“I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me”
I have 69 (fnarr fnarr) of Pitchfork’s top 100 albums of the 90s. I have 74 of their best albums of the 00’s. Yet I have heard but 2 of their top 50 albums of 2012. To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure that Pitchfork is still a cool arbiter of taste.
So does this mean I’ve given up? Well, on “new” new music it kind of does. The reasons I give to myself are:
a) a lot of it isn’t very good and I can’t be bothered to sift
b) I’m busy and GBV isn’t going to listen to itself
c) “If it’s any good people will still be going on about it in a couple of years”
d) I’m so cool, I don’t have to follow trends
Sadly, d, I fear, is, the, truest.
Ween – Baby Bitch
I started off the year by moving house/towns after the disintegration of a relationship and reading the excellent 33 1/3 on Chocolate and Cheese. That album is 1. amazing but 2. almost entirely tongue in cheek… apart from this song. One of the bitterest, and most gorgeous to listen to, break up songs known to man.
Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk On The Moon
I was vaguely aware of Arthur Russell before my friend put this on a mix cd for me. This song is beautiful, strange, a bit wonky and includes bongos. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I love about it but the lyrics are wonderful. It’s far too easily to be cynical but I can’t help agree with “each step is moving me up/this is how we walk on the moon”. There’s many interpretations (I’ve thought about it too much) but I like the literal one, we keep on trying, we work together as a race and eventually we can WALK ON THE FUCKING MOON.
Drake – Marvin’s Room
This was also on the mix cd my friend made me. I heard it, went “he’s put fucking Drake on a mix cd for me” and turned it off. The whole cd. For a month. Then I gave it another go. The visceral hate I felt for it quickly turned to fascination. I enjoy: the strange off kilter, minimal music; Drake’s masterful change from half spoken, half rapped vocals to half sung half spoken vocals; the use of phone voice (all songs would be better with this). But it was the lyrics that kept me coming back. They were vulnerable and honest but they also only revealed themselves over the fullness of time: Drake’s a jerk. He’s only interested in her because she won’t sleep with him and is willing to take her away from, by all accounts, a nice guy to do it.
Louis Armstrong – La Vie En Rose
Taught to every Frenchman* at birth, Louis Armstrong’s version is perfect. A joy.
New Order – Temptation
I was in a “club” – OK, a pub with a dancefloor – tired and wanting to go home at 1 in the morning. Not even drunk. Then this came on. I like New Order but didn’t know it. I shut my eyes and danced joyously the whole time. It was wonderful. If this sounds lame, I don’t care.
*ok French person, but Frenchman sounds so much funnier