Necesary Evil 2020 pt.8 (40-36)

#40 Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks

Yep, Princess Nokia states that ‘Everything is Beautiful’ and only makes it to number 70, but when she simply throws up her arms and declares that ‘Everything Sucks’ she opens our top 40. What does this prove? That’s right- absolutely fuck all, as this list is an absolutely meaningless vanity project by some egotistical, fat, ginger, middle aged man frivlously listing albums he’s listened to this year in no real order despite knowing next to nothing about music.

I joke, of course, this list is an entirely scientific exercise. The real reason that the other album that The Princess Regent of Nokia and its Territories released in 2020 ranks so much higher is because, yeah, maybe everything does suck.

…at the crotch don’t look at the crotch don’t look at the crotch don’t loo…
Continue reading “Necesary Evil 2020 pt.8 (40-36)”

3 Elbow: Giants of All Sizes

Little Fictions‘ didn’t even even make Necessary Evil 2017. In truth, it was probably the saddest album of the year, Elbow had long been one of my favourite bands and it was clear that they were finished as a going artistic concern. ‘Little Fictions‘, to me, sounded like ten borderline heartbreaking pathetic attempts to recapture the commercially successful sound of One Day Like This, a song they had released ten years previously.

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Even though the sad, death march of an album didn’t make the cut (a year where Lil Yachty was number 44) I was still saddened enough to mention the mess in my post on the winner, Perfume Genius, stating that “Little Fictions’ was a disappointing mini-shark jumping by Elbow, failing to build on the shock factor of last album highlight Charge as I’d hoped”. Ah, Chargea career highlight and shining light among the very good ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything‘ album. I was hoping that it was pointing to future directions as a crazy psychedelic prog rock, but instead it was obviously one last hurrah from a band now content to rest on its laurels and pander to festival crowds already won. It was a crying shame, but Elbow were dead.

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9 Jane Weaver: Modern Kosmolosy

Modern Kosmetics

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The Weavs has had an astonishing career.

Her first band, Kill Laura, were about 4% as bad as you’d expect a band who released their first record while Weavo was still at college- in 1993- to be. Kill Laura ended up on a record label run by Rob fuckin’ Gretton, where one can only assume the band were paid in horse tranquillisers and forced to record their songs while Rob aimed a crossbow at Weavy’s forehead and masturbated into a tin bucket full of custard ‘for the acoustics’. Weev actually recorded a solo album while at Manchester Records (really, Rob? That’s actually the best you can come up with? Fucking waste of space) which was never released because it coincided with Gretton’s death (I’m sorry for your loss. Bur Manchester fucking Records?? That is such bullshit! I’m not saying I’m glad he’s dead, not at all).

Weaverino went on to form Misty Dixon, a band who you can tell from that one song were roughly 76 times better than more than two thirds of your embarrassing record collection. As they were always likely to be, as they featured the talents of not only Weaverine but also Dave Tyack, one of the founding artists of the Twisted Nerve label. The release of their debut album was overshadowed slightly by the disappearance of Tyback. He was found dead in Corsica, two years later. Misty Dixon had already broken up by then. The quitters…

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12 The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir

Stephin Merrit’s Life, Ranked

(Wait, is it with an ‘i’?? I have been misspelling him my all life…)

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The best Magnetic Fields albums always come with a good, solid gimmick, don’t they?

We all know (and love. If you don’t love it we can never be friends. Or even sexual partners. Unless you have, like, really nice tits) ’69 Love Songs’, but there was also the brilliant ‘i’ (where every song began with said letter); the less brilliant ‘Distortion’ (where every song was layered with Jesus and Mary Chain levels of interference); ‘Love Gas from the Digestive Tract’ (which featured Stephin Merrit burping after every line); ‘Hank and Peggy’ (in which all 259 tracks were based on a separate ‘King of the Hill’ episode, which was a brilliant way of honouring one of the most underrated TV shows of all time which I’m totally going to steal!); and ‘Fabio’s Groove Ride’ (the tale of Fabio killing a goose while on a rollercoaster. No, I will never stop referencing that incident! It happened on this very day in 1999, have some fucking respect).

[I started this ‘review’ yesterday, so it’s now exactly 19 years and one day since it happened]

’50 Song Memoir’ is what it says on the tin, with each of it songs referring to a different year in Merrit’s life. Yes, there’s 50 songs, because Stephin Merrit always prefers to go absolutely gall bladder out when he’s got a gimmick he really likes.

It’s not as good as ’69 Love Songs’, because of course it isn’t as good as the best album ever with a number in its title, but it’s still an astonishingly strong collection. The highs are no way near the heights of ’69…’,

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but a far greater percentage of its songs are worthwhile: there are no piss-taking throwaways like Punk Love or Experimental Music Love and far less contrived arch jokes such as Love is Like Jazz. I might even argue that there are more great songs on ’50…’ than they are on ’69…’, but there’s nothing here anywhere near the sheer majesty of Busby Berkeley Dreams or The Book of Love or All My Little Words or The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure or I Don’t Want to Get Over You or I Shatter or…

[continues for several minutes]

I once had the brilliant idea of, instead of attempting a full Necessary Evil 2017 countdown of albums that I’ve barely lived with for three or four months, why not just have a top 50 of the songs on ’50 Song Memoir’, going into detail on all the topics and emotions brought up!? Pretty awesome, yeah?!

