There’s Too Much Music In The World And I Love It
Anyone who thinks they keep up with music is a dirty liar.
So I’m sitting here finishing my last can of Tyskie (lovely Polish lager, it’s just unfortunately cheaper in cans) and there’s a few things on my mind at the moment. Aside from the growing horror that I’ve ran out of beer for the night, my next radio show is due to broadcast in 3 days at the time of writing and I haven’t listened to any newly relased albums this week for the first time in at least a month. In my defence, it’s been a busy week for me with the second year of University coming to its final crescendo of deadline after deadline. Not to mention the three albums I would have listened to that were released this week (Atoms For Peace’s Amok, Johnny Marr’s The Messenger and Doldrums’ Lesser Evil) were all available to stream online last week.
It’ll be the first week in a while that I’ve got without some kind of album feature, although there are enough singles to feature to make up for that omission. It’s also the first show of the month so there’s an update on what Vinyl LPs I’ve acquired in my small but growing collection. That’s at least 7-8 albums a month, plus another 2-4 albums a week to listen to, on top of new singles and other priorities in life. No wonder I can’t keep up with everything.
Even now, I’m horribly out of touch. I didn’t know what a “Harlem Shake” was until last night, although that was a choice rather than ignorance (Gangnam Style was my fill of silly dance for at least the next 12 months). David Bowie’s long awaited comeback album is streaming on iTunes ahead of its release in just over a week’s time, like so many other albums are right now. Pitchfork now stream 4 new albums per week ahead of their releases. Most of the time it’s even not a case of quantity over quality. I can already name at least 6-8 albums I’ve really liked so far this year, and it’s only just turned March.
We haven’t mentioned backcatalogues. Over the past six months I’ve really been ingesting myself in the punk/post-punk period if 1976-1984 through a number of different documentaries and Simon Reynolds’ excellent read Rip It Up, so it’d be nice to try and immerse myself in that genre more with some of its highlights over that period. But that’s self indulgent and I’ve got a radio show to put together every week which purpose is to give listeners what I think is the latest and greatest rather than just music that while great, is at least 37 years old by this point.
Oh, Prince was just on Jimmy Fallon wasn’t he? I liked his new song Screwdriver and the older song he played but beyond the hits when have I got time to listen to Prince’s backcatalogue so I have a better sense of what to expect when he releases his new album? Not to mention Bowie. I know plenty of Bowie songs but in terms of full albums I’ve never got past Rise And Fall. The Berlin Trilogy is a dream.
The point I’m trying to make for this short introspective piece is that for a start, anyone who says music isn’t as good as it used to be anymore is foolish. Music’s changed, but it always has, and at least since I’ve been seriously getting into music a few years ago there have been plenty of quality releases from all sorts of genres year in year out. My other would be that in today’s society between legal or illegal methods of acquiring music and the shuffle, fast paced nature that we live in, there’s just too much good music out there to even comprehend, nevermind listen to. I could claim to be a musical expert but unless I was able to listen to every piece of music ever recorded, even from my favourite genres or artists, it would be an empty gesture.
But it’s a good thing. Imagine if you did, how boring that would be? No matter how much I listen to, there’s always more. Maybe one day I’ll listen to the Berlin Trilogy, but there’s still Raw Power, Exile On Main Street, Highway 61′ Revisited and so much more. I’ll end up listening to a lot of music released this year, but there will be so much I’ve missed, but for the better. Speaking for a younger generation, we’ve never had it better when it comes to what we want to listen to. Some old die hards may argue otherwise, and it’s easy to envy them because they’ve had that extra time to listen to those older releases when they were new, but it’s really not true. Not a good week for albums? Go listen to those 23 you keep saying you’ll listen to but don’t. 10 albums out this week you want to give a listen? Good, that’s at least 5 if next week is a lacking one.
There’s too much music in the world and I love it. However old I get, there will also be something I haven’t listen to yet that will open me up to a new genre, artist or even redefine how I feel about music.
What are yer playin?
Sleeping Dogs. It was gifted to me just over a month ago when Steam were accidentally selling it at 90% off (nice one lads) and I’ve been slowly gettng through since then. Quite enjoying it when I sit down to play in about two hour chunks, it’s a lot more than a GTA type sandbox between its location (Hong Kong) and its heavy focus on hand to hand combat rather than firearms. I’m not sure if I’d say the story is a real stand out but I’m enjoying the protaganist’s conflicted morals as an undercover cop. Its look real nice with the settings bumped up and that doesn’t hurt either. My only issue is that characters will randomly switch languages between Cantonese and English, similar to Assassin’s Creed. Definitely worth a try though.
What are yer listenin to?
Atoms For Peace – Amok. Thom Yorke may have described the relationship between the debut album of his side project Atoms For Peace and his solo album The Eraser from 2006 on Reddit as just “waves and shit” but Amok feels like a natural evolution from that album and finally shows Thom’s sidework as more than just that twitchy bloke from Radiohead. The group sounds like they’re having real fun when you sit down and listen through each song and sound is the key term here, as unlike The Eraser there is much more of a distinction between itself and the sound of Radiohead. Even Thom himself sounds a little silkier in tone here, perhaps not as a sexy brooding cousin to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip as I read one review describe it but certainly less huskier than on any recent Radiohead release. I may not be as icy on The King Of Limbs as I was once was, but to contrast as I listened to Amok I was enjoying every second of it as opposed to being left confused and a bit downbeat. For fans of Radiohead it’s the same kind of polyrhythmic approach we’ve seen in the modern day incarnation of the band but with a different recipe of electronica and guitar and one that fans and newcomers alike should be fond of.
What are yer leavin me with?
“Audrey Hepburn” appears in Galaxy Chocolate Commercial. Using dead celebrities for advertisements is nothing new, but this latest advert currently airing the UK starring a CGI recreation of Audrey Hepburn, with no sumperimposed archive footage is the first time it’s made me feel uneasy. There is clearly a lot still left to do (a fair few of her movements still seem stilted and compared to the rest of the footage there’s an unnatural smoothness to the T-Hepburn) but it’s definitely getting there and is equally impressive and nerving. The moment in particular as T-Hep goes over to the car is very uncanny and ultimately this was a relatively low budget advert for a chocolate bar. Hollywood’s dream of being able to recreate dead actors and actresses can only be a matter of when rather than how.
See you next week!