The return of Everett True | the 10 most read entries in 2014 so far
I like this doing this, occasionally. I do wish Collapse Board had a few more readers so these results weren’t so skewed by friends of the bands, but there again…
Here are the 10 most read entries in my return to Song of the Day in 2014 so far, as evidenced by Google Analytics. I’ll include a quote, a clip and a link… just in case you want to discover more. (When I use the word ‘you’, I’m hoping that I refer to the plural not the singular. Although I guess most of *you* out there are very singular.)
You dislike her because you think she’s trendy. Fair enough. I think it’s a shame because I think that, by being so swayed by popular opinion, you’re missing out. That’s your call of course. This was one of two performances that night that captured the essence of Nirvana for me, nervy and racked with self-doubt and feeling the music with every inch of her body, the same way Kurt once did. Yes it was confusing, gloriously so. Her voice reminded me of what I so missed from Kurt’s voice when I heard that horrendous remastering job on Nevermind a few weeks ago. It very much surprised me to encounter such a performance in such an incongruous setting. I didn’t think there would be any.
Hand on heart, this makes me miss those guys – all these guys – so bad, their friendship more than anything.
It’s The Cosmopolitans (a little) crossed with Teddy And The Frat Girls (a little) crossed with The Roches (a little), crossed with The Diskettes (a little), taken in conjunction with some smart, sardonic lyrics (a lot) and some wonderful, unobtrusive harmonies (a lot) and some righteous 2014 fire (a whole bunch), and some beautiful, beautiful restraint, and some chillingly layered minimalist guitar lines and … fuck, this writing device is stale.
What can I tell you? This is wonderment. This is wonder. This is pop music. This is pop music created by people from Brisbane. This is pop music created by people from Brisbane who’ve already created pop music that I know I love and cherish but this is pop music created by people from Brisbane who’ve already created pop music that I know I love and cherish – Go Violets, for example: Johnny And The Fembots: that modern dance jazz – that is somehow different to what has gone before, but equally as catchy. It’s over-and-over pop firmament genius. Loads of melody and repetition. Boy-girl harmonies. An ear-worm or 50 to be stuck in your head and go whistling down the wind to. God damn, I love all my students that I teach but wouldn’t it be great if some of them were to go on and create music as insanely melodic as this. Oh. Wait a second…
This group are startling. I know little to nothing about them. Each time I think I’ve figured out their sound I watch another video, and my nerves are shot to ribbons once more.
This first one grabbed me, for sure – particularly the video, which is disconcerting and not in a comfortable way. I love the insistence in the vocals, and the gradual breakdown and build-up throughout the song. I ain’t sure if the lyrics are telling me what lyrics do, but the vaguely sinister carnival atmosphere doesn’t help. Is this what life that isn’t Brisbane (The Gap, Brisbane) is like? I almost want to be there, to be beaten and bullied into compliance in the snow. The music… it’s where the music threatened to go sometime in ’79 in the U.K. but never quite did because it was way too alienating. Or during the 80s. Or whenever.
This is magnificent, just off-key enough to rouse me from my self-imposed exile. It’s cute, and it knows it – but… listen up. I discovered The Aquadolls via Twitter. This is how it works. I FIND STUFF FOR MYSELF, THANK YOU REDUNDANT RETARDS. They favourited a recent Vine post of mine – the one that rhapsodises over Australian band GOD yet again – and their name appealed to me (I like both Aqua and Demolition Doll Rods), so I investigate a little and notice they give massive props to Vivian Girls (amid sadness to hear the ladies have broken up). And then I notice the singer gets criticised on YouTube for ‘hogging the limelight’. Whoa. Bangs forbid singers should do that! So sure I was prejudiced before I listened, but you show me someone who listens without prejudice and I’ll show you a mewling dullard who thinks that an 8.3 actually means something. It’s about stained T-shirts and the splash of surf on sleepy dust-encrusted eyes. It’s knowing that passion can be full-tilt and consuming. It’s about Shadow Morton and Ellis Greenwich and 2014. It’s a love for the same love for that a ton of other folk show a love for but damn alive there’s a reason for that love for and you think I can resist such reverb-saturated female gorgeousness then damn have you got the wrong fucking writer, girl.
Intense. Reminds me of when I was 22. Scary shit went down back then. I ain’t saying bands like Bernays Propaganda were responsible for any of it. But I ain’t saying bands like that weren’t either.
Damn. I stop listening to my heartland music for a few short weeks, and… damn. All this wonderful music rushes out through the cracks in the pavement and rushes to comfort me in its warm embrace.
I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I never should have doubted that music could ever stop making me so deliriously wonderfully riotously happily mendaciously salaciously happy.
Thinking about “kawaii” got me to thinking about how easy it’d be to behave subversively within it, use it as a tool for undermining conventional gender attitudes about how men and women should behave. (I’m not sure Kyary isn’t doing that already.) Think that’s just wish fantasy? Uh-huh. Think back to independent music circa ’86 and Talulah Gosh and how bands back then took on the trappings of 60s pop and the schoolyard, to help undermine the overriding masculinity in rock music – both mainstream and counter-cultural – of the time. Then flash forward a few years to Riot Grrrl and the ‘school librarian’ look as championed by Kathleen Hanna (among others). Nonthreatening fashion but entirely threatening behaviour and ideas.
I’m not sure if there’s a link between kawaii and Olympia’s punk rock librarians yet… but I reckon there could be, easily.
She reminds me a little of the deep sonorous soul of David Thomas Broughton: the singer who moves like a rock star in slow motion, and loops mandarins un-peeling. There’s something about Verity Susman here, too… though not the voice, which I guess is the immediate draw card. Is it? Why would I write that? I love the sound of the piano, of slow motion loops. I love the repetition, the slow stately sweetly sad beautiful repetition. I remain a sucker for great music. I can’t help myself. I will always lose myself in music, great music. At one point during the late 80s, every movie I saw was soundtracked by music like this and I (heavy sighs) took it for granted.
She reminds me most of my lost Swedish sweetheart Frida Hyvönen, but that doesn’t mean she sounds like her.
I once stayed in Alice Boman’s home town of Malmö.
None of these facts are that coincidental.
And the least popular…
It’s cold up here. Cold and scary. Not outside. Inside. Inside my head.
Listening to music like this makes me feel better. I don’t often listen to music these days. Too dark. Too cold. Listening to music like this makes me feel better, sparks associations, make me think fleetingly of catching cabs through Manhattan drunk, living other people’s lives vicariously, repulsed and attracted by the bright lights and randomness of humanity, by the way folk aren’t scared to go outside and take their chances on chance meetings, random occurrences. Listening to music like this warms me up, makes me feel warmer, makes me feel like I’m lying down low on the floor spitting mucus, spitting mucus and staring fascinated by the petrol-fed flames spitting out my bin, hitting the ceiling, wandering if the fire’s going to spread. Music like this makes me feel alone, less alone. Just alone. Listening to music like this makes me remember trips down to Bristol, to Hollywood Hills, to elsewhere. It doesn’t. It’s always raining. My recollections last less than half a second and then shift. To nothing. Seems it would be fine to have conversations like this, even arguments. Somewhere you can’t fall back into the illusion of conformity.
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by Everett True
My name is Everett True. I am a music critic. This is what I do. I criticise music. The clue is in my job description – music critic. I do not consider myself a journalist, as I do not research or report hard news. I do not consider myself a commentator as I believe that everyone should be a participant. I criticise people and in return I am not surprised if other people criticise me. It is part of the whole deal of being in the public arena. I am Everett True. Believe in me and I have power like a God. Quit believing in me and I no longer exist.