Unfortunately, I got that brilliant idea after I’d already started this stupid fucking list. I mean, I’m still going to do it, it just won’t be as good. Hope you’re all fine with that.

Continue reading “12 The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir”

20 Tyler, the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy

Sara May Never Get What She Was Promised

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Yeah!! ‘Sum Fuck Flower Boy’! It’s not just feebly called ‘Flower Boy’ on this blog! You won’t see no censorship on Baboon Etiquette*! Yeah, motherfucker, we punk rock, yo!! I hereby promise that you will never, ever see censorship on this blog!! Unless somebody starts actually paying me for it!! Then I’ll do whatever the fuck they want!! Because I’m far too poor to put any principles before money!! Holler at your boyeeeee!!!

I never actively disliked Tyler, the Creator. I mean, whenever I’m complaining about the paucity of decent rappers’ names these days (‘Vince Staples‘? Really?? So, do I call you ‘Vincent’, or…?) his is always the first exception that comes to mind. He always just had a pretty poor reputation to me.

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The Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi writes in her Taylor Swift inspired book ‘Reputation‘ (although it was of course initially released under it’s Italian title of ‘Ayyyyy! Reputationalio! Mama Mia!’. Yes, of course that joke’s racist) that we all have two selves. There’s the physical and mental sensation of being you, which is what you (wrongly) consider to be your actual self. Then there’s The Alex Palmer Existence, which is a hazy and constantly changing image of what you are in the eyes of Alex Palmer.

I’d argue that the latter is actually your ‘true’ self. You might believe that you truly exist within yourself, that only you truly understand the real you. This is bunkum. I’m not saying that you have no say in what kind of person you are, but you actually only exist through how you interact with the outside world. If you ask all the people you know to describe you, then even if it greatly contravenes what you believe, it’s their opinion that’s going to be true. Trusting a person to be truthful about what they are is like me trying to find out if your pet dog is nice by asking the dog itself. The dog’s inner beliefs don’t matter, because it’s far too swayed by its overriding desire to eat and to lick its own genitals, very much like yourself.

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(…)

For example, if you asked me how big my penis is, I would say with typical modesty that it is rather humble. Not small per se, but definitely politely unimposing and considerate. However, if you asked my friends how big my penis is, they would actually confirm that it’s humungous, that they wonder how I even stay upright with that monster swinging from me, and that I must be the only man in history to ‘dress on both sides’. I’m saying that my friends are way more likely to be true, and my contact details are available on this blog.

But, I digress:

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25 PVRIS: All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

That’s Quite Enough of What We Need of THAT…

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I’ve just been thinking (see above): remember those Paris attacks back in November 2015? They were horrid, weren’t they? I think we can all agree that The Eagles of Death Metal are at best a ‘serviceable’ act, but I don’t think there’s a form of entertainment on Earth that 89 people should be slaughtered just for attending (apart from, of course, [INSERT YOUR OWN JOKE HERE, THEN HAVE SOME FUCKING RESPECT]). 130 people were murdered* in total, which I think we can all agree is far too many.

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26 Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley

The Mining Industry’s Colapse is Unfortunately Not Always Super Entertaining

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I don’t think any widely used (and often misquoted) maxim gets me more riled* than the one that supposes all the world’s problems could have easily avoided if people just payed a little more attention in history class.

History’s great: the past was fucking mental and studying quite how bananas it was is always fascinating. In fact, I’d say that out of all the school subjects history was definitely my favourite ‘ry’, better than chemistry, carpentry and podiatry (my school was very weird). But to say that knowledge of it would prevent making similar mistakes in the future just completely misunderstands human psychology: when you hear of past logistical failures, you don’t wisely choose to avoid making the mistakes, you do it all exactly the same because, deep down, you know that it’ll work when you do it because you’re frickin’ awesome. Do you think that in late 1942 some bespectacled nerd Nazi soldier (a ‘nazerd’? A ‘nerdzi’? Yeah, I like that second one) hurried to the front of the battalion encroaching on Russia with his school history text book shouting at the admiral “Hey, mate, hey! I’ve just read up a bit on this whole ‘invading Russia’ lark, and it turns out it might not be a good idea…!”

No. Hitler knew all about his history. He just assumed that he would be able to get it done right. Because he was Adolf fucking Hitler and he didn’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuck, yo.

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(…)

Continue reading “26 Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley”

45 And So I Watch You From Afar: The Endless Shimmering

Seth Manchester: So Much To Answer For

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Now, if you read my rapturous praise of The Hotelier’s ‘Goodness‘ last year- which you didn’t, because you’ve only arrived at this entry by mistake (perhaps after punching ‘erotic fucking baboon*’ into Google, arriving here penis in hand and, if you’re being honest, desperately disappointed) and already can tell that the cheap and obnoxious work evident in both the cheap presentation and the nonsensical garbage written is hardly worth trawling through three months worth of posts in order to proper place this particular entry on a semi-obscure instrumental rock band from Belfast in its intended context- then you might remember- though even if you did read it, it’s far from certain that you’d remember a brief snippet of information lightly touched on during the piece, and are far more likely to be mentally scarred for life by the image of a pale fat guy dancing with his shirt off if the entry left any lasting impression on you at all- how much of the praise for the construction of such an unholy masterpiece of a record should lay at the feet of one ‘Seth Manchester’, who contributed some of the greatest rock production I could ever remember hearing.

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I’ve, erm, lost a lot of weight since those pictures, ladies…

Continue reading “45 And So I Watch You From Afar: The Endless Shimmering”