Bad Album Club – P4k Editions – Liz Phair

bad album club
Spiel: In it’s early(ish) days Pitchfork gave some 0.0 reviews out. Speaking about them P4k founder, Ryan Schreiber,  commented that he found these records to be “devoid of worth” to him personally and stood by the rating.

Pitchfork now brands itself as “The Most Trusted Voice in Music” so WE MUST ACCEPT THEIR JUDGEMENT.

My Previous: I finally gave Liz Phair a proper listen this year and fell in love with the lofi honesty of “Exile in Guyville”. Spotify randomly played me a song from this album  (HWC, which I loved and automatically made this album not a zero)  so I was curious to hear more.

Pitchfork Says: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/6255-liz-phair/

Matt Le May, who wrote a boring book on Elliott Smith, actually makes a variety of fair points about Liz Phair. He mainly seems personally affronted that Liz Phair could become bland, become crude without being clever and, oh god, become a sell out.

However, Pitchy’s review of Liz’s next album states clearly: “0.0 was wasted on that album, because it’s much better than Somebody’s Miracle”. But, but, but Pitchy, you’re the most trusted voice in music, can I trust this 0.0 or not?


My Take:

OK, in general this is pretty crappy early 00s radio fodder. You can definitely hear production team The Matrix’s influence throughout even if they did only work on 4 songs – musically most of this sounds like it could be sung by Avril Lavigne and there’s definitely a cynicism in the boring production and arrangement.

But honestly, would Avril Lavigne have sung “we haven’t fucked yet” in her biggest hit (As Phair does here on “Why Can’t I”)?  Sk8r Boi might have been more interesting if she had. Honestly, it’s tempting to try and recast this album as an interesting subversion of early 00’s AOR pop but… nope, musically there’s not enough going on for that, it’s Liz Phair wanting a payday and that’s fine.

You could be forgiven, if half listening, of thinking it’s all just bland vaguely risque stuff, until you realise it’s not subtle. There’s a song explicitly about fucking a younger guy. There’s a song about a son imagining in great detail his mum fucking a man who’s not his dad (“Your thinking little thoughts about her taking every inch of him in”). Then there’s HWC…

Hot White Cum sort of encapsulates this album – it’s kind of awesome, it’s filthy, it’s hilarious and catchy but… there’s a terrible harmonica solo and there’s some unbelievably lazy lyrics, the first verse even has “nananana” as a line.

In the end, it’s nice to imagine a world where I could turn on Radio 2 and hear incredibly filthy lyrics hiding behind bland production. Or to imagine when every alt artist embraced their mainstream equivalent –  Radio 1 playing Neutral Milk Hotel sounding like Mumford and Sons but slipping in the occasional line about malformed children in semen, perhaps?

Will I Be Listening To It Again: Oh God, no. Except for Hot White Cum which I will listen to all the time.

 

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Dry Humps

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Dry humps

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Wooooooo – The Wednesday Club’s 7th (?) album has arrived. Released on 14th October to minimal fanfare, the unfortunately titled “Dry Humps”  was recorded mostly at same time as “Passing Strange” and is almost, almost, as good as it.

It can be downloaded for whatever price you choose over at our Cath’n’Dad Records and all proceeds (every penny) are going to Mencap.

It comes with it’s own newspaper – The also unfortunately titled, Dry Humps.

The following blogs/podcasts  http://unpopular.typepad.com/ and http://www.adiffuser.net/en-avant/podcast-n29/ have featured songs from Dry Humps.

“All in all, it’s listenable” says http://www.withguitars.com/wednesday-club-dry-humps/

Download It!!!!1!

DRY HUMPS paper

Listen On Spotify


Iterations of Knowing (or Spy vs Spy)

Imagine you are a spy. A sexy spy if you want. You can be a sexy spy.

You’ve just double-crossed someone, lets call them, let’s just call them… Joey Jo Jo Shabadoo Jr. All is well and good.

But this is the spy game, where knowledge is power, and today we’re going to find out how many levels of knowing are useful before it all falls to bits.

At the moment we are at Level 1 of knowing in the game of knowing ping pong. You know you’ve crossed them but they don’t. This is useful knowledge to you. You can use it to be smug.

Now imagine that they find out you’ve wronged them. This is useful knowledge to them as they can now plan revenge.

Now imagine that through some channel, a third party maybe, you find out that they know you betrayed them. This is useful knowledge to you as you can prepare yourself for reprisals and take action.

Now imagine that they find out that you-know-they-know that you betrayed them. This new information is still useful to them as they are now aware that you are expecting reprisals from them and so won’t come in pretending friendship and then attack.

Now imagine that you discover that they-know-you-know-they-know that you betrayed them. Is this useful knowledge? Yes, because you know that whilst they will be seeking revenge it won’t be hidden under an easy guise of friendship as this would be pointless as you are prepared for it. So you know that they know they can’t pull the old hug-n-stab and have to do something more openly hostile.

Now imagine that they ascertain  that you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them. Is this useful knowledge to them? Yes, because they know you are prepared for them to be openly hostile and can adapt their plans accordingly.

Now imagine that you glean that they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them. Is this knowledge useful to you? Yes, just about, you now know you are in full on conflict.

Now imagine that they figure out you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them. This is  just about useful information to them as conflict is now open they can expect attacks as well as to be the attacker.

Now imagine you know they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them. This is kind of useful because you know they expect to be attacked and change your attacks accordingly.

Now imagine they intuit you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them. This is uhhh of some use because they know you can’t sneak attack them so prepare in different ways.

Now imagine you get that they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know-you-know-they-know you betrayed them This isn’t useful knowledge.

By my count that makes 10 levels of knowing worth knowing. The more you know.