2 SPELLLING: The Turning Wheel

2019 #10

Gee, thanks a lot Christmas Day…

Now I’ve got to start at the first day again! And finish, because it’s currently close to midnight on Boxing Day while I write this, and numbers two and one of this year’s list will be announced before many of the millions (and millions) of fans of this blog get out of bed. Isn’t it a damn shame that I had to stop at fifteen consecutive days though? I hear that when you reach twenty consecutive days you actually start earning money for writing. New York Times columnists get paid $350k a year, and you know how? They just never stop their daily streak! Charles Blow is currently on a 16,939 [SIXTEEN THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE] day streak! He started on his fifth birthday by harshly critiquing the level of presents that he was somehow expected to enjoy that year (“A Space Hopper, mother, really? And how, exactly, is one expected to improve one’s life by simply bouncing around on an inflated orange ball? What epiphanies is one expected to reach? Am I expected to gaze into that lifeless face and see myself reflected in his sad eyes? Perhaps this is intended to be Gerald Ford, whose ‘bouncing’ support is laughably intended to keep myself and others like me precociously and intermittently above the bottom line of the hard ground below us? And you said it talked. It definitely doesn’t talk, you fucking whore”. Yeah, some of Blow’s early work can seem a little problematic to modern sensibilities), and has just popped out another article every day since. Admittedly, he can sometimes obviously be struggling for material, His fourteen thousand eight hundred and seventy second article was just him ranking the different noises his chair makes when he sits down, his fifteen thousand and twelfth post was just the entire lyrics of Scatman’s World by Scatman John followed by the sentence “Is it not still the case? #ScatmanDidItFirst”, while his sixteen thousand four hundred and second post was just a piece of clickbait suggesting that Kylian Mbappe might be sighing for Liverpool. But you know what he did after writing each article? A spellcheck, yeah? To check the spelling? Or, perchance, the Spellling?? See, it all fits in, don’ tell me how to do my job.

I’LL BE RIGHT HERE, LITTLE DEER

12 Taylor Swift: evermore

2020 #32, 2019 #45, 2018 #59, 2014 #24

Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift! Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift!

Fuck, man, It’s Taylor, you bunch of fucking cunts! Somehow, amongst all the brouhaha, amongst all the controversies and talking points, amongst all the will shes and the won’t she’s and the have shes and the would shes, Taylor fucking Swift has now snuck five consecutive albums onto the Necessary Evil list. For a bit of context, Young Fathers – one of my absolute favourite modern acts – have had three. Radiohead have had two. Her talents are seriously beyond serious debate now, aren’t they?

NO BLOG, NO CRIME

Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs

Right, holy shit, so am I actually doing this…?

“Repeat after me…”

The Manic Street Preachers are the greatest rock band ever. That’s not an opinion, it’s a conclusion that I’ve reached and am now saying it loudly and not listening to any dissenting voices, which in 2021 counts as a ‘fact’.

Their greatness is… complicated… and not easy to explain in a simple intro to a blog post… These 100 tracks aren’t necessarily the greatest songs ever. Even as a pathetically dedicated Manics stan*, even I would argue that they’ve only ever released one indisputable, stone cold classic record from front to back (see if you can guess which one after you read the list!). They may have supernatural control over melodies and how best to ensure a chorus hits just there, but at the end of the day they’re just a rock band. They have never really challenged the very boundaries of music, never pushed things forward or necessarily introduced anything new sonically. I would argue that only one of their albums is truly challenging and experimental, rather than just being a break from what the band usually produce (yeah, it’s the same album…). I mean, Jesus, they once shamelessly released a song including the lyric “The world is full of refugees/They’re just like you and just like me“. That’s unforgivably bad, isn’t it? They can’t come back from that, artistically.

