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 Everett True

Song of the day – 408: Jolly Goods

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Folk exist.

Music exists. This is well to the good. Don’t I, asked some curmudgeon on Facebook, find it depressing that I’m sitting on a mountain of music, the vast majority of which I’ll never hear? This is a metaphor, I guess. Said curmudgeon isn’t really expecting to find a mountain made of sound-waves any time soon – although, who knows in this wonderful universe of ours? No, I do not find it depressing. Surely, it’s way exciting to know that there’s so much unfound sound out there, to know that any given day, any given moment I might be thrilled down to my core once more, even momentarily?

Take today.

First a video. It’s like a tingle of Amanda Palmer (an artist I’m still not as familiar with as I’m sure I delightfully will be one day) mixed in with a shiver of Little Annie and … listen, I’m just trying to get at the theatricality and use of jaunty piano here. But why tell you? You can listen for yourselves. I think that at one point she sings, “I wish I was a woman”, and – damn, that’s a great line. I’ve often sung it to myself about wombats. Lightness of being, folk. C’mon. Lightness of being.*

Other songs indicate more of a Riot Grrrl influence … or is that grunge? I get so confused. (In my mind, the two are interchangeable, beyond gender and politics and context.) A two-piece. Female.

Or, as my SEO summation box says down at the bottom (this is the pull quote for the press release):

Welcome to Jolly Goods: a tingle of Amanda Palmer, a shiver of Little Annie … a mither of Riot Grrrl. Too smart to be American.

*Actually, it’s “I wish I was a walrus”. It’s still a great line.

Second, the point of contact.

hello everett,
Jolly Goods = can you still remember us? you once wrote about our album her.barium on hugs & kisses: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2008/05/hugs_and_kisses_37.php

we released our second album Walrus in germany/austria/switzerland. if you wanna hear how we sound nowadays, please click here:
http://www.jollygoods.net/

you are one of the very few very good music journalists. thank you for your work.

enjoy and best wishes
tanja

The blog she links to is great. I can’t believe I once used to write well. Here it is again.

Hugs and Kisses #42: Everett True Avoids Internet, Wrestles With Self-Loathing, Files Column

THIS WEEK: Designing buildings about sofas

I used to be a big fan of drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs.

He figured long back that the whole of film criticism can be reduced to a simple body count: how many gratuitous tit shots, how many dead bodies, dismemberments, car crashes, near fatalities, space aliens, etc. It surprises me that someone—Simon Reynolds, say; or one of those fancy nobs who like to lecture over at Seattle’s EMP once a year—hasn’t done the same for music criticism. Gratuitous Sonic Youth cover: tick. Drum machine lifted from late Seventies French avant punk band Metal Hurlant: tick. Incomprehensible vocals, made even more indecipherable from close proximity to distortion pedal: tick. Hastily photocopied artwork featuring crude collages of bombs and cities: tick. Sarcastic songtitles that revel in their cleverness while spouting truisms: tick. And so on.

The fact that the above describes an LP sampler from The Niallist (And Out Of Nowhere…) is kind of beside the point. I’m trying to set some parameters here. Future generations of rock critics will bow before this obvious wisdom. (I sometimes feel that the biggest crime I did my chosen field was to prove that anyone could do it: opening the gates to thousands upon thousands of spawning, fawning wannabe rock writers.) I would give you more information about The Niallist, but I’m trying to avoid researching online. The Internet gave us Pitchfork. The only clues I can pass along are that: 1) the Sonic Youth cover is “Youth Against Fascism”; 2) the sarcastic songtitle is “The New Wave Of The Same Old”; 3) the CD comes with a covering letter stating that I may well one of the few people to appreciate it, as the composer is one of the few people to like my writing, and; 4) there’s a remarkably faithful (ie: lackadaisical) cover of Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” thrown in at the end, which is even more irritating than watching the seminal NY duo perform live. And that’s a recommendation, cos irritation is vital.

Let’s stick with Mr Briggs—the format is limitless.

Gratuitous Hole steals: tick. Fearsome female screaming mixed with grungy guitars: tic…oh wait, see above. Loud/slow passages written by over-reaching musicians clearly once in love with the dynamics, if not the workings of, Nirvana: tic…wait, see above.
….

Nah, forget it. This device is crap. I’m starting to feel like I’m working for Rolling Stone or one of those other magazines that think all music should be a competition (or a school assignment) and appropriately graded. Ticks and crosses hardly come close to communicating the feral beauty of female two-piece Jolly Goods and their excellentHer.Barium exorcism (which, realistically, is where the early Hole comparisons begin and end: most two-pieces are still stuck wanting to be Lightning Bolt or The White Stripes, nice to see a pair branching out a little). Once again, I refuse to do the obvious and hit MySpace—and hence have to guess that songs like “Too Dumb To Love”, “Fuck” and (personal favourite) “Surplus People” in no way originate from American musicians, they’re way too psychotic and smart for 2008.

I’d guess German, at a pinch.

Hugs And Kisses Top 5
Five CDs that ET was sent today—and likes!

1. Marble Valley, Wild Yams (Sea Records).
Smart, sardonic, psychedelic (you see what I did there?) set of songs from former Silver Jews/ Pavement drummer Bob West and friends. Crap name, though.

2. Esiotrot, Seven Apples (CD-r).
If I hadn’t played with this charming, folksy, brass-textured Brighton combo in a local church a few years back, I’d be calling their charming, folksy, brass-textured album “post-Wave Pictures.” But I know better.

3. Stanley Brinks, Dank U (Ciao Ketchup)
Churning calypso arrangements? Tick. Cunning brass segues? Tick. Honesty, simplicity, Swedish subtitles? Tick. Journalist lifting direct from press release? Oh yes. It’s my main man formerly of Herman Düne, and you just know I’m gonna have this on heavy repeat for months to come but right now I have a column to file, so we’ll just have to trust to the gentle words of those lovable press agents.

4. Amebix, No Sanctuary: The Spiderleg Recordings (Alternative Tentacles).
I’m a big fan of yr anarcho-punk. As is Sepultura, Neurosis…Alternative Tentacles. This album kicks yr ass in so many different ways, it’s a fucking good job it’s so…wait a minute. Which decade am I writing in here?

5. Jennifer Gentle, “Evanescent Land” EP (Heron)
The amount of shit I get for hating The Cardiacs from Plan B forum users, I can’t believe. They were shit. This, on the other hand, is equally as unhinged, psychedelic, wonky and fast…but good. If you can ignore the Rocky Horror inclinations.

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