Necessary Evil 2020 pt.6 (50-46)

#50 Banoffee: Look At Us Now Dad

Banoffee’s debut album should act as an important reference point for Halsey. The subjects she covers here- from painful reconciliations to painful intergenerational trauma to, Jesus, why didn’t I just leave it as a one night stand with that prick??- are at least as weighty as those covered on Ms Frangipane’s latest. Banoffee simply covers them often more explicitly, with far more humour and raw openness. And, more importantly, does so with no shame about this being a pop album and with the mature knowledge that really shouldn’t take away from its artistic legitimacy. She’s not openly complaining about Band of Horses not being considered pop despite starting with the same three letters, she’s not arguing that her album being considered ‘pop’ and the Javier Muñoz Spanish language production The Occupant being considered a ‘movie’ is just more evidence of the suffocating patriarchy, she’s not pointing to the barbed wire around her wrist on the album cover as poof of how freaking metal she is. She has no qualms about being a pop artist and is confident in the utter magnificence she can still produce, how being a ‘pop’ artist doesn’t act as a barrier to producing such weird, challenging and effective music such as this.

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Rumble in the Bumble pt.4

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

I know I promised that I wasn’t going to do another one of these until next week, but over the period of about nine hours yesterday Bumble dragged me on a roller coaster of emotions, potential and of reaching ridiculously over my limits as a physically attractive entity*. I have to assume that you’ve all read Shawn Michaels’s esteemed memoir ‘Heartbreak and Triumph’? Well, that could well be the title of this episode of my delve into the grottiness of online dating. Except that there was very little triumph involved. ‘Heartbreak and Heartbreak’ might work a little better. Except that repeated word is a little functionally unnecessary, isn’t it? Yeah, the book of yesterday on Bumble would be called ‘Heartbreak’. Do you see where this is going?

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(* though… maybe… really below… my mental attractiveness…? I don’t want to be cruel… Well… maybe I do, just a little, but as will soon become brutally clear I really need to claw back some self-respect out of this hideous situation)

What’s that? You think I’m far too obsessed with wrestling? Really?? Let’s see if that comes into play.

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Money in the Ranked part 3 (5-1)

OK, we’re definitely finishing this fucker…

Part 1

Part 2

5: Wrestlemania 24

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How many words have I vomited onto my fingers then indelicately smeared across my keyboard in respect of Money in the Bank matches? Ten thousand? Fifteen? A million?? Probably closer to the latter*. A lot, I think we can agree.

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(*Or should I say, probably closer to the LADDER?!?! Yeah. A good, solid pun. My worry is the word ‘latter’ is probably not in wide enough usage for the fucking killer joke to really hit home. I know, it’s not fair, my burgeoning comic career is being badly hampered by my audience’s lack of vocabulary. Again. It’s like when my 12 night stand at the Comedy Club received scathing reviews (“If AIDs had sex with cancer, and frequently drank moonshine during the pregnancy, the severely mentally disabled child would be Alex Palmer’s stand-up set” – Time Out) because nobody understood my hilarious observation of how the word ‘Brexit’ kind of rhymed with the third person singular active indicative of the Latin word for ‘understand’. Screw you, plebs, my 45 minutes on the topic are killer and I ain’t dumbing it down.)

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Money in the Ranked part 2 (10-6)

Fuck… I’m not going to finish this before tonight, am I…? Yeah, it’s gonna have to be a three parter. Sorry… 22-11 is here

10: 2018 Women’s MITB

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I was all set to start this entry off by explaining the massive caveat in the room. I was planning to sit you all down, make you all a nice soothing drink, lightly tickle you all round the back of the ear and in a cool, calming voice explain that no, this almost definitely isn’t really the tenth best MITB ladder match of all time. As I sensually stroked your inner thighs to calm your righteous sense of injustice I would explain how aware I was of rating the first two female MITB matches as scientifically the weakest two in the stipulation’s history, and how I must have been subconsciously desperate to rank their third go around highly in order to address this imbalance. I’d kiss your cheek as I explained how dreaded context meant it was important to slightly overrate a match that would probably be deemed little better than par for the course were it contested by people each holding a presumed pair of testicles and a thick, veiny and lipsmackingly tempting schlong swinging between their legs*. As your boorish fury at men being discriminated against once again built up, I would try and save matters by explaining that the ridiculously high placing was more in appreciation of how a perfectly serviceable ladder match was managed to be put together by wrestlers with next to no experience in the stipulation, at only the third try. As you angrily and loudly threw furniture around the room and fired off multiple Reddit posts asking whether it was even legal to talk about men any more, I would tearfully explain how I didn’t want all three female MITB matches to float around the bottom of this list, and by far the best of these three was ranked so high as mainly a symbolic recognition of great strides made. However, it’d be too late. By that point, I’d have already been officially and forever deemed a shameless ‘White Knight‘, and political correctness will have decisively gone mad.

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(*apart from [WRESTLER], ammi right, lads?! I’ll let you make your own joke their, as I am unarguably better than that, whereas you are patently not)

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Money in the Ranked part 1 (22-11)

All 22 WWE Money in the Bank ladder matches ranked. Listen, I thought the title would work better than it does, just go with it, OK?

