Cornetto’s Golden Goose Awards 2017

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(Geese are good, right?)

With the new year within pissing distance of us now, I want to take the time to commemorate the positive musical releases and performances I experienced this year. To pump out another “best albums” list would be totally pointless because that hinges purely on my own taste and would likely just repeat the points I previously made about the album or artist, so this list is going to consist of five artists, bands or albums I discovered this year and really made an incredible impact on me.

5. Finola

In no particular order, I begin this list with local Pop-Country darling, Finola. Having attended the launch of her most recent EP, Waterworks, I was fairly impartial to the music itself, largely because of my own personal taste; but I was absolutely blown away by her character, resolve and professionalism.

Having worked in and with bands for the better part of ten years now, I have come to recognise the sheer measure of ego and entitlement behind a startling percentage of musicians, both on a larger scale and in local musicians. Finola seems to be completely deserving of every confidence she displays in her actions, performances and music. She’s a shining example for all local artists to aspire towards and I respect her to this day as a gloriously capable, majestic and powerful character.

Her commitment to her performance and remarkable efforts in organising and micro-managing the event was absolutely remarkable. Watching as she bounced between people and bands as she supported every person and aspect of the event was more than impressive; it was inspirational. She was an absolute marvel to behold and more than enough to make me reconsider my previous thoughts on the mentality of small-scale artists and bands.

4. Pumarosa

A band I initially reviewed for another review page but haven’t addressed in my own personal blog, Pumarosa stood out to me as one of the most stunning exhibitions of humanity, style, fantastic music and pure, primal feel.

Indie Rocks UK caters to a “five star” rating system which it requires its writers to accommodate within their reviews and, though I could be mistaken, Pumarosa may well have been the only performance I gave full marks to. Following their fantastic performance, I was left with a keen interest in following their music and pursued this interest with repeated listens in my own personal time.

Though not necessary to great music, I think the frontwoman, Isabel Munoz-Newsome, might actually be one of the most remarkably beautiful humans I have ever seen. She gave an amazing performance, she sounded fantastic and, more than a few months past, I still think fondly to her majestic and graceful dancing and its accompaniment from a deep, pulsating beat, subtle use of smoke and gloriously atmospheric lighting. It was a beautiful sight and experience and it still conjures delighted flashbacks now.

3. Susanne Sundfør

Yet another artist who evaded the wrath of my relentless published criticisms with a frankly stunning and heartfelt set, Susanne Sundfør would have been a tragically overlooked figure, were it not for the encouragement of my partner at the time! As a fan, and a fellow Norwegian, she jumped at the chance to witness another of her ilk perform in Manchester and it was only natural that she request my accompaniment.

The show was absolutely fantastic. Though the music didn’t resonate in me to the same degree as Pumarosa, the sheer energy and feeling in the room was sublime. Never before had I been to such a respectful and quiet show, with her acoustic performance being met with pure bewilderment from an adoring and incredibly supportive audience. The positivity throughout was almost real to the touch and the heart and humanity behind her every vocal accent filled the audience in a deep and emotional trance.

She composed herself incredibly throughout and retained a constant measure of respectful attention, even in the quieter moments between the songs when she would remark of the quality of her cup of tea and politely ask questions to a totally coherent and encouraging audience. The unbound joy and near crying eyes of my elated partner said it all; it was a truly magical display of humanity and sheer emotion.

2. Diablo Swing Orchestra

Those following my more recent posts will likely recognise this name and active readers will no doubt have expected this to be on some kind of “best of” list this year. Diablo Swing Orchestra overpowered me with a stunning display of overwhelming energy and style with the incredible Pacifisticuffs – the album which I could well consider to be my favourite from this year, though this is in contest with the following release.

It’s rare to find something these days that genuinely feels fun. Though I began with a cringe at the overwhelming positivity of the opening track, there wasn’t a single time throughout where I felt bored at all. In a balls-out and overly elaborate variety of styles and sheer character, the album had me in constant suspense of what would come next and it rewarded my every anticipation with a consistent repetition of surprise and subversion.

