Monthly Archives: August 2013

Music for grown-ups

“He said, everything is messed up round here,
Everything is banal and jejune;
There’s a planetary conspiracy against the likes of you and me,
In this idiot constituency of the moon.”
—Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “We Call Upon The Author”, 2008.

We are in an age where adults behave like children. This great unraveling is evinced by the music bludgeoned into the ears of thirtysomethings. Banal, mawkish, sub-literate pop that does a disservice to the genre’s great tradition. The gloss and sheen and sensuality of the 1980s and 1990s, when Prince, Sade and Whitney roamed (let alone Destiny’s Child and TLC), have been cast out of the temple, and false idols are worshipped. We must be at the nadir, with no brainy, chart-friendly pop to call upon. One Direction and their rudderless ilk seem to signal the eschaton. Continue reading Music for grown-ups

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And but so R.E.M.

I was 31% of the way through Infinite Jest when I realised I no longer had any idea what was going on in David Foster Wallace’s novel. It felt like this lengthy diversion about rehabilitation from substance addiction had no origin and no destination, and at roughly the same time I began to yearn for a simpler and yet more powerful meditation on America. I put on R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People. Continue reading And but so R.E.M.