#1 070 Shake: You Can’t Kill Me (Greatest Album of 2022)

OK, let’s try and put this in some sort of perspective: I have always considered my three favourite artists of all time to be Prince, Manic Street Preachers and Nick Cave. Between all three of them they have all had a combined thirty records make the Necessary Evil end of year list and out of those thirty, two have been named the year’s best. If I wanted to throw in some faves – both problematic and less so – from the last 15-20 years I might throw in the names of Janelle Monae, The Hotelier, Kanye West, Let’s Eat Grandma, CHVRCHES or Yeasayer. Twenty three entries between them. One winner. Oh, and Radiohead have never finished first, but

Can we get this meme a medal or something?

Thirteen different artists have won Necessary Evil since it first started in 2007. Maybe fourteen, depending on your take on 2013’s infamous Arctic Monkeys/Hjaltalín controversy. No artist has ever finished first twice. Until now. 070 Shake’s ‘Modus Vivendi’ was the greatest album of 2020, and the 2022 follow-up is unquestionably the greatest album released this year, with its only viable contender being a 1982 masterpiece widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. These are the only two albums she has released.


#13 Hallelujah The Hills: No One Knows What Happens Next (2012)

Rerelease number two! By the way, I’ve also come to notice since I last wrote that Marina post signalling the Oncoming of the Rereleases, where I rather cerebrally and logically (some would say deeply sexually) explained how I’d been smart enough to collate the list’s three big rereleases all together just outside the top ten. Or maybe that was a complete accident. The point was: I’m a fucking critical genius. Well, afterwards, I realised that there were rereleases at numbers 14, 13, 12, then a completely valid 2022 record at #11… Then another ‘rerelease’ (not technically rereleased this year, but a ‘Legacy Release’ that I’d decided to include) at number ten. Honestly, I’ve no fucking idea what’s going on with this list. Or my life, for that matter. Please help me. Any clues on how to sort this shit out?

My life, I mean, I don’t want to hear about any perceived ‘improvements’ to this blog or the Necessary Evil year end list. Necessary Evil is a perfect little crystal and I’m very protective over it. My life? Meh, I’m not too fussed, so I’ll give everything a shot. Have I ever tried deeps sea crab fishing as a vocation, you ask? Why not!? Live out my days as a Dreamsexual?? That sounds pretty problematic these days. I’ll do it.


#24 Destroyer: Labyrinthitis

Oh Aggie, your beating heart was a carriage made of gold
How the arithmetic of this guitar melts your heart is beyond me
And when I say beyond me, I mean beyond me
Love ya? I barely know you, it goes to show
Who really knows what love is?
The branches, the breeze, the roiling seas
None of it seems worth mentioning
Though I’m in the process of figuring it out
Even if it’s elementary
A scrapyard angel, wings of brass
Ash, a river called trash
And speaking of lifelike, this is what life’s like
You thread the needle, then the needle runs dry
You thread the needle, then the needle runs dry
“Inward Crackle,” says the fink to himself
Oh well, I wasn’t taught how to
Go off like a, go off like a, go off like a, go off like a
Go off like a hydrogen bomb
But I do radiate a certain glow
It flutters and fades, a Ferris wheel on the run from the snow
You have to look at it from all angles
Says the cubist judge from cubist jail
The sky glows, the heat is unbearable
Parrot weather
My decision is final, a crazy game
I traded in moonlight for the morning dew
I know dusk when I see one
I know rust when I see it
You come out swinging, but you go down swinging too
You pay good money for a million dollar view
Flipping the pages of Chatelaine
The rude empiricism of every troubled loser
Quote, unquote, unquote
A moment alone please
A moment alone please
A moment alone please
With this, with this
With this rhapsody
With this rhapsody
Vital information from where I’m standing
Low-born Madonna
With her typewriters in the rain
Clacking their misfortunes, speech, speech
A figure of light’s trapped inside your kimono
Absent friends, where’d you go?
And while we’re on the subject of psychotic passwords
Honing in on nothing
Everywhere Rome goes
Everybody wants her
Ah fuck, I feel like a discovery someone once saw
On a clear day
Dump him


Dan Bejar, ladies and gentlemen and others


#27 Shamir: Heterosexuality

You wanna kill me? Well, here’s your chance
I can barely get around now as it fucking stands
You wanna see me, but you just can’t get passed
How I look or talk or think or walk, and it’s fucking sad

I don’t know what I can do
To make you comfortable
With what you see before you
So let me let you know that

I’m not cisgender, I’m not binary, trans
I don’t wanna be a girl, I don’t wanna be a man
I’m just existing on this God-forsaken land
And you can take it or leave it
Or you can just stay back, stay back


