Irritating But Ultimately Not Too Much Of A Problem

When I started writing album reviews the aim was to always have something to write about. I can’t always have a polemic ready to go and publish on this glorious site. I would like to be that person but I also feel that my writings or attempts to express my thoughts would be diluted if I wrote too much about society and politics etc. So I decided to write about music and rather than have me concentrate on every band in a particular order I chose to describe my relationship with each album I own in alphabetical order. This would mean that the artists are mixed up and it’s a pseudo random order for the reviews. I would normally be surprised by what I had to write about next – screw Led Zeppelin for naming their first four albums numerically but I don’t own number 3 so I guess I saved myself some work there.

When I started doing the reviews in 2013 I think I was using the order of albums on my phone and the iOS system doesn’t really include the “The” at the beginning of an album name. So the list is ordered by whatever the name of the album is subtract the “The” at the start. This makes sense and works well. At some point over the last nine years I started using the Sonos App to get the albums alphabetically. Now Sonos does not remove the “The” from the start of the album name and so somewhere my system of ordering the albums changed from one system to another.

So now I have to see what album is next on my list in the Sonos program and then check whether I have already reviewed that album and then write or not-write depending on what result I get when I search this site. See, it’s a little irritating but easy to solve and while I’m miffed at myself I’m not bothered particularly. Once this round of album reviews is over I’m going to start a new list covering the aggrotech and EBM stuff that I’ve bought since 2013 but I have searched this site and some of those have already been reviewed and some have not. So it’ll be a similar issue when that happens, if that happens. I’m not sure how many albums there are to go but I guess I’ll finish them at some point.

Ten – Pearl Jam

Hmmmm. How to write this without annoying the legion of fans that Pearl Jam have? Well, it’s not a problem as these communications aren’t seen by more than about ten people. There are people for whom Pearl Jam are a fantastic band and produce brilliant music. Then there are people like me who think it’s ok but I rarely play any songs from the album. This music just doesn’t affect me.

Temper Temper – Bullet For My Valentine

I’ve see this band. I’ve even enjoyed some of their songs and if they come on when I’m in the car I don’t normally tend to skip. This album is playing now and, while it isn’t terrible, I don’t think it’s something I would put on deliberately. It’s not that good.

Stone Sour – Stone Sour

I think I bought this album after seeing Stone Sour at Download. I liked them live and they put on a good show. I think I would say that I don’t really listen to this anymore as it’s just metal. There isn’t really anything that stands out about the band.

Surrender – Chemical Brothers

I think this band made the song “Supersonic DJs”. I’m not sure. I do know that I bought this and Exit Planet Dust in the 1990s (?) when I had a very small electronic phase. That phase extends as far as The Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. I really didn’t understand much else about electronic music, I think I always considered myself a “purist” in that I wanted all my music to be playable live and if you couldn’t do that then I wasn’t interested. What a knob I used to be. To be clear I never downplayed or slagged off other music I just didn’t like it.

I remember being on a car journey and the driver put on an Oasis album I don’t know which one, I’ve never really been bothered by them. Well, my emotional response to the whole album was one of utter coldness. I’m happy to admit that they wrote some excellent songs but when I hear them I get nothing. In fact, I almost have a removal of all emotion from me. I don’t know why, I just do.

Being older and wiser I think I am now accepting of “what I like I like” and there’s not a lot I can do about it. If something gives you tingles down your spine then accept it and enjoy it. Too many people in this world are not accepting of the things they like or other people liking it. I’ve recently read about metal fans moaning about Lil Nas X because he’s not a “real” musician and isn’t attacking religion in the right way. I’m impressed with the guy. He’s doing all the right things and I’d like to point out to the metal fans the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

My most recent communication about the rage that infests my life was not as long as it should have been. I was going to explain the root causes of why I feel so much anger at everything but I don’t think I can write those things down in a coherent manner. I’m looking forward to seeing some friends this week so I can talk about things that have been getting to me. Currently I’ve decided that the State tries it’s best to keep people “just about” happy enough to stop overthrowing the State. That means that they aren’t working for us. That is just what we like to think and the image that they project. My evidence for the State not giving a shit is: Grenfell, poverty, minimum wage, Jacob Rees-Mogg. If governments were serious about fixing things they could. They just maintain the status quo to ensure the people are just about happy enough. They don’t care.

I guess what doesn’t help is having a bunch of incompetent “leaders” and utterly useless selfish tories in charge of the machinery of state at the moment. All organisations have their problems. It’s how you deal with them that should separate those organisations into the good and the bad. For instance, all organisations have problems with abuse of children or women but it’s how they safeguard those people and are open about the abuse that has occurred. If you are open about the things that have happened and you aim to minimise issues in the future then that is a good thing. If you respond like the catholic church and systematically cover up all the accusations and have done for years along with paying hush money then you are an evil child-rape cabal.

We have to have these safeguards in place because you need to remember that some people are arseholes. Those people will always exist. It’s how we deal with them that’s important. We should not give those people platforms. We should normalise the more accepting part of society. I see so much privilege in my working life and a failure to empathise with others that I am really concerned that society isn’t moving towards an egalitarian future but one of increased division. I used to think that in the long term the idea of society was to be helpful and inclusive, to look after each other, to be accepting of differences, to be selfless. But I think the human condition is mostly the opposite and I feel almost constantly sad. The world isn’t heading for some utopia. It’s heading to be roughly as it’s always been.

In my brighter moments I remember that change takes time and that there are people out there trying to do the right things. Then I remember all the shit that happens in the world. A wonderful future isn’t the default position of human planning. The default position is one of greed and selfishness. It’s up to the rest of us to do our best to persuade arseholes that being nice is the better thing [which should be obvious but people don’t seem to get it].

While I’ve been writing this the album has been playing and it’s perfectly good. A nice background hour or so of songs.

Suicide Pact: You First – Therapy?

This is one of those albums which I like and think is pretty good. But when it comes to trying to name a song from it I would not be able to tell you one. This is a “me” problem rather than an album problem. I’ve got it playing as I type this and the first song is pretty good. This album would have been recommended by Smith. He was really into Therapy? in the early 90s. All I know about them is that they are from the island of Ireland (I’m not sure which side) and they have some excellently political songs. As an album this is worth owning.

Studio Tan – Frank Zappa

I listened to this a few times after recommendations by Shredder. At this moment I could not tell you what I thought of the album. I know I didn’t hate it. But I also have no recollection of any of the songs. Looks like I’m going to have to play it while I write my next communication.