Hey you, burn your ABBA tee-shirt. Take a hammer to your Best Of Beatles CD. Twist the radio dial away from Smooth FM, never to return. A fan of brain plasticity? Well then, resist the brain-deadening stupor of yet again bopping to “Love Is In the Air.” Refresh your rock music language: The Stones aren’t “legends,” they’re pathetic oldsters. Sell the Eagles tickets gifted for your birthday . . . better still, bin them, so no one has to endure last century’s embarrassments. Trash Nirvana. Zap Led Zeppelin. Once a decade, let yourself fondly recall “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” but otherwise never, ever glance at articles about Elton. Use your Oasis LP as a frisbee.
You don’t reread The Hobbit every month. For pity’s sake, open your ears to fresh grooves!
Saturday’s Good Weekend magazine had a short interview with a Geelong chef and restauranteur, Aaron Turner, who says he is most proud of his record collection:
I have at least 400 LPs, everything from country to hardcore punk. . . . Now I buy between two and five records a week and spend about 24 hours a week listening to them. I don’t bring my vinyl in to work, though, they’d get covered in fat.
My album-a-day rigour means 7 hours a week, less than a third of Turner’s. Would I enjoy listening more if I listened way more often?
(Image from Age article)
Music listening in September: pleasant but a slog. Cycling/jogging/gym in September: on track but yes, a slog. Writing in September (the most important feedback): a slogging hard slog. October: head down!
Why do I listen every day? One answer: I’m in a club. The club consists of three members. We meet monthly and we listen to rock music. On a Thursday evening I find myself marvelling at Sam Beam of Iron And Wine singing, in his distinct, airy voice: “Killers let go.” A wee dram of red. Listen up to our nine albums in three hours: . . . LOUD . . . The War On Drugs soars, Mogwai crescendos, Randy Newman guffaws, Jen Cloher rolls, Gang of Youths grandstands, Dan Sultan hollers, Roddy Woomble poesies, and The Dream Syndicate garages. Our club shares and sustains.
Track 11 is where they bury the filler (I’m working my way through Everything Now, Arcade Fire’s fifth), so when a lazy snare, behind which I can hear a wash of background voices, flips to a crass, boomy Abba moog stomper, I almost cut to Track 12. But then 25 seconds in, Win Butler’s highest falsetto calls “put your money on me” a few times (the background ambience thickening) before a crass, fat bass line launches Butler an octave lower with “put your money on me, if you think I’m losing you, you must be crazy.” Now it’s kinda catchy, so I stop typing and attend. Trees wave in the breeze outside. The verses intensify, Butler’s vocals emoting as only he can do, instruments and background voices chipping in with almost random frequency but all so, so intense. Nothing stays still, the whole 5:53 minutes weaves without coherence. Catchy as all hell, though. A love song, methinks, the best of 2017 so far.