IT’S been a shit year for everyone. Get over it.
Yes, it’s been a fantastic time for the idiots, charlatans and nutters of the world but they only have money, guns and bombs on their side. We have love, soul and passion. Where they have hatred and intolerance, we have compassion and generosity.
They don’t stand a chance.
Some truly awful things happened around the world this year. The supposedly black and white certainties of the past evaporated a long time ago but the confusing miasma of disinformation and bullshit and lies became so much denser and more impenetrable in 2016. We don’t live in a post-truth world. There was never any truth in the first place.
It turns out there are no good guys or bad guys, no good or evil, no right or wrong. None of those things ever existed. We’re all just people. Some people do ‘good’ things, while some do ‘shitty’ things, and others simply do nothing.
Music provided some respite from the insanity but finding five albums that were released in 2016 and worth talking about isn’t as easy as you might expect considering we live in times when banal, tinkling muzak, with no bottom end to speak of, emanates from every platform and device imaginable.
We’re awash with music, drowning in it, choking on it. Most of it is utter fucking shite, of course. You don’t even have to listen to it to know this. Simply close your ears, condemn the lot as dreary, derivative, philistine nonsense and make exceptions for worthwhile stuff as and when it forces its way into your consciousness. It’s okay. Everyone has the capacity for change. And nobody gives a shit what you think anyway.
“MY WHOLE career has been a happy accident,” says Róisín Murphy. “Even the fact that I’m a singer at all is a total accident. I walked into a party, fancied a fella and just walked up to him and said, do you like my tight sweater? He took me to his studio in the middle of the night and recorded me saying it, and it was the start of a relationship, not the start of a career.”
The Irish-born singer’s drunken chat up line became the title of the album she went onto record with the man she met that night in Sheffield, Mark Brydon. And an obligatory element of every interview Murphy has done since then.
Moloko made quirky, avant-garde electronic funk experimentalism topped by the sound of Murphy’s beautiful, jazz-influenced vocals being chopped up, mangled and stretched beyond all recognition. Their music ended up being remixed into the kind of enormous house anthems that soundtrack the never-ending summers of Ibiza. But there was nothing accidental about their success.
I WON’T bore you with the sordid details. Suffice to say – once more, with feeling – it is a brilliant and fantastic thing that I can get to hear beautiful and amazing new music for free, because if I had to pay for it I’d be up shit creek.
So let’s hear it for illegal file-sharing.
I am joking, of course. The only illegal downloading I’ve done this month is a long-deleted single by an old hippie punk band from Somerset by the name of Null & Void, your honour. I will immediately grass up those dirty squatters at Kill Your Pet Puppy for putting me on to that one, God bless ‘em.
The fact is, I’ve not heard Stay for about 25 years and listening to a rip of the original scratchy vinyl again made me very happy. And yes, now that I’ve got a decent enough quality download, I probably won’t bother buying it again.
Is that killing the music industry? No, I don’t think so either. I’ll try to make more of an effort in the future, promise.
HOLY verbosity, scream insanity! All you ever gonna be is another great fan of me .. posting twice in the same week. Yes, it’s a veritable shit-storm of uninformed opinion, reckless conjecture and outright lies. What can I say? Buy an umbrella.
Me and the missus bought a couple of tickets for Róisín Murphy’s sold-out gig at the Academy on Friday night from one of Manchester’s army of charming ticket touts (“I’d give you a couple of quid back if I had any change,” he said as we handed over 40 quid for two £19 tickets) and had such a good time that I felt compelled to tell you all about it.
A thousand drunk girls with fascinators, all the gays in the world and us two, straight out of work, scream in unison at the appearance of La Murphy behind a chiffon curtain. She sings the whole of the first song, You Know Me Better, from behind that same curtain, upon which a succession of appropriately trippy, glam and kitsch images are projected.
Why isn’t this woman a popstar? I don’t get it. Am I missing something?