THIS WEEK: Another (partial) examination of the contents of Everett True’s desktop
ADDENDA: It’s not like these are the only contents on my desk – there’s a partially eaten fruit salad, a cache of un-cashed Village Voice cheques that I have no idea what to do with, blackcurrant juice, pens, an ancient printer, a flock of postage stamps, notes to myself pertaining Plan B‘s albums of the year 2007, and a stack of Joyce Raskin books – but I figured it might be better to deal with the items that could, perhaps, be of more interest to the casual online Village Voice reader rather my private life. Understood?
ITEM SEVEN: A promotional CD album for upcoming London band The Wave Pictures: the minimal, black and white sleeve features songtitles like ‘Just Like A Drummer’ and ‘Friday Night In Loughborough’, and even if I didn’t love this band dearly, I would simply on the basis of these phrases. The Wave Pictures write songs that talk about hipsters the way critics once talked about beatniks, and write Richard Brautigan-like flurries of prose which they dress up in nasal English accents and parade as ‘lyrics’ over streams of chugging guitar and sparse percussion that sometimes recall my early Eighties crush (suave, articulate Subway Sect singer) Vic Godard and sometimes recall their continental champions and playmates Herman Düne and sometimes recall Jonathan Richman (because doesn’t everything?). The Wave Pictures have already released around six homemade albums, at least two of which caused my heart to flitter gibbet. This one is for other folk. I hope these other folk appreciate it.
ITEM EIGHT: A sealed copy of Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now! – Black Dog Publishing’s contribution to the ongoing coffee table book revolution. It’s still sealed because I’ve already had an opportunity to look at a copy – I thoroughly enjoyed it, carping about the lack of recognition given to my own role back in the heady days of 1992 aside – and am wondering whether or not to pass it off as a gift. I mean, do I really need it? It’s a fine book: six or seven editors giving six or seven differing viewpoints and versions of what happened (which is exactly how I like to read about events), and it’s also nice that sometimes the slipstream is documented: but don’t I already know what is contained within, and also possess most of the original literature and music that is so painstakingly documented? I’ll probably keep it, though: leaving aside an appalling Cazz Blase essay that seems to be a simple exercise in fan worship to Simon Reynolds, the contributors – particularly Julia Downes’ meticulous and enthusiastic prose – have some fascinating perspective that can still startle, 15 years on from origin. I’m damned if I’m going to wear it as a badge of pride and leave it lying around the bathroom, though.
ITEM NINE: Three different versions of the new Kate Nash single, ‘Mouthwash’ – two seven-inch singles, one CD in a cardboard sleeve, all brightly adorned in with childlike images of sea creatures with jagged teeth, in primary colours. This is the song that has led to an outcry of scorn from the British popular ‘thinking’ media: many critics falling over themselves to hail Ms Nash’s debut album as the worst of the year: asinine, dumb, ordinary, nerveless. The lyrics start, jauntily, “This is my face/Covered in freckles/And the occasional spot and some things/This is my body/Covered in skin…” I dunno (shrugs). I met – and interviewed – Ms Nash last week, and found her to be smart, charming. I put it to her that she can actually sing better than she does on her album; she showed me a phone video of herself performing in front of 20,000 girl guides and when I mentioned that I once met Kurt Cobain – um, like you know I do every time I meet a new person I wanna impress – she freaked out, and couldn’t speak for a minute. She sucked on stage, though: or rather, the sound sucked. I know this don’t sound like much of a defence for the put-upon Ms Nash but bear with me for a few weeks. I’m working on one…wait, why should you have to defend a love for music anyway?
ITEM TEN: An unheard promotional copy of the new British Sea Power album Do You Like Rock Music? (Number 10 out of 200: someone rates me too highly.) I don’t need to hear it to know what my answer would be in this case. But, wait. I’m fair. Let me listen to the music. Hmm. Sounds like Arcade Fire or Silver Mt Zion Orchestra or one of those earnest young bearded boy-boy bands. OK. I mean, that’s nice and everything. I guess. But I’m fair. Let me peruse the press release. “The Pixies and Little Richard and Public Enemy are all rock music,” states BSP guitarist Noble. “But so is coming across a wild boar in the middle of the forest…”
HUGS AND KISSES TOP 5
The music Everett True likes today, right now
1. The Wave Pictures, “Just Like A Drummer” (from the forthcoming Moshi Moshi album The Wave Pictures). With this by my side, I’m not even noticing it’s been 10 long months since the last Herman Düne album.
2. Kate Nash, “Mouthwash” (Fiction single). Why should you have to defend a love for music? Why not just enjoy it?
3. Jeffrey Lewis, “Punk Is Dead” (from the Rough Trade album 12 Crass Songs). I loved the original. I love the softened, plaintive cover version, too. There’s some incredible packaging (worthy of Crass themselves) going on here, too.
4. Fire Engines, “Get Up And Use Me” (from the Acute album Hungry Beat).
In 1981, we had Fire Engines. In 2005, we had Franz Ferdinand. I just like to keep to the facts sometimes.
5. Puressence, “Drop Down To Earth” (from the Townsend album Don’t Forget To Remember). Mancunian iconoclasts’ fourth album has been compared to Coldplay and Keane. That’s like comparing something utterly beautiful with something utterly shit. Sorry to be so blunt, but you just have to call it sometimes.