The album had me feeling like a kid in a Lego store and I left it with a grin which would make the Cheshire Cat envious. It was the most entertaining album I have heard all year and, as I stated in the review; I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys an elaborate and totally bizarre musical experience.

1. Gregory Porter

Much like the magnificent Norwegian specimen beside me at the Susanne Sundfør performance I attended, there were points during this musical masterpiece that almost had me in tears. I shit thee not; at numerous points throughout Gregory Porter’s tribute to the late Nat King Cole I genuinely felt I was going to shed a single tear from my long dead and cynical eyes.

The album was a sheer masterpiece, pure and simple! Those who wonder why I place this in a higher position than Pacifisticuffs, which I stated could be my favourite album of the year, I shall repeat that this list is in no particular order and it’s a list of the albums, artists and bands which had the largest impact on me through the year.

As my reputation as a cold, cruel and heartless bastard would imply, it’s as hard to move me as it is to pass unobstructed through the city centre of Manchester at Christmas; so when you find something that nearly made me fucking cry, you know you’ve stumbled across something truly powerful. Much as Diablo Swing Orchestra made me feel like a child in a Lego store, Gregory Porter took me through a retreading of some of the most powerful and gut-wrenching feelings I have ever experienced. It left me feeling devastated, pained and, in the end; resolved. It made me feel human again.

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Light Information by Chad VanGaalen (album review)

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(Definitely worth a watch and a listen!)

Having very recently discussed VanGaalen on my blog, I noted him for his beautiful creativity and unique style. Without any knowledge of his 2017 release, Light Information, I was terrified at a word count of 600 that I’d have to scrap the entire post out of fear his most recent album would prove to be absolute shit on balls and would totally undermine my praise for the man. I decided to plough on anyway with my shameless fangirling and feel somewhat relieved that this most recent release is actually pretty damn good! Alterations of style and execution between this and his older stuff have me concerned for the direction of his music, but I feel this was a more than competent and well-written album.

The first thing I noticed in this most recent release was the increase of outside influence. Listening to this is somewhat akin to your son falling in with a new group of kids. With Tame Impala shoving some serious Beatles influence down his throat and Radiohead encouraging a darker theme to the more experimental sections, I fear for the unique twinkle in the eye of my beloved little boy. The heart and mind is still there and the music feels like it might be one of his more welcoming and accessible albums so far, but I worry this comes at the compromise of his personality.

In spite of his reputation as an indie artist, this is the first time I truly felt that he belonged to the genre and I don’t know where I stand with this. I feel his older stuff always had more in common with something more psychedelic than indie and that this contributed fairly highly to his unique sound. Though this psychedelic influence is still evident in this album, I feel he’s becoming somewhat watered down by the mainstream appeal of more successful indie artists. As stated above, this doesn’t stop me from enjoying the music, but it feels like somewhat of a tonal shift in comparison to the work I am more familiar with.

I hate to repeat my concerns of outside influence, but it does contribute to a noticable alteration from his existing style. Something seems to have convinced VanGaalen that the best way to capture an abstract feeling is with the relatively dark and unnerving tones set in Prep Piano and 770 and at the end of Static Noise. Though dark themes were clear throughout VanGaalen’s discography, I feel this could be the most unpleasant and most disengaging portrayal of this darkness yet and it seems to vary highly from his established character and personality. It’s almost as if he works to imitate the feel of The Wall by Pink Floyd in this respect and it doesn’t feel like him. 

Of course, the album still has as much variety and character as ever and is definitely worth committing to if you have an invested interest in the more creative side of the indie genre. I enjoy the use of synthesisers throughout and feel they were very tastefully incorporated and contribute to a wonderful ambience which supports the emotional drive to their relative songs and sections. As I stated above, I feel like this album could serve a great entry point for a more mainstream audience to access his music, but I don’t feel it truly compares to the true spirit of his main body of work.

There are a lot of great ideas throughout and a great measure of thought behind the instrumental and structural composition of the album and I feel the album is worth recommending on this basis alone, but it does seem harder for me to recommend than Shrink Dust. The