Heeeeey, you know what the world needs more of? Straight, cis, old, fat, white guys judging the scorched soul searching of young black queer people! Yeah yeah, Shamir, boohoo for you, tissues for your issues, but allow me to state the proper reaction to your inner trauma. “I’m just a faggot, who lives like a maggot”?? Hey! That’s our word for making fun of you people! So now we’re allowed to call you lot ‘queer’ and you get to use the F word?? And yet when I use the N word as a joke at my job I’m suspended from teaching primary school PE for a whole two weeks?! No fair! Where’s my artistic communication of hopelessness in a world that’s still depressingly oppressed against me?? I just wanna use the N word and bully queer people online!! Truly, we are the lost generation. Thank God that comedy is now legal on Twitter, because I’ve got some bangers.


#28 Psalm One X Custom Made: Bigg Perm

What I do this shit for

Why I get so passionate

Never been in pitchfork

Nighas know I’m talented

Know they always watchin

Even when you feel obscure

You should know you poppin

I’m that bitch and yeah I’m sure

Pitchfork Score

Never been in Pitchfork?? That can’t be right, those motherfuckers review everything. When I released my first mixtape, ‘Phish Pale’, back in 2011, they even reviewed that piece of shit and gave it a respectable 6.8. I get it, that line is obviously meant to emphasise how bafflingly obscure she remains despite being consistently responsible for some of the greatest hip-hop of the past decade, but it’s not meant to be taken literally. Let’s just search the Pitchfork site:

See! She got one mention when she released a new track once! In October 2022. One month after this album was released.



#57 Alvvays: Blue Rev

OK, own up, the lot of you, when was it all decided that Alvvays were officially ‘A Big Deal’? I loved their previous album ‘Antisocialites’ in 2018, as did everyone who heard it. But, like, ‘everyone who heard it’ was a couple of hundred worldwide, surely? It just never seemed that many people were aware of them, they’re such a minute and delicate little gem, surely more than maybe 72 people listening to their dainty little anthems would cause the band to shatter? Be careful how you handle Alvvays!! They’re fragile!

Yeah, his finishing move was him teabagging his opponent. Shut up, you just don’t understand wrestling

Yeah, I know that both of their albums have been shortlisted for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize, and that ‘Antisocialite’ won the Juno award for Alternative Album of the Year, which, yes, is a real thing and, yes, is also Canadian. But these are Canadian awards! How many people actually live in Canada? Couple of thousand, maybe? At a push? Their adorable little awards are hardly a good barometer of someone’s wider cultural impact. You know who won that Juno award this year? Mustafa the Poet! Who, yeah, actually sounds pretty awesome now I read about him, but he ain’t headlining no Superbowls, brother!


Broken Up or Still Around? Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Know Your Enemy’ 2022 Remaster Reviewed

Here is what I know about the state of the world:

1. We are rich.

2. There are no wars or anything (real wars, that is).

3. Ummm. Very little continental drift going on (that’s probably normal).

4. Somewhere, the president’s daughter is “like, totally wasted” right now.

There. One minor problem. Otherwise, things are swell. I haven’t really researched this much, but if something major was going wrong, I’m sure someone would have told me. So what are these Manic Street Preachers bitching about?

Pitchfork review posted March 19th 2001, roughly six months before Americans became aware of bad things happening in the world apart from Jenna Bush being arrested for underage drinking

I discussed the Manics’ 2001 commercial hari kari ‘Know Your Enemy’ at length in my 50’000 word list of their 100 greatest songs published last year. I mentioned that it all started when an aging British revolutionary folk icon turned his nose up at the band’s private Portaloo at a Scottish festival. I mentioned how Manics bassist/lyricist Nicky Wire would later confirm that he wouldn’t have that same folk icon’s “Dick pissing in my toilet for all the money in the fucking world”. I mentioned how that shot of verbosity occurred during a T in the Park performance that acted as an reinvigorating reminder of the band’s routes as angrily political agitprops. I mentioned how people had mostly accepted they would never be that exciting again after the morose and Phil Collins infused ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours‘ had sold roughly seventy two squillion copies, making the band Britain’s biggest rock band after Oasis had politely taken their dog out of the fight with ‘Be Here Now‘. I discussed at length their line in the sand statement single The Masses Against the Classes*, the scuzz punk call to arms that became the first new UK number one of the 21st century. I noted how this moment – along with them playing the song live to 57’000 people at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium at new years eve 1999 – represented the absolute peak of their commercial success. For the benefit of the TL:DR generation, I then explained the release of their sixth album a little over a year later in meme form:

