When it came to the mall I didn’t know how to behave, but with music we’re on a rollPosted: April 5, 2011
All on my iphone again.
Woke up wanting to listen to Why Must I again, but didn’t have time.
Was going to listen to an itunes U lecture on biblical scholarship on the way to work, but ended up listening to MellowHype – BlackenedWhite. The fractured xanaxed music is perfect for the rain and a vague sense of irritability, but I prefer the Earl and Tyler albums. Across most of their stuff I love the glee in their own creative energies, and I haven’t felt such a rush of enjoyment in bursting invention for a long time. That glorying in their own energies is a useful counterweight to the brooding rage, the ‘morose masculinity’ as it has been put elsewhere (embodied in their clotted, stumbling flow), the preoccupation with death and suicide with music as the only escape route, the pushing of sex, cop hate and gun crime to surreal extremes.
How do I feel about listening to it? Well, once again the insularity of headphones make listening to this sort of thing easier (although obv egregiously offensive music is often used publicly in order to buck authority – the counterpunch to that public classical music – but that equally obviously that sort of public transmission of this music would be ludicrous if I did it.)
It bums me out that I can love so much about a few of these tracks, but wouldn’t put them on a mixtape for a lot of people I care about.
Yeah that thing about being unwilling to share it with others, that’s certainly true. And it wouldn’t be true to say that listening to it is like reading Celine, say, or Rabelais, or watching a gory horror film – music exacts a certain amount of identifying with it, certainly in communal consumption, where to a certain extent it indicates shared attitudes. It’s probably where a general listener most frequently differs from a professional music critic, who frequently is required to assess stuff they don’t like. Again, it’s possible this sort of requirement to identify with music is strongly reduced by private consumption (computer/stereo in room/headphones) so that you can listen to (and enjoy) the music much as you would a film. Not sure that’s ever quite true tho. Is there something of the drawing room Victorian wanting to be scandalised by The Yellow Book about it all? Possibly, but I also find the Burroughs-style bleakness and grotesque humour of the vision naturally appealing.
And well, the long and the short of it is that I like it, for all the reasons put out in the first paragraph. I’m reluctant to push it too much as some sort of social thing, unless it’s to people who have already said they like it or are interested. The offensiveness is certainly clear.
A friend of mine suggested close similarities with Black Flag. Certainly they seem to share the same black heart equation of rage with outrage. And that resentment is mighty potent.
(This talk about how I feel listening to it reminds me of when I used to rush over to the stereo to turn down the volume for the swear words on a If I Should Fall From Grace With God by the Pogues so I wouldn’t offend my parents – a ludicrous operation that involved considerable dexterity on a song like Bottle of Smoke with it’s chorus of ’Twenty fucking five to one, my gambling days are done’)
Listen to Cru – Loungin with my Cru after, still really liking that, must listen to the rest of the album. Then I quite, cos the train was busy and I didn’t want to piss people off with tinny headphone noise, so I listened to that bible lecture.
Lunch break – Katy B – Easy Please Me. For a horrified moment I think she’s singing ‘When it comes to Africans, I know we never could get on’, and my mind races in all directions trying to work out wtf she’s on about (dramatisation of upper class Kensington dance culture? ) realise a moment later when she’s talking about confidence that it was ‘arrogance’.
Compare and contrast with my reaction to OFWGKTA, discuss, with particular reference to hypocrisy.