Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Some musicians are just too Spartan in their practices to offer mere enjoyment to the people who buy their CDs. Some musicians have dedicated entire careers to producing overthought exercises in the unlistenable (Venetian Snares) while others think it makes them more serious in their art (Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, Miles Davis' Gemini/Double Image and everybody has their own personal pet peeve to add to the party). I think Matthew Herbert can sometimes be a bit like this, but never actually dedicates whole albums to ridiculous noise noodling, so I reckon that you can have about three Herbert CDs in your collection. Lou Reed would be any number of Velvet Underground studio releases because there aren't so many, but probably only a maximum of four solo LPs, not including Metal Machine Music. Miles Davis: remember the coefficient, and avoid the overdone crap.

Venetian Snares: no. Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV/Genesis P Orridge: Is there really a need?

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Kill ME

Oh and get this: "Are we human, or are we dancer?"

The Killers: Zero.

They cancel out even the coolest, most obscure rarity that you thought nobody but your good self even knew about, and were delighted to find in the collection of your prospective boy/girlfriend. Because after that initial burst of joy and optimism, you looked over and saw The Killers and knew that the whole relationship was going nowhere.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Acknowledging former wrongs

Every relationship is a journey, and along the way there will be sins and forgiveness, rights and wrongs, all in the name of development, growth and the strengthening of bonds in the union.

Some of the worst things may only be understood in the cold light of hindsight.

Just how totally crap and irritating Architecture in Helsinki always were is one such realisation. I once sang their praises, in choral fashion, but know better now.

Yeah, I was wrong, and I'm sorry, and embarrassed. I could forgive an album because I understand how people get swept up on bandwagons.

In this revisionist vein, I now allow much more Coco Rosie. I'm still violated by the cover art, but Noah's Ark is a strange and interesting album. I am also finding Sonic Youth to be more and more distasteful as the years go by, but acknowledge some great work and wouldn't run away if I found a sizeable collection in, say, a cupboard.

No doubt I could delve deeper and find more revisions. Like I said, every relationship is a journey.

Oh, just quickly, I wouldn't want someone I was dating to be too into Bon Iver. A casual liking is OK, but you shouldn't LOVE it.

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