And despite everything I’ll discuss in this review, I still absolutely stand by that visual point. It’s simply inconceivable that the band ever believed that ‘Know Your Enemy’ would be a commercial success, and it’s likely that they correctly assumed that it would cut ties with the mainstream to such an extent that they would never again experience anything close to the success that they enjoyed in the late 90s. Their previous album, 1998’s ‘This is My Truth…’ sold five million copies worldwide (!), while ‘KYE’ sold 500’000. Nicky Wire would later even concede in Mojo Magazine that much of those sales were to dissatisfied customers, and also remark on how it marked the band’s commercial downturn:  “To this day, you see ‘Know Your Enemy’ at service stations for £2.99, because they bought so many thinking it was by one of those commercial bands! In retrospect, it sold half a million copies. Imagine what we’d give for that now.”

So, yes: commercially, it was ritual suicide. But was it any good?

Continue reading “Broken Up or Still Around? Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Know Your Enemy’ 2022 Remaster Reviewed”

10 Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales

Top ten! Whoop whoop! Top ten! Whoop whoop! Feeling good?? Feeling stoked?? In that case, let’s bring the mood down a bit with an Andrea Dworkin quote:

Being Female in this world is having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behaviour and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice

From ‘Intercourse

Or maybe I’ll share a quote from a Joan Didion novel, between Grace and Charlotte, two women sojourning in the fictional central American country of ‘Boca Grande’:

I recall telling Charlotte about a village on the Orinoco where the female children were ritually cut on the inner thigh by their first sexual partners, the point being to scar the female with the men’s totem. Charlotte saw nothing extraordinary in this. “I mean that’s pretty much what happens everywhere , isn’t it?” she said. “Somebody cuts you? Where it doesn’t show?”

A Book of Common Prayers

35 Big $ilky: Big $ilky vol.3

2020 #26, 2020 #27

I changed so much since ‘Volume 1’

I don’t give a fuck who don’t like me…

Pandemic illuminates darkness

Uprisings just hit me the hardest

And all you virtue signalling fucks

Will not get to sample the harvest

Jesse Got Away

Hey. Hey. Hey you. Yeah, you, future cultural historian. Yeah. I’m contacting you from the past. Wooooooooooo! Wait… no, I’m not a ghost, am I? Scrap that last comment. Just put down your Diplomat smoking pipe and remove your monocle, listen to me for a second. How’s the future treating you? Flying cloud storage, you say? Electronic cigarettes with AI sentience? Well that all sounds absolutely pointless, but good luck to you. Gig economy for cultural history, is it? Because Elon Musk is now the Great Leader at more than a thousand years old and can’t afford to give any workers at all any rights because he needs to fund his great humanitarian expedition to carve a visible doge meme onto the surface of Jupiter? For the lols? You have to pay for your own monocle and pipe?? Yeah, yeah, that all sounds awful, but not much different from my time and I kinda wish you’d stop going on about it, it’s my turn to speak.

How are you currently gauging the cultural mood of the years 2020-21 out there in the year 3000? Sure, if you wanted an inspiring and comforting read on everything you could just go to Arlo Parks’s debut album. Perhaps if you wanted a glimpse into how humanity strived (and often succeeded) to make creative connections despite the viral barriers you could take a listen to Charli XCX’s magnificent ‘how i’m feeling now‘. Or, yeah, if you wanted to go all Pitchforky I guess you could name that Fiona Apple album. What’s that? You’re actually currently evaluating the era through the prism of Emily in Paris? Damn, that’s a good angle, and I’d love to see what horrors you’ve unearthed during your studies. But can I suggest something far more advantageous? How about you study the illuminating trilogy of albums released by Big $ilky over that period?

Continue reading “35 Big $ilky: Big $ilky vol.3”

Necessary Evil 2020 pt.9 (35-31)

#35 Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud

That’s what ah want-eeeeeeh-yed, it’s not as if we cried a ri’ver called it rai-ee-yay-ain..

If you’ve ever read this blog- like at all, you ingrate philistine- you know how I spend roughly 40% of my time elucidating how special Katie Crutchfield’s musical project is. I am very much a Waxahitcher, which is a term I’ve just made up for the sort of Waxahatchee fan who’s dedicated/deluded enough to invent a term for the level of insanity that their fandom warrants. She made the most important album of 2013 to me, which, yeah, I didn’t admit at the time, but respect the retcon!

#HanShotWheneverMrLucasSaysHeDid #ThisIsADumbFilmForChildren #GrowUp.

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2020 pt.9 (35-31)”