Okay, a bit of housecleaning here. First and foremost, I figure that a running series will function as an effective spur to my writing more frequently, plus I've largely ignored music commentary for the past couple of months, so here's the scoop. I've been going through my records for the past two hours, and plan on writing blurbs for each five star album I've ever heard over the coming months. Literally thousands of discs have graced the stereo over my lifetime, and especially over the past decade, but I'm pretty chintzy when it comes to doling out perfect ratings. At last count, fifty-nine artists managed to pull it off (there are numerous instances where a single entity has two or several five star efforts) . There's also a lengthy honourable mention list of 'four-and-a-half-bordering-on-five,' which I'll publish shortly. My selection criteria was basic: if there was even a nanosecond of dwelling upon whether the record in question belonged amongst the cream, it was punted to the runner-up stack.
Record-geek list-fetishism aside (Nick Hornby's legal team on line one), some commentary on a couple of other things.
First of all, I'm loath to bring up the subject, but Susan Boyle. Can we stop the self-congratulation about this, please? If you watch that clip, and who hasn't, there's literally laughter coming from the audience before she bursts into song, yet we're supposed to accept that a single competent performance from a figure viewed as a bog monster mere seconds earlier had inalterably morally shifted this bunch of judgmental, shit-for-brains jackals? I'm sure Ms Boyle is a nice lady and all, and she sings well, but this isn't even about her: it's about us. We're hypocrites and marionettes: the entire scenario was obviously jerry-rigged by the show's production team, essentially heartwarming-by-numbers. If there were a show full of Susan Boyles, nobody would watch. I've crossed swords with many people about this already, and suspect that it would be more socially acceptable to blurt that Terry Fox was a complete asshole rather than question the piety of Saint Susan. Enough! Again, this isn't about Boyle herself, but can we go back to manufacturing genuine emotion ourselves, within our own social circles, without having media conglomerates do it for us over the teevee? I'm willing to be tagged a grump and curmudgeon on this. Matter of fact, it would be a badge of honour. Now, let's talk about something else.
Secondly, on a more positive note, I'm a huge fan of the new phalanx of basic Facebook fan pages. What I refer to is friends becoming fans of generalities, such as music and sleep. In this spirit, I searched for pages using these terms, and each had their backers. There's no fudging any of these figures, and they're the real deal:
Oxygen - 19,366 fans
Trees - 24, 189 fans
Breathing - 43,573 fans
Blinking - 344 fans
Like, aren't we fans of life's wallpaper by default? When did supporting these things require an opt-in clause, like a Ralph Nader PIRG or something? This is my personal fave, as shared with several co-workers:
Existence - 262 fans
Do we really need to fly the flag that we're happy to basically exist? Is anybody really on the fence about this issue? Good times. I work in front of a computer all day, and have become mildly addicted to Facebook, so I notice these things. I'm not proud or anything; it just sort of happened...
Finally, on the lighter side, a right-wing luddite spewing blue-collar patois over demonstration-button techno. My brother Jud put it best:
This is horrible. Horrible. But I couldn't resist the lure of sharing a video of Don Cherry hesher-toasting over a flaccid Eurovision-lite backing track. Honest, I have to warn you that - to quote Charlie Brooker - your eyes may very well spin around and vomit down their sockets.
In all honesty, this clip has long been the great whale to my Captain Ahab, and it finally surfaced on YouTube. I recall watching it as a dumb kid on Rock 'Em Sock 'Em 5 (I believe), and even my then sarcasm-bereft junior self recognized this as a serious shark-jumping moment. If you can make it to the forty-five second mark before your small intestine begins leaking, you're a stronger person than I.
Anyway, yeah. My top rekkids coming soon.