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 admitat the time, but respect the retcon!
You want an intro? You got that in part one! Let’s get down to the dirty, sticky and dangerously unhygienic business:
This was an important year for me, this was when shit got real. Yeah, Labour won the election, which I was aware I was supposed to celebrate but not yet conscious enough to know exactly why, just that ‘our team won*. Princess Diana died, inspiring a nationwide reaction that even 13 year old Alex Palmer recognised as being a bit fucking much**. All that was meaningless background noise though, as most importantly 1997 was the year that I became really switched on to new music. Before this point, most of the albums I’ve listed would have been discovered by me later and posthumously lusted after in the kind of nostalgic necrophilia that I would later grow to despise. Yeah, sorry if you’ve already imagined me as an incredibly cool seven year old bopping his head to Soonby My Bloody Valentine. From this point on, these important albums in my life and personal development were pretty much all discovered as contemporaries. Seriously though, ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’ was the first CD that I ever owned. Yeah. I’m that cool/weird.
Yeah, that title was a pun when I reviewed the american poetry club album. Makes less logical sense now, admittedly, but I like it. Hey! Two album reviews this year! Getting into some real Lestor Bangs territory now! This blog is fucking legit, yeah?
We* far too readily accept that whatever we do is simply good enough. We** accept what we are able to do at a scandalously young age. At the very latest when we’re about 18 or 19 and first enter university believing we’re already the finished article and want to spend the next few years convincing other people how fucking amazing we are, usually under the assumption that it’ll lead to increased opportunities to rub our genitalia against somebody else. Often though, it happens much, much younger. Many of the people you pass on the street, many of your closest friends and family, many of the people weird and/or dumb enough to read this very blog, basically decided at about 13 years old that you know all the things you can and can’t do, your likes and dislikes. You*** decided at that age that you shouldn’t really waste time overloading your dumb brain with any new talents or inspirations, so decided to spend the rest of your life getting angry and other people for not accepting you for who you are (and have been for decades).
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.
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!!
I mean, sure, write an incisive piece of what the success of From Earth With Love unexpectedly meant for the people of Lappeenranta, Finland in 1997. That probably comes close enough to proper journalism for the other writers at your office not to laugh at you and flick bogeys at you when you’re trying to eat your dinner.
Or maybe just write gushing pieces about how The Rolling Stones used to make 14 year old groupies eat their own faeces while they pissed on them and hi-fived, before pushing the young groupie so hard against the floor that she couldn’t breathe- choking in the mixture of piss, shit and blood from her nose that broke in the collision with the floor- and then all did lines of cocaine off her back. God, there used to be proper rock stars back in the day, didn’t they?? How often do you think frickin’ Twenty One Pilots do that?? The pussies wouldn’t have the stomachs! I mean, that groupie almost definitely didn’t die, did she?
You can only interview bands that you think are great and that we’d enjoy listening to. Perhaps their story will put their music in sufficient context for us to properly appreciate the songs? Don’t interview a band you hate and tell them how shit they are: you are not Lestor Bangs blowing the fucking minds off some sheltered faux superstars, blinded by the shining of the walls of their ivory towers, you’re just a prick who’s really irritating Snow Patrol. These artists are clever enough to understand how life isn’t a zero sum game, they are aware that some people don’t like their music, but they’ve decided to cater to those that do, those that have been throwing money at the band for years, people who had their first wedding dance to Chasing Cars.
Yes, these people are fucking idiots, but part of growing up is recognising that telling idiots that they’re idiots is not an honourable pursuit. However, me telling you that you’re a pathetic edgelord dingus is entirely necessary.
I always appreciate cultural recommendations: if you mention a song, album, movie, TV show or wrestling match you think I’d like, or simply something that you really like yourself, I will always afford it close consideration. I once watched a fricking eleven hour movie in freaking Korean (the lamestream media claim it’s only 2 hours 36 minutes, but it’s definitely eleven hours! #FakeNews) and an entire TV series about American footballjust because a friend suggested I do so. If someone is really interested in something, it’s always worth investigating. Chiefly for the following reasons:
(Bwa-ha-ha! That should ensure they click the ‘read more’ link!! #Clickbait)