..that was weird. Should've been more precise - everything orbiting the earth is covered in a thin layer of shit, flushed space debris from manned spacestations. Apparently.
That's such a passionate, elegaic piece you almost had me believing it. I can't get over the idea that Cave is an irritating sexual infant who abandoned an interesting aesthetic too early, but I prefer your story. I doubt there'll be many in the 50 series this good.
Y'know just to be clear.
Never forget trudging through the autumn leaves of my sleepy home town listening to Beautiful Freak on my discman. Still reminds me of coal fire chimney smoke, grey skies over red brick cottages, dark classrooms, the vivid mystery of sex, chilly handjobs by the river. Cheers Mr E.
He comes off as sort of belligerent and full of pathos at the same time. I love the Bukowski lines, and the subsequent undercutting of the old proto-hipster's cynical gloss.
Way late to the party.
Agree with BK that DIY puritans are annoying. That dogmatic materialism which just harps on about production conditions really misses the point of the pop text. And spot on about the the illusion of purity. At it s worst it's a strange and mad abnegation to pursue. Messianic, and in its refusal to engage; paradoxically quietist.
Not that i'm accusing the sane and considered WLWC of any of these.
My take on the RMBA? Sure by all means get in and rinse it, but better than that, for the right sort of band, get in there and piss it off with your music.
Go in everyday dressed in a massive red bull can with holes cut for your genitals. Paint your car in red bull livery and mount a massive missile covered in health warnings on the roof. Record a hit concept single called 'Jolt cola is the best energy drink, only 1.19 from most shops' or 'Red Bull damages your children's nervous systems' with a video skilfully mocked as a health research promo, with subliminal edits of a scientist pissing into a red bull can. As long as you think it's got "viral mileage" and RedBull really really don't, you've won.
But equally, there's no reason why encroaching corporate control won't turn RBMA into the next brill building, and instead of some sweaty necktied exec having a fiddle on the console (which frankly doesn't happen), we got the next Goffin and King, or Spector, or Norman Whitfield, or Timbaland or whatever. It might not be the place for radical pop, but it may well be place for great pop.
And just think of Eno for label balance, or better Genesis P Orridge who trashed gender regimes while maintaining a federated group of producers and being signed to WEA and CBS. And in the post-Major landscape that might never actually arise, where the twin edifices of DIY and Major have collapsed, that kind of mobility is even more plausible.
Look I can be interesting and constructive too!!
article, passionately felt, but it might be useful to introduce some nuance into our understandings of working class musical culture. There are clearly interesting ways for bands to articulate working class experience; the fall, morrissey, the poetry of mike skinner through john cooper clarke, the arctic monkey's first album.... And appalling ones; oasis, hard fi, twang. What the latter group share is the inability to sort through what they're representing, dumb or cynical ploys of authenticity, dubious symbolic politics, allied with a general lack of musical intelligence.
While it is undeniably true that the musical writing classes are increasingly predominantly middle class, and this is a serious issue, music critical values of a progressive and inclusive nature are everywhere to be found; Hatherly, Reynolds, Kpunk, are just a few that spring to mind, all well-schooled in the politics of good writing.
In a way this debate mirrors the one the nation may just be about to have with the BNP. Who represents the white working classes? Those for whom bourgeouisification and the decomposition of class didn't equal cultural opportunity, who got pushed into an access-free unrepresented corner. In here there are war discourses, sexism, British pride and melancholy, terrace-culture in the worst sense, all one step away from racism - and these are always soft-propped up by lad rock.
We are frickin' crying out for an intelligent voice to sing out about this, because Kasabian dressing up as soldiers and lifting wilfred owen lines, or Dappy dressing up as a moon-chav, aren;t really going to be enough.
On the whole chav thing, when it happened I was surprised at the virulence, it struck me as people saying 'fuck the white working classes they are beneath contempt', much harder rhetoric and sentiment than aorund the 'townie' tag which preceded it. But if we are to take racism in this country seriously we need not only look at the nature of policy and the nature of british insitutions, but at the social group which might be about to politically embody it. And to avoid us just sort of constructing the underclass as a dry 'object of political concern' like some insipid guardianista coven, we need some decent music to make us feel from the inside what is going on. I think that's music's contribution to class, and it's the job of the critical establishment to spot that when it happens, not to promote hard-fi's next album in the name of inclusiveness.
there's a companion piece on my blog at http://wp.me/pBtSQ-k
If you are I agree with you.
Please stop being so literal-minded under my article
As if any Morrissey song is simplistic enough to be 'about' a person. What are you ‘about’? The use of ‘gringo’ clearly comes from his latino connection and to deploy it as he did, in a context of masculine introspective weakness, is typically suspect. Das all.
..his iconic figure in the mix, and nothing wrong with looking like an orienteering enthusiast in a nuclear winter.
per unflattering simile
Thanks guys. Iirc I picked up the Edenic thing from Kpunk's writing a while back on abstract dynamics. The album was basically twee as ferk, replacing one kind of folk in folky twee-pop for another a continent away. Way beyond the beatnik or gawky suburban, arriving at some kind of sensitive cosmopolitanism which is way not what you'd expect from the genre so kudos to her. I'd go back to My Boys for the AC novelty, and because it's pretty decent in itself.
Yeah, I'm with you. He's miles off The Blow at the moment, who in my mind were the best of K at the time and worthy heritage-guardians of the International Pop Underground. The only really interesting thing in this for me is the gospeliana/electropop disjuncture, as I probably made clear in the review. While we've had the Human League pushing Marxism, Momus explicating Queer, and perhaps even Jimmy Tamberello converting us to social networking, I can't think of any Northern 'electropop' with this overtly spiritualist agenda, the sound is there in Depeche Mode's John the Revelator and Moby, but not the fury.
I know what you mean about vagueness, and to me that's a strength. Back in the day I was sold the microphones by a record shop owner on the totally fraudlulent basis that they were 'fuzzy synth pop', they weren't, but they were a hell of a lot neater and poppy than what Mt Eerie became and has become. Listening back Microphones seem slightly juvenile and limited, a bit of a carving hack, compared to the impressionists deftness with which Elverum creates both heavy monstrousness and light beauty on this album.
Daniel B Yates
I’m not totally convinced that ranking albums in terms of an artist’s ouevre is so useful, but i'm with Mr Brainlove that it’s my favourite since Glow Pt 2, probably helped by hearing it in the middle of the welsh mountains, surrounded by the amoral vastness of nature and a lot of sheep. It's a truism that when artists grow up they tend to become more conservative, but by his late-adoption of those black metal stylings to anchor those enormous scapes Elverum seems to have grown into a cavernous Wildman, and one with a fine control of the subdued insularity that’s been knocking around in his sound all along. It’s masterful, and add to that the YLT pop hymns, especially in Between Two Mysteries and you’ve got a contender for those album of the year lists i’m not totally convinced are useful.