6 Thom Yorke: ANIMA

See, Thom? Do you see? Do you see what you can achieve when you stop mucking about?

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I didn’t like the last Radiohead album. I thought it was too often lazily and ponderously similar to the rather lazy and ponderous first half of ‘King of Limbs’, their previous album. Oh, that reminds me, I didn’t really like ‘King of Limbs’ either, but I thought that the second half of the record was just about enough to salvage the record. Then there have been his solo records. 2013’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ project was described in some quarters as ‘musical farting about that will have you stroking the nearest beard in appreciation‘, and then there was 2014’s ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes‘- which I honestly completely forgot about until I just Googled his discography because I was certain he’d been responsible for more bullshit recently- which paled ‘next to even his debut solo LP and last year’s patchy Atoms of Peace (sic) release’. What I’m saying, dear reader, is that Thom ‘Fuck Phonetics’ Yorke hasn’t been involved in a consistently great album since 2007’s ‘In Rainbows‘. You’re allowed to have your own opinion, of course, just remember that it’s just an opinion. What I’ve just said is a fact.

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The Best Albums of the Tennies (kind of…) Part Two

Y’know what? This really didn’t need to be a two parter. Sure, Part One spilled over 4’000 words, but’s that’s just because Arctic Monkey’s shameful behavior presented me with the chance to go off on a wrestling tangent, and that’s a guaranteed extra twenty five hundred words right there. I reckon I’ll bang through the rest of these in around 2’000 words, as I’m almost certain The Sport of Kings is unlikely to make an appearance. 6’000 words is a not at all ridiculous length for an entry. My ‘50 Song Memoir‘ entry was, if memory serves, 7,296,586 words, and that’s one of my most popular posts of all time. You. Whores. Love. Length.

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But, twice the content, yeah? Twice the clicks, twice the sweet, sweet advertising dollar. I mean… technically, yeah… Double zero is still zero, maths fans. Could be worse, I could be giving each entry it’s own individual page and forcing you to click ‘next’ each time, like those fucking awful lists you see on the internet, like… like… well, like this dumb blog that nobody reads every year end, I suppose. We’ve got some motherfucking stonkers coming up, mind, so ready your tiny minds to be blown like you were the window cleaner’s penis and this list was your mum (oooooooooooooooh!!). This pointless intro only exists because I hate the entries being scissored by a page break. Besides, I couldn’t let you know what no.5 is before I’ve got your delicious clicks. Clickety-click!

Continue reading “The Best Albums of the Tennies (kind of…) Part Two”

The Best Albums of the Tennies (kind of…) Part One

Has this even been a decade? Like, other decades were definitely decades, weren’t they? The 70s were definitely a decade, I’ve seen pictures. It was all flared jeans and Ashton Kutchers. I remember the 80s, it was all primary colours and He Man toys. Except I’m 29 years old, which now unfortunately means I was born in 1990, so I don’t actually remember the 80s. Shame.

Yeah, I know, the Megadrive version was better…

The NINETIES though! Remember the NINETIES?! That was an unarguable ‘decade’! There was a undeniable vibe to the 90s. The 90s was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air doing the Macarena after scoring the winning penalty against Ginger Spice in the Euro 96 quarter finals. Remember that? It definitely happened and was definitely 90s!!

I turned 16 (or possibly 10) three days before the year 2000, and since then life doesn’t really deal in decades or conveniently distinct periods of time anymore. Every decade, every year, every day is now a seemingly unending trudge through hideous adulthood. Life and popular culture just trundles off in a different direction and your major marking points become all the more onanistic and self-centred. I started getting fucking old. And when you’re fucking old you’re beaten down by capitalism’s endless rat race that you don’t even fucking care what year it is.

Continue reading “The Best Albums of the Tennies (kind of…) Part One”

Entry #5 Future: Mask Off

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.

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33 Various Artists: Tegan and Sara Present The Con X: Covers

Leave the Memories Alone?