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The Money in the Bank (from hereon in referred to as ‘MITB’, because I’ve got a lot of writing to do and I am a very, very lazy man) ladder match is the best idea that WWE have had since Steve Austin’s turn to the dark side at the end of Wrestlemania 17 in 2001 signalled the end of the Attitude Era and drew the curtain on the last period which wrestling seemed in any way relevant or widely notable. It’s arguably the only good idea they’ve had in that 18 year period. Save perhaps having The Miz replace Ted DiBiase jnr. as the lead actor in ‘The Marine’ franchise from ‘The Marine 3: Homefront’ onward. Yeah, WWE make movies now. And yeah, they’re all terrible.

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There have seriously been 6 of these fuckers

The premise- 5-10 wrestlers battle to use ladders to reach a contract swinging over the top of the ring which allows them a shot at any title they choose at any time they want over the next 12 months- is simple but ingenious, and allows for great storytelling potential and the chance to quickly promote a wrestler into the main event picture. Of course, this potential is more often than not completely squandered, because WWE are generally incompetent and we’re not allowed to have nice things.

Ranking the matches is difficult, because save a handful of amazing bouts and a smaller, Jeremy Beadle sized handful of slightly poorer ones, they’re almost always a similar level of ‘alright, pretty good, I suppose’. However, I am perhaps the greatest blogger of my generation- the ‘Heart Blog Kid’ Blog Michaels, or ‘Stone Blog’ Steve Blogstin, if you will- so I knew I had the ability to do it. I had initially planned to write this list in the build up to the 2018 Money in the Bank pay per view, back when there had been exactly 20 matches, and it would have made so much more sense. Alas, now there are 22 and, to be completely honest, I can’t even promise to finish it in time for 2019’s event exactly two weeks from today. But it’s a cash cow that the WWE are unlikely to put down for a long time yet, so there’s always the chance of a top 24 in 2020. Or perhaps a top 26 in 2021. I mean, I’ve started it now and I’ve already realised it’s going to have to be two parts…

Let’s see how long this takes!!

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51 Hinds: I Don’t Run

“Sometimes I see myself and I can’t stand my show/Because I wanna be somebody new/Because I wanna be somebody new for you”

The best relationships you have, the ones that are closest to actual love, are the ones that make you realise that you’re perhaps not quite good enough and inspire you to improve yourself in some way. Men or women, of course, shouldn’t have to do anything to impress any man or woman, but the very best relationships should make you want to be a better person and inspire you to self-improvement.

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I’m not talking about dumb physical alteration, like those high heels that render you in constant agony so every gross man who looks at you can picture you consenting to sex, or the black sable mitt ferret I keep down my pants on nights out so chicks can see I’ve got freaking animal down there… which… yeah… also hurts a bit. No person should feel forced into any uncomfortable or unsuitable dress or position by society, because society sucks! However, if you hear the guy you like the look off has a thing for women wearing Rey Myserio jr masks, then by all means wear a Rey Mysterio mask to work on Monday! You’re not trying to get the attention of the gross male populace, you’re just trying to get the attention of Colin from the warehouse! Which is a bit weird, but it’s your weird and you shouldn’t…!

Actually, Emily, you should probably stay away, you do know he spent time in jail for cutting the tails off local cows? No, I know, it’s hardly murder, I’m just saying it’s a bit weird, don’t you think? And the fact he lost both his arms in ‘Nam..

No, Emily, you’re right, I shouldn’t be body shaming, I just think you have to really question how exactly he cut those cows’ tails off without arms. And he says he lost them in Vietnam?? Emily, he was in the year below me at Tintwhistle Primary, if he went to Vietnam I really would have noticed…

Fuck, where was I?

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77 The Body: I Have Fought Against It, but I Can’t Any Longer

Fuck me…

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.

Anyway, as I was saying: Fuck me…

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6 Fever Ray: Plunge

I Decided to Love Her.

but She Didn’t Make it Easy

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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!!

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(Falling)

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!!

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46 Andrew Bird: Echolocations: River

Echoes of Locating a Cool Red

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Aaaaaah, Andrew Bird- ‘Birdo’ as I call him, or ‘Birdman’, or ‘Big Bird’, or ‘Slammin’ Andy’ if I’m not into the whole ‘feathery’ thing: we’re good friends- has been a repeat offender of past Necessary Evils. I occasionally forget about him for a few albums, but then discover his latest release and discover him still producing music of such consistent quality that I curse myself for ever letting him slip from my consideration. He’s like that cool uncle whose infreuent visits you always enjoy and, while he’s scoring you premium grade memthaphetamine and letting you rifle through his collection of vintage mid 1980s porno mags, you wonder why your parents never think of inviting him round more often

‘River’ is the second of his ‘Echolocations’ records and the first I’d been made aw

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been made aware of. The ‘Echolocations’ records are instrumental albums where The Birdmeister removes himself vocally from the process (meaning we lose a voice that, if we’re being honest, was never one of the main selling points of his music) and focuses on his incredible work with violins. I mean, there isn’t even any whistling on this album, which for a long time Birdometer fan is like playing the latest Lana Del Ray album and her never once either putting on or taking off a red dress. Each record’s name also points to the nature (geddit?) of field music that the collection is recorded under. The locations of the echoes you might be able to pick up: are you following? The first such collection was called ‘Echolocations: Canyon’, which was chiefly recorded in- get this- a canyon, and now ‘Echolocations: River’, recorded in an underpass next to the Los Angeles River.

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