The return of Everett True | 149. Gundecha Brothers
I’ve been reviewing stuff outside my comfort zone for The Guardian for a little while now. It’s an interesting exercise. You have to acknowledge (to yourself, at least) that your greater or lesser unfamiliarity with certain styles and cultural approaches to music affect the way you hear it – and that, if that is the case, it is difficult indeed to quantify the related aesthetic value judgements. As Peter Gabriel once said regarding world music, but the same applies to anything unfamiliar: “The classic learning curve is that you start off thinking anything strange is good. Then you realise there’s good and bad and later wonder ‘Why would I like that?'” Good on ya, Gabe. It’s true. (Incidentally, I despise the phrase ‘world music’, believing it to be classic racism, a way of denigrating and reducing the output of 95% of the world’s music simply cos they ain’t white Caucasian. I do appreciate that wasn’t the original intention, but man it’s a colonially-loaded phrase.)
I was sent this, by way of an introduction, today. It is late in the night (for me) as suggested, and I do have my headphones on so there’s little to no outside audio interference (although I can still hear my fingers tap-tap-tapping at the keyboard). I do have a limited familiarity with this music, having sporadically listened to – and enjoyed – similar bhajans (Hindu devotional songs) over the years. No names, though. My capacity to remember even Ramones song titles is limited at best. I love to lose myself in the moment. I love it when songs build upon a refrain and keep building and slightly dying or ebbing away and then building up again. Songs I can keep losing myself in the moment to. I have no idea what they’re singing about, of course – something deeply spirital, I suspect – but that holds true for 90% of popular music for me.
I run this as a Song of the Day by way of a thank-you to the following letter writer, and also because I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Here. Thank you, Lisa P. I hope you don’t mind me reprinting your message in full.
Dear Collapse Board,
I apologise in advance for the following blather. I have spent the last day in a death spiral on your website, devouring reviews (yes, devouring), reading asides, reading comments, agreeing with comments, laughing at comments. I think I might have taken on some of Everett True’s literary quirks. It’s the best fun I’ve had on a website that purports to critique reviews in fucking ages. I am delirious. I have just listened to a lecture on alternating trees to find maximal matching in a bipartite graph with ninety per cent of my brain stuck on the headline “Music criticism isn’t dead it just tastes like shit”. Yes, thank you. Take Me to Church sounds like shit. That refrain in the chorus is repetitive and nails on chalkboard annoying (I worship like a dog, blah blah blah). The song is shit. You can’t just say something is real. All I can see is a mass of people latching on to whatever drivel will allow them to pretend to be worldly, all jumping on the bandwagon, scratching their names on the wood as if to say, “Here, we were here first, it says”, and then burning the bandwagon the fuck down if it gets too crowded (read: mainstream). And we all love to hate Pitchfork so I’ll let others speak for me. Actually, no. I’ll let this speak for me: my favourite criticism of Pitchfork comes from the Criticism section of Wikipedia’s entry on Pitchfork Media, and it goes, “Pitchfork has been criticized for deleting older reviews from their archive in an effort to keep up with the changing trends in indie music.” (See above paragraph)
Do you want to hear what gets me? That was a rhetorical question. Here’s what gets me. The DA da da DA da da DA da on “From Her to Eternity”. The grind of “King Ink”. Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor”. The hilarity of “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”. This bhajan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgDNueidtGc. You should listen to it late in the night (or very early in the morning), by yourself, for its sheer musicality. Just some unwarranted advice – take it or leave it. I am well aware I am shouting into the ether. In any case, rant over.
I’ll be trawling through your Songs of the Day for the next however long. Thank you for the music – I’ve been craving something that makes me stop and actually fucking listen for ages. Triple j just keep shovelling out stuff that all sounds the same, I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s gotten worse, or if it was always like that and I’ve just clued in over the last two years. But yes, thank you, hope you have a great day/night/whenever you read this.
Here’s the bhajan. And yes, do what she suggests.