1 Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

“It should be called anti-depression, as a friend of mine suggested. Because it’s not the sadness that hurts you, it’s the brain’s reaction against it”

There are two oft-repeated truisms that always make me clench my fists in irritation at their sheer falsity. One is ‘you only regret the things you didn’t do’. This is absolute pish. I spend far too much of my spare time regretting the things that I have done in the past. One of the reason I need music in my life so badly is that I can easily place headphones over my ugly head and have the excessive volume of wonderful art black out the whirring commotion of my own mind. The grinding, remorseless drone of (ahem) 29 years of regrets replaying in my mind. A more accurate saying would be ‘you only regret the things that you absolutely did that you dearly wish you didn’t‘. You only regret the people you didn’t do? Fair enough. I mean, that woman at the Young Fathers gigfuck, how did I mess that up?

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However, such an insanely perspective of the nature of regret is offset by the feeling that ‘you can’t change the past’, or ‘what’s done is done’ or ‘the past is in the past’. It’s insanely easy to change the past. ‘The past’ is simply our reactions to history, just how we choose to view incidents that have raced past us on the fourth dimensional cortex and are now in the rear view mirror. The past is that guy with the thick set eyebrows that you drove past on the way to the restaurant. By the time you’re talking about him over food, the past becomes Martin Scorcese, because you’ve all convinced yourselves that it was. That’s how you view the past. That’s how you choose to interpret the past. That is the past. Later, somebody throws you the suggestion that who you actually saw on Cheltenham High Street was highly unlikely to be Martin Scorcese. They say who you actually saw was far more likely to be Eugene Levy. You accept the hypothesis. It was Mr. Levy that you saw. The past in changed.

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2 Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer

I know, I know, she’s not number one. This was all set up to be perfect, wasn’t it? Nobody has ever won Necessary Evil more than once, and after her outstanding debut won it way back in 2010 before anyone important was even born, it seemed as if it was all set up for her to make history. But she’s at number two. I’m as shocked as you are.

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It’s something I’ve been struggling with since April. The reason so many albums were seriously considered as being 2018’s best is because for near eight months I was furiously searching for a reason to not hand it to Janelle Monae.

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3 Low: Double Negative

A man enters the bar, possibly Irish, possibly Scottish, possibly Micronesian. His nationality isn’t important to the rest of this wry story. The bar was actually in Eastern Ukraine, but the man might have been on holiday, we don’t know. He orders a double negative. The barman asks him what the hell a ‘double negative’ is. The guy says it’s what he calls a double martini. The barman says that it was a lame way of trying to find some relation to the particular album this story ends up on, but took the man’s money and served him a drink. After the man finishes the double negative, he peeks inside his shirt pocket then orders the bartender to prepare another one. The barman asks him where exactly in the world do people call a double martini a ‘double negative. The man says that everyone calls it a ‘double negative’ where he;s from. The barman asks where he’s from. The man says where he’s from isn’t important, as it doesn’t play into the punchline in any way. The barman rolls his eyes and hands over the drink. After the man finishes it, he again peeks inside his shirt pocket and orders the bartender to bring another double negative. The bartender says, “Look mate, I have to say you’re being really weird. You call a double martini a ‘double negative’, you say that everyone does where you come from then refuse to elaborate on where exactly that is. Then there’s the thing with the photo in the pocket. You’re bumming me out! I’ll bring you ‘double negatives’ all night long, but can you at least tell me why you look inside your shirt pocket before you order a refill.” The customer replies, “I’m peeking at a photo of my wife. When she starts to look good, I know it’s time to go home.”

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Wa-hey! Because his wife… his wife’s really ugly… I guess… Thought I’d start with a joke, because this post is a little low on brevity. I am, unfortunately, unbearably serious about how much I love this record

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7 Let’s Eat Grandma: I’m All Ears

I have a weird, suffocating and in all definitions probably entirely sexist relationship with Let’s Eat Grandma. I feel hopelessly in love with their incredible debut, it was simultaneously insanely exploratory and captivatingly naive about where these probing songs would take it. Part of the reason I loved it so was the fact that Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth were from Norwich, a city I still consider my true birth place, as it was attending university there and living there for much of my 20s that I started to recognise what kind of person I was and what sort of man I had grown into*, so I’m always extra excited to hear such astonishing music from there. But it was also the fact that Walton and Hollingworth were 16/17 year old teenage girls when they released it. Was I subconsciously belittling these two incredible artists by thinking of them as my children??

