2016: A Solipsistic Musical Review

I dispensed with the terror that accompanied force-feeding myself popular music news and reviews shortly after I started writing about music in 2011 (in a brief, quasi-professional capacity anyway), both activities seemed from the-off to dissipate in enjoyment the more they were required of me, and the further I got from ‘my path’.  I felt in my twenties, as my tastes diversified that my discovery of new music was effortless; a self-sustaining passion driven not by trend-setting publications, but word of mouth and meticulous cross referencing of liner notes, or the research and natural curiosity that was born out of adoration. As I’ve gotten older and responsibilities have overtaken the free time I had to dedicate myself so absolutely in this pursuit, progress as been slow but sure; in this strolling I came to accept that I couldn’t keep abreast of everything new, and theorised – informed by the deluge of new music – that there was already in existence more great music than I likely have hours left in my body, and I should just drift with the current. My ‘path’ is now forged by the happenstance of hearing something on independent internet radio stations (chief among them the indefatigable Freeform Station of the Nation: WFMU), from past purchases that I never gave a fair crack back in the day, or my many expeditions round local charity shops where I fill holes in my collection or take chances on interesting looking discs. Here are ten choice selections from the discoveries I made this past year.

Endless Loop: True Love Will Find You in the End

danieljohnstonHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“True Love Will Find You in the End” by Daniel Johnston

The Joup Friday Album: R. Stevie Moore – ‘Phonography’

RSM_Phonography_20large2_original

Down the back of the couch is the savings account you never knew about. I came to a realisation about 8 years ago that it wasn’t that music had suddenly dulled, but that I was stultified by a lot of new things I was hearing by having accrued a callous on my amiability from having studied too much. After having discovered artist after artist that the destiny of your inception dictates you miss, you realise that there’s more than enough music created before you were born to keep you busy until you die. I went through a period of hearing new bands and being able to tell exactly what they had schooled themselves on, and found it all a paltry cap-doff to incandescent predecessors before remembering instances in which respected elders had dismissed the bands that propelled my obsession as being derivative of other untouchables and realised it’s all relative and subjective and you should get on with indulging in what you love.

The Joup Friday Album: ‘Niandra LaDes (& Usually Just a T-Shirt)’ John Frusciante

lrg-253-jfmakeupA mind is a terrible thing to waste, but damn if it isn’t fun to do so. Self destruction can be an expressway to artistic Nirvana, the catch is that you have to ultimately shed your physical self to get there, as someone who traded under that heavenly appellation would famously find out. ‘The dead do not improve’, just segue into a misunderstood and misappropriated Valhalla defined by the hands of a cumulative bastard- hack comprised of millions with their inaccurate imaginings. In 1991, on the last page of a British Metal magazine only just starting to reinvent itself as Cobain & Co’s hurricane gathered on the horizon, was an interview with John Frusciante that was epiphanic to my adolescent mind. It was my first glimpse at his idiosyncratic way of thinking – more outlandish and Dionysian than his bandmates could ever conceive of being. The interviewer completely failed to deal with his intellect (or at least, decided it would be funnier to feign ignorance and kowtow to the meat-headed readership), and Frusciante blew my impressionable young head off shoulders that had just recently known my ‘rebellious’ hair’s first contact.

The (Easter) Sunday Song Poem #8 ‘The Man Called Jesus’ By Unknown Artist

Jesus

The Sunday Song Poem has been absent for a little while, but I’m back.

“14 Later, he appeared to them as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Song Poems to all creation. 16 Whoever believes will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

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