Apparently I struck some kind of a chord with the hyper-intelligent, funny, unique, interesting and frankly devastatingly attractive people who read this blog when I last week described the chart, humorously, as a ‘shart’; but aside from provoking much tittering [you changed one letter, you’re hardly Peter Sellers. Ed.] I think I may genuinely have been onto something. Much like the aforementioned rectal reversal of fortune, the chart is supposed to be a jolly and amusing trump, perhaps slightly unpleasant at times but something to be enjoyed and moved on from, instead it seems to have backfired, filling the chart with unwanted shite and leaving everyone involved having to make awkward excuses to waddle to the bathroom. An increasing feature of these chart columns is that the music is so repetitive and inconsequential that I have very little to say, and what I do have to say tends to be repetitive, so apologies for that. Buy better singles you cunts and maybe I’ll feel less like hanging myself on a Sunday night.
NOTE: for all you whining arseholes who jump in shouting “spoilers” every time a critic tries to do their damn job, this critique will contain a variety of spoilers for several films in the Godzilla saga, and if you don’t want to know in advance about the totally out of place scene with the comedy bellydancing Irishman, you ought to stop reading now.
Godzilla is supposed to mean something, like Giger’s Alien, his original incarnation from 1954 he was a fanciful manifestation of a very real terror: the horrific blasts at Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the serpentine nuclear fallout that wound its way through those deserted streets and into the lungs and blood of rescuers and residents, the pall of nuclear dust that fell over the crew of Lucky Dragon Number Five. And Godzilla represented what those represented, the disaster wrought by Commadore Matthew Perry and his Black Ships in Edo bay, and the ultimate defeat in the second world war, leaving millions dead and industry and infrastructure obliterated and ultimately, the invasion of Japan, by occupying American forces, and by particles of evil radioactive fallout; finally a humbled Japan, unsure of its place in the world. The modern era had arrived in Japan even more suddenly and violently than it had the rest of the world. The nuclear age presented very real fears, and Godzilla was manifest of those fears, alternately awakened or created by the use of nuclear weapons, his characteristic roar was the bell tolling for modernity, that had dabbled in things it shouldn’t; in the domain of gods, or beings so powerful that they resembled gods.
IT’S ABOUT THAT TIME! Where my faith in humanity is slowly eroded a few more precious notches, like a crumbling Devonshire cliff edge, my inevitable hate-filled rampage a shaky cottage teetering perilously on the precipice. Another few weeks of this shit and I’m going to start making ornaments out of inattentive people’s skin. Looking over the chart the last few weeks has taken five minutes because there’s been two (shit) songs each week, but this week there’s been a bit of a shake-up and there seem to be dozens of new songs. I’m not sure if this fills me with renewed vitality or grinds me down further.
|Picture by calebvoorhees|
I hate hating Coldplay, I really do. Because every time I mention how I would rather be exsanguinated than listening to their tedious empty dribbling crap ever again, people say “of course you hate them”, no, no, you don’t understand, I really hate Coldplay, it isn’t a statement, I really just hate them. Well I was dashing an email off to m’colleague waxing lyrical about the latest Coldplay release and it came out more eloquently than expected so I thought I’d post it here for the benefit of the wider audience.
"Shut up, woman" - Internet misogyny has gripped music journalism like an inoperable fascism cancer.
Look, it’s either write on here or hang about on street corners ‘til I find a harasser and kerb stomping away his face, alright? It seems I’m speaking to the under-fives this week, because any given article which attempts to discuss the fractious relations between women and the music industry seems to get bombarded with abuse (not rational argument, abuse) and it seems this always needs re-saying. I was prompted by the abuse showered on fellow scribe Hayley Scott for her interview with Alanna McArdle, which, like every article that dares use the word ‘feminism’ was assaulted with a tirade of abuse and dissension, most of which could be used in a Critical Thinking course as examples of fallacy in action. Oh and let’s not forget, rape threats and death threats to interviewer and interviewee.
I'm not going to write a title, just mournfully hope for a better world in embittered silence - The UK Singles Chart Top Twenty 11th of May 2014
What’s the chart going to be like this week? Stupid boring music for twats. That’s what it’s going to be, because I seem to have a more attuned grasp of pattern recognition than everyone else. Last week was really the death knell of both the chart and this column, with only one ‘new’ song in the chart, and that song being utterly creatively bankrupt. The prevailing consensus around chart music, from anyone who matters, is that it is rubbish, so I renew my requests for ‘who buys this crap?’ genuinely, who buys it and propels Calvin Harris to the top of the chart because it isn’t anyone I know with a functioning motor cortex. Every week I watch the live counter on the charts website tick down like the timer on the world’s shittest and most boring bomb ready to explode ineffectual samey pop music across these united isles for another week.
“Much of the trouble that is attributed to drugs really should be attributed to boredom” Alexander Trocchi
“Oh my god! You have to do it!”
At the suggestion that I maybe should do a special version of my infamous chart column, inevitably called the “Eurovision Atrocity Special” almost everyone who wasn’t me was really keen for me to watch three and a half hours of stomach-churning colour and excitement and garishness, can’t think why. I’ve dosed myself up on MDMA in a simultaneous bid to keep myself awake and stop the raw cosmic horror of three hours of mental illness from burning my soul up from the inside and turning me into the kind of craven unhealthy zombie who can watch this bullshit with irony gear turned up to ‘UKIP’.
“Semen tastes like gunmetal, she said smiling”
“There was a rainbow like a halo over the world”
If metal were to be distilled into a single sentence, from its inception through every subsequent moment, it would be “the search for greater sonic extremity” and Pig Destroyer sets out on an iron horse with a fiery anus, east towards a burning sunrise looking for extremity more readily, frequently and consistently than almost any other band working today. Avoiding the black comedy and meaningless shock potholes that derail most of their contemporaries and striking at the heart of something deeply unnerving at the core of what ails us. In a frightening parallel universe in which the JFK politics of hope are twisted into napalm fire in the jungles of Vietnam and the grinding of tank tracks in Berlin, in the charred post-nuclear wastelands of the late nineties, a twisted militarised version of the Melvins appears, and call themselves Pig Destroyer. Taking the same Melvins invention, pitch black humour and obsession with riffs but turning it to nightmarish ends. The only band with a comparably gruelling aesthetic is the legendary sludge group Acid Bath, but Pig Destroyer take the cause to greater, unscaled heights.
This is the way the world ends, not with a chart, but with a whimper - The UK Singles Chart Top Twenty 4th of May 2014
Memo #587 to the music writers’ union stated that one cannot begin any piece of music-related writing this week without first opining about how awful the new Avril Lavigne video is as if (1) nobody expected it to be and (2) nobody else has noticed yet. Dutifully fulfilling my job to point out that this video is terrible and the song is worse than having a shit-soaked knitting needle pushed into your ear by a team of snails taking alternate days off. Why anyone cares is beyond me. I’ve been playing Dark Souls and listening to the new Body/Thou split on repeat. It’s 2014’s ‘watching the X-Files in the dark’. 2014 is already a better year than 2013 in music, and I’m not going to introduce you to ANY OF IT because you cunts still buy chart music, you brazen idiot children. I wish I could just go to some beach party with a friend and a coil of wire, and run from one end to the other and take every one of your goddamn heads off. Not that I’ve got an axe to grind or anything…