I bought this on a whim, as I buy almost all things and virtually nothing. Everything is deeply considered and then suddenly, radically, impulsive. So I bought this knowing that I found The Vegetarian frequently beguiling, ultimately kind of frustrating. And knowing that I have Human Acts sitting on my desk, part of a ‘To Read’ pile that’s been gathering dust for months now, left trailing impulse buys like the aforementioned. And The White Book was in the Man Booker Shortlist section, so I knew that it was probably good. And the quotes seemed almost excessively laudatory. And it was short. Really short. 161 pages short. That’s the dream. Continue reading
“Expansion, not a compromise…warm, angry, and thoughtful, confident, melodic, and hard-rocking…”. It’s a big comparison, but it fits to me. That above is how Robert Christgau described The Clash’s London Calling. Continue reading
It’s Halloween and it’s a Tuesday, which means that pretty much all you can do is sit in and watch some scary films. I like watching scary films, so here are the ones I like most. Continue reading
Last night my dreams involved a combination of a free-scoring Wayne Rooney returning to the England team, and Pennywise the Dancing Clown. It was surreal and confusing but not unenjoyable.
The featured artists this month (let’s pretend this is a monthly feature and not some totally irregular, basically biennial splurge of words) don’t sleep so easy. Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo sees nightmares of global gloom and knows war is coming (if you want it); James Murphy returns with LCD Soundsystem to ask us how do you sleep; and Nadine Shah, Tyneside born singer-songwriter of Iranian descent, is plagued by the plight of refugees in an intolerant, ungenerous world. EMA’s nightmares may not be veiled by sleep, but the world of a 33 year old nihilistic woman in 2017 is laid bare in her dreamy, angsty new record.
But first some quick ones – some choice singles from the past month or so and some sub-A albums.
In an offscreen moment, Arya Stark kills Walder Frey. She then, maybe, cuts off his face and…wears it? Continue reading
“We’ve all got this “literary” fiction that simply monotones that we’re all becoming less and less human…and we all buy the books and go like “Golly, what a mordantly effective commentary on contemporary materialism!” But we already “know” U.S. culture is materialistic. This diagnosis can be done in about two lines.” – David Foster Wallace to Larry McCaffrey
How about “Infinite content/We’re infinitely content”?
Arcade Fire have never sounded so shallow, tired or cynical. It’s been coming for a while – their three most recent albums have all featured a track or two dedicated almost solely to Win bitching about the youth – but it’s never seemed so fatal.
The relentless ‘message’-ness and moralising of Everything Now – it’s about how we have everything now and infinite content has not made us happier – makes for pretty poor company most of the time, made worse by a smug sense of superiority and half-baked experimentation. Continue reading
The perception of an artist’s’ prolonged excellence can often thank gradually reduced expectations for that longevity; same applies for Animal Collective. After the underwhelming but still compelling Centipede HZ. and the largely uninteresting Painting With, this year’s EPs have seemed like a resurgence – even if they’re not. Continue reading