Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Luke Pritchard Confirms His Irrelevance

Filed under: Features — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 9:50 pm

I imagine that this will not come as a shock to most who read this, but as a white, middle class, fairly liberal minded arts student, my newspaper of choice is The Guardian. Free from the horrid sensationalism of the News of the World et al, the insipid human/local interest obsession of the Record, Mirror etc and the dodgy, hypocritical politics of the Mail and the Express, it has come to be somewhat of a bastion of objective, fair reporting that deals with matters that actually matter and news that is actually new. Of course, this is impossible and this idea of The Guardian being somehow superior to all other newspapers of its ilk is just an illusion, with its history of Zionistic bias and altogether smug approach certainly letting it down on numerous occasions. However, I still read it, as it does tend to employ reporters who can write and throws up the odd feature that finds itself to be spirited and imaginative enough as to warrant a thorough reading.

As with most newspapers however, its arts and entertainments section does leave a lot to be desired. The Observer Music Monthly does recover some ground, but a lack of specialist knowledge and a clear detachment from what is actually going on when it comes to the world of contemporary music is evident and disappointing. For this reason, my music knowledge is fed by more specialist materials, from both dedicated music magazines, and probably the most valuable source of knowledge available – people. Forums and friends to divulge in what is tickling their cochlea is the by now the best, most extensive, way of improving your music knowledge and finding something to reaffirm your existence yet again.

But yesterday’s Film and Music pull-out in the aforementioned paper of choice for those who realised Madeleine McCann was dead 3 days after she hadn’t been found and hadn’t let her disappearance affect every single aspect of their miserable lives, managed to intrigue and encourage with a special feature on over-rated albums as chosen by today’s modern pop superstars.

Features like this would always interest me, mainly because, at heart, I am a cynic. I love to vent and criticise and there is nothing better to vent over and criticise than something so universally adored. For this, my hatred for all things RHCP becomes almost a parody, and my desire to teach the world that Jeff Buckley’s Grace really is rather dull is near preacher like. And this latest installment in the feeding of my perpetual vitriol did not disappoint.

Hallelujah for Wayne Coyne. For the first time in my life, I have seen a published article about Nirvana’s Nevermind that does not make it out to be this most wondrous affair that broke down all convention and killed hair metal. For Christ’s sake, The Pixies and Sonic Youth did it at the tail end of the 80s. The Flaming Lips’ front man describes Cobain’s ‘masterpiece’ as sounding just like any other mediocre band out there, with particular reference to the godawful Nickelback in his appraisal. And it’s hard to argue with this statement. Whereas Coyne’s work has always embraced more than just a ridiculously deified punk rock attitude, praising, as Coyne points out, the legitimisation of ’suffering’, Nevermind is, and always will be, a vastly over-rated LP that 15 year old kids only worship because of the selfish legacy of Cobain.

I also found myself coming to similar conclusions to that of Green Gartside of Scritti Politti and Tjinder Singh of Cornershop, the former nominating Neon Bible and the latter Dark Side of the Moon for this unwanted accolade. My feelings for Arcade Fire’s dull, pointless sophomore have been documented before, and Pink Floyd remain unlistenable and irrelevant as they have always done for my 20 years on this earth.

Ian Williams of New York’s new hope, Battles, also expressed a fair and just sentiment with his nomination of Is This It?, describing The Strokes as ‘the new Duran Duran; the new decadence for the new millennium’. A necessary point beautifully made I think you’ll find.

Also quite fantastic was someone else agreeing with my perception that The Doors were a tedious band, and Jim Morrison little more than a faker in a world of fakers. Well done Craig Finn, well done.

Disagreements I did have, and some opinions were more well argued than others. Jackie McKeown of the 1990s is, from personal experience, an immensely affable fellow with a fine ability for talking and being astute and reasonable with it, and his dislike of Meat is Murder by The Smiths is understandable, if not entirely something I would agree with.

Alex Kapranos’ less than positive outlook on Television’s often hailed classic Marquee Moon and Billy Childish’s disdain for Sgt. Peppers will be controversial, and though again not of the same opinion of mine, at least an appreciable approach to these albums. They don’t emote that ‘Listen to me! Listen to me!” attitude as other such classics, but when finally sat down alone with are so rewarding. Divisive listens indeed though.

The main reason I like this article though is the point alluded to in the headline. Yes, that ever curly front man of the most schmindie of all indie groups, The Kooks, had the audacity to give his unwanted opinion. And what did he choose to cite as an album that does not deserve the status so lofted upon it? Pet Sounds of course. The cunt. Apparently it doesn’t ‘resonate’ for him. I agree. The only thing resonating for him should be an electric drill in his forehead. Pet Sounds is an utter masterpiece that, unlike in Pritchard’s undernourished mind does not contain two great songs and a lot of filler, but is instead a magical journey through Brain Wilson’s brilliant, beautiful head at the time, building up and crashing down and trying every idea under the sun. Hey, at least he ‘appreciates the lyrics’ though, because, hey guys, as we all know that’s where the genius of Pet Sounds lies.

So not only does Pritchard make the most inane music this side of Be Here Now, his own taste is not so much questionable as utterly wrong, retarded and so, so, SO irrelevant. Rejoice!

Luke Pritchard being irrelevant, yesterday



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