“You stand there and you think about what you’ve done”

(*I may occasionally use cool, groovy, young person lingo like ‘stan’ so you think I’m a hip young gunslinger. Not, y’know, old enough to be a Manics fan)

I’m not able to explain their magic here, but over the next one hundred (!) entries you’ll hopefully all have a better idea. It’s not as dominated by the 90’s as I was worried it might be, and every album is represented (apart from one. Because their tenth album is worse than Hitler). I’ve been wanting to find the time to do this for ages, partially inspired by the great What is Music podcast covering their entire discography and reminding me of how many big veiny stonkers this band had bulging out of their collective musical swimming trunks. They’re talking about Muse on that podcast now, a band for morons, so you only need to listen to the last season. My major blind spot is I don’t think they’ve done a decent b-side since 2001. Now, I’m sure I’m wrong, so please correct my ignorance in the comments. Tell me how wrong I am. Post your top tens. Your top hundreds. The Manic Street Preachers’ fan community is one of the greatest in the world, and no other band are as connected with their fanbase and feed off their adoration as much as The Manics. So let’s celebrate that by calling me a fat slut in the comments because I didn’t choose Little Baby Nothing.

If you don’t have time for such nonsense, here’s the Spotify playlist and here’s all the songs in order on YouTube.

And, er, you might wanna bookmark this page – motherfucker’s gonna be long. Your next 500 trips to the toilet are sorted.

Continue reading “Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs”

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)”

Rumble in the Bumble pt.8

Previous parts

Ah, Hurley. Remember Hurley? Sure you do, she spoke in code about hating the police and people from Cradley Heath, and made it very clear that she was after someone over six foot two despite announcing her lust for Calloway, who only lists his height as three foot nothing. All of that can be forgiven, but she announced one thing that many people would simply find utterly unforgivable:

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Eugh! Eugh, eugh, eugh, eugh, eugh! A vegan!! Vegans are the worst aren’t they?? With their… with their… with their vegatables… and… and… and their… and their… fucking… lentils… We all hate vegans, don’t we?

Continue reading “Rumble in the Bumble pt.8”

Rumble in the Bumble pt.1

Have you noticed how things are a bit weird at the moment? Like, there seems to be something in the air, doesn’t there? People seem to be a little less socially active these days; nobody came to your barbecue last Thursday; WWE crowds are drastically down; you’re pretty sure Paul should have been at school these past few weeks not that you’re going to ask the little shit and risk getting pulled into an endless conversational loop about the largest dinosaurs; and Italian mayors seem to be furious these days. Something’s… different

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“Aye! Why-a you play-a da pinga-pong?!” #CasualRacism

I don’t watch the news- if I wanted a posh voice feeding me a liberal agenda I’d just ring my parole officer- but it’s clear to me what’s happened. There’s an unmistakable stench of disappointment overlaying an aggressive smog of sadness that’s infected the whole country. They know. You know. Everyone knows.

I am now officially single.

Continue reading “Rumble in the Bumble pt.1”

Legit Bosses: The 112 Best Songs of 2019

OK OK OK! There were 112 amazing songs released in 2019 (or, erm, released earlier but I just listened to them a lot this year), and here is the definitive, objective and scientifically proven ranking. You can disagree all you want, just remember your disagreement is merely an opinion and this list is fact.

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Or maybe not. I made a big change of tablet and therefore music player this year, and I might not have remembered all of the songs I deemed to be Legit Bosses earlier in the year. But whatever, here are 112 amazing songs, here’s the YouTube list and here’s the Spotify playlist, now please leave me alone, yeah?

Starting at number 112 wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith…

Continue reading “Legit Bosses: The 112 Best Songs of 2019”

10 SPELLLING: Mazy Fly

Hey kids, SPELLLING is fun.

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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…

Continue reading “10 SPELLLING: Mazy Fly”

Necessary Evil (47-43)

47 Blank Banshee: Metamorphosis

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzum, weeeeeeeeeeeear-kazummazum… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzum-wenkwenkwenk, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzdoo-baba-doo-baba-doo-baba-doo-baba. Sing along at the back.

‘Metamorphosis’ is a stunning 20 minutes of the most lushly created electronic music you’re likely to hear in 2019. I don’t want to be ‘that guy*’ again, but it’s really a piece of work that needs to be consumed through headphones (consumed… through headphones…?) to really appreciate the power and complexity of the music. Listening to the layered quasi-ambient beauty of ‘Metamorphosis’ you appreciate how far Blank Banshee has come since he was originally considered within the constraints of Vaporwave (or, indeed, ‘Vaportrap‘).

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You can no longer get the singular tracks, so just listen to the whole thing you lazy fucker

(*’that guy’ being someone who just points out facts. Don’t you fucking hate that guy??)

Yeah. How’s about that. Some proper fucking writing there, huh??

Metacritic: n/a

Continue reading “Necessary Evil (47-43)”