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‘The Con’, Tegan and Sara’s fifth album, was a very important album to me personally, not just simply at the time of its release but for many years afterwards. This should have had given me a hint to how significant a release it was- considering the lasting effect it still managed to have on a man so tediously heteronormative that he seriously refused to like Bret Hart as a child because he wore pink- but I honestly didn’t realise the wider world had similar and even equal affections to me (but never more, never possibly more: nobody could love ‘The Con’ more than me. Nobody!) until I learned that there would be a tenth anniversary celebrated with a collection of covers of each of the album’s 14 tracks by 14 different artists, some newer acts that were directly influenced and even enabled by T&S’s and this album’s success, and some older affiliates (Ryan Adams: who knew? He’s a man that I imagine would consider even me an outrageous fop).

Firstly, this is always a great idea, and always preferable to just lazily re-releasing a classic album with an extra disc of b-sides and demos (damn you, Manic Street Preachers, stop taking my money!!). Two albums on this countdown are by artists first introduced to me through this album (Muna and… another one…)

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and it’s by far the best way to exhibit an album’s importance.

Secondly, rather than spending 800 words again moaning about how I think Tegan and Sara aren’t as good as they used to be, I thought that it would be far more interesting and relevant to revisit my original ‘review’ of the album when it, in keeping with my usual punctuality, was No.4 in my 2008 list (and make it 2’100 words). The original piece only captures a small part of the bond I would eventually form with the record, but this is still proof that I was into this album way before anyone on this list. And yet was I invited to contribute? Was I buffalo!!

More after the jump (I’ve always wanted to write that, makes the blog sound so legit)

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Best Albums of 2013: Necessary Evil’s Chris Benoit

I’ve tried to put this off for a long time: the 2013 best albums list that I originally emailed off to ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ around Christmas that year is the final collection to be posted onto the webisphere and officially archived. I considered never doing it, denying its existence and never admitting to the shameful mistakes it contains. However, when I write my NE2017 list (soon, I promise) I want to make a point of referring to artists’ past entries in the Necessary Evil Blogging Universe (NEBU), so I’ve relented and made it available to read.

I was mainly worried about two things: firstly, I spent 6 months of 2013 in hospital, occasionally politely coughing and making my existence known to death’s door, so the fact that I managed to still mash out a top 50 at year’s end- while being an astonishing achievement warranting some achievements in disability award- makes me assume that a large portion of it will be unreadable madness.

Yes, very funny: more so than usual

Secondly, Arctic Monkey’s award for best album was soon revoked in light of their tax dodging selfishness, and the records for 2013 now show Hjaltalin’s astonishing ‘Enter 4′ as the greatest album, as despite it only finishing 5th in this initial list, by the time Arctic Monkey’s were stripped of the award it had grown into my favourite release of the year. Arctic Monkey’s win in 2013 is now viewed in the Necessary Evil Online Community (NEOC) with the same divisiveness as Benoit’s Wrestlemania 20 Heavyweight Championship win, and doubtless the posting of this list will be viewed as an extremely controversial move by victims of the Arctic Monkeys’ crimes. I apologise for any offence caused, but you must understand the importance of establising the legitimacy of NEBU.

So, I re-read the list for the first time in years and…

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It’s…

…not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I’d say that 2013 might contain some of my best and most incisive actual music writing, and I didn’t cringe nearly as much as I feared. Jesus, some of the entries (The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Kanye West…) are some of the best normal writing I’ve ever done! From death to coherence: I’m such a fucking inspirational figure

It’s far from perfect- I make a quip about Bowie not dying, I’m a little too subtly sexist in my Haim review, Steve Mason is number fucking two…- but I’m not completely overwhelmed by shame posting them

Also: Daft Punk are only no.42, Vampire Weekend 34, that’s pretty gangsta

NE2017 soon, I promise

I love you all

Except you

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Continue reading “Best Albums of 2013: Necessary Evil’s Chris Benoit”

50 Solange: A Seat at the Table

Top 50! This is almost a normal list!

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Firstly, Pitchfork- that self-congratulating vomitorium that regards itself biblical text for hipster edgelords*- naming ‘A Seat at the Table’ as 2016’s best album is absolute bullshit

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Not ‘in my opinion’ this or ‘controversial choice’ that, actual inarguable and scientifically objective bullshit

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They realised that Solly’s sister Be-Be

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was going to land high on many critics’ lists, so decided to swerve everyone with a hot take

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Continue reading “50 Solange: A Seat at the Table”