YOU’RE MY JELLYBEAN
I’ve updated my Oni column, “Big Talk From the Smallest Face,” with a piece about some of the comics I came across at the Alternative Press Expo. buzz buzz buzz
Finished Clamp School Detectives vol. 2 last night. This gets me ahead by several days on that, and clears the decks for the other writing gig. It’s all about utilizing each window to its fullest. Had a night off from the one, did the other. Hope I will get tonight off, too, though, since I’ll have nothing going on and can chill.
I got hooked up with an advance of the new Blur record yesterday, Think Tank. They seem to be one of those bands that is always tipped to fall apart, where the knives are constantly out and the critics are waiting, thinking, “This is the album where they’ll blow it.” No such luck. Albarn and co. always seem to know what the next logical step is, maintaining their eclecticism and pushing it as close to the edge as they can without going over the line into wankery. I’m impressed. They really change it up this time around, yet still sound like the same band. The lack of Coxon is fairly obvious, though. Doesn’t rely on guitars at all.
I’ll be curious to see how people react. It’s been hip for a little over a year now for the wags to whinge about how there is no good music anymore. It seems to be a constant theme, wherever I go. Yet I manage to consistently have new records I am enjoying (though if you ask me what they are, 9 times out of 10 I'll go blank). In the last several weeks alone, I’ve gotten new discs by Nick Cave, Cat Power, Will Oldham, Massive Attack, Systemwide, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys. The Music is so-so, but I’m looking forward to hearing The Coral finally. What I’ve heard of the upcoming Placebo is pretty excellent, and the new Black Box Recorder is in the post right now.
Part of why I've struggled in the past with doing quick reviews for papers was I always felt my listening experience was tainted. If I got a new record and knew I had to write a review, I would spend each song wondering what I would say about it, not letting it sink in and just enjoying it—which is how I prefer to discover music. Often, when I hear someone complaining about an album, it seems to be reacting to what the record isn’t, as opposed to just listening to it for what it is. (I find this in comics criticism a lot, too.) Could it be that, with the proliferation of places for people to post their opinions on the internet, that fans have changed how they listen, as well, and are now more like half-assed music journos? Or am I just too much of a sucker for a nice hook?
Current Soundtrack: The Roots, Things Fall Apart