.5% of a robot, but my contacts in the robots industry* tell me that equates to roughly a robot eyeball. With this in mind, I introduced a fully automated eyeball to the office at MRSN. Well, I initially assumed it was a fully automatic robotic eyeball, but later examinations have suggested it may in fact be closer to a chocolate ball wrapped in tinfoil. Again, there really is no way of actually knowing, but talks conducted with my contacts in the scientific research industry* have confirmed that this trivial matter should have had no effects on the findings.
I’m not going to be able to give the next handful of albums the usual insightful and in depth investigation that by this point you’ve come accustomed to.
You see, my previous entry intensely debating the artistic choices made on St Vincent‘s recent album was just so emotionally draining, that I worry that if I shake have head over my keyboard there simply won’t be enough viscous creativity juice left to pour out over my next few reviews.
Regardless: here is Emalina McFunnel Armitage with her third solo album. It’s brilliant, for many of the reasons I pointed out in my 2014 reaction to her previous record.
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.
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.
I obviously don’t fall into this category: I’m not very good at writing.