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(* I mean, the ‘man I’d grown into’ was dangerously excessive chronic depression case, with only any real love for alcohol and other brain altering tools, but at least I knew that! I, of course, got married in this period, and cheated several times because I was a fucking tool, because the more you drink the more popular you become with the opposite sex. I’m not saying this is the reason you should drink, I just think it’s only fair if you know the facts)

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9 Anna Calvi: Hunter

I wanna know if I can feel alive
I wanna know cause I’m an alpha
I divide and conquer

If you’re reading this, the language I tend to use would suggest that you speak English and maybe 说一点中文. You’re almost definitely British, perhaps American or European. Bizarrely enough, based on the people who read my blog, almost certainly not from Australasia. What’s up with that, Oceania? Don’t I get no love?

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Anyway, you’re more than likely, through sheer luck of birth, to have never had to put up with much dividing and conquering yourself. This time, right now, is actually the most peaceful time in human history. Now, for the first time ever, more people die from traffic accidents (because we’re useless drivers), obesity (because we’re fat bastards) and even suicide (because, as I’ve put it so bluntly before, there really is no fucking point) than die from human violence. Back when we we all lived all 27 years of our miserable life milking a the family duck or sifting through cow shit to find bits worth eating, 15% of all human deaths came through human violence, usually because of the endless war that we were all stuck in. In the 20th century, it was just 5%, as we still had two World Wars to get out of our system Now, it’s only about 1%. Alright, we don’t want to count our chickens too early, and I’m sure the 20th century was looking pretty rosie throughout a lot of 1918, all it takes is an Austrian Archduke being murdered in Syria or the Korean Peninsula and it could be World War 3 (luckily, Austrian Archdukes are quite rarely spotted in Syria and in either Korea). But, in the West at least, it may be Happy New Year (War is Over)!

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11 Lupe Fiasco: DROGAS WAVE

I’m sorry to start off on a bit of a downer here, and I know that a white person mentioning these things is always a bit of a bummer. I can hear all the white readers already:

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And I hear you, bro! It’s totally easier for us rad white guys to just ignore the guilt that’s naturally eating away at every white person! It wasn’t us who enslaved an entire section of people! It was, like, our great great great granddads and shit, yeah? But, like, not my great great great granddad, he would have been totally woke in the 18th century! If my great great great granddad had slaves, then how come I have so many black friends?! Loads! Like who? Peter! He’s black! What’s that? Italian, you say? But he’s got such dark… I mean, in certain lights… So, does he not count…?

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12 Kanye West: Ye

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Next September, it’ll be ten years since Kanye West famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA awards. Which award? Which Taylor Swift song/video/album won? Which work by Beyonce was Kanye so aggrieved didn’t win? Literally nobody knows. And yet I promise you that every person you mention the moment to will be able to do a pitch perfect Kanye West impression from the moment. It was a dumb moment at a dumb musical award that nobody (at least in this country) gives two shiny shits about, and yet that moment of Peak Megalolz was still honestly one of the biggest and most discussed cultural events of the 21st century. Such was (and still is) the cultural cache attached to Mr. West.

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13 Royce Da 5’9″: Book of Ryan

I think we just have to accept that some things that are part of a nation’s identity just don’t make much logical sense to those looking in. To an outsider, a nation refusing to tighten its laws on something that causes 11.7 deaths per 100’000 of the population is absolutely ludicrous. The country needs it though, it makes it feel safe, makes them feel like they can protect their children. And anyway, the country only uses it for fun! Why should it be blamed for the other dumb countries- usually darker skinned, let’s be honest- who can’t control themselves??

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“How can they let this continue to happen??” other countries self-righteously bray, “Can’t they see that it’s killing them??”. Other countries just don’t get it though, it’s a part of the country’s national pride! This country knows what it’s doing! It doesn’t kill people! People kill themselves! That’s, like, a mental health thing or summat, yeah?

If you’re not British, I can’t imagine you’d understand my relationship with alcohol.

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14 awakebutstillinbed: what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way other people see you

I’ve long debated that. When I go through periods of hating myself, is it actually myself that I so despise, or just how terrible I must look to other people?

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I already mentioned my mind, and how ridiculous an amount of importance I place  on other people’s perception of me in finding my own sense of self-worth*, but isn’t that logically the way I should be approaching life?? Don’t we as humans only even truly exist in how we effect other human beings and the world around us? Sure, you can be happy in yourself, and not care slightly about your consequences that your needlessly complicated existence can have on those around you. Congratulations, you’re a meaningless life form. Isn’t that sociopathic though? How can you struggle through life with any kind of happiness when surely you have to be an idiot to not even give thought to how little esteem you’re held in the eyes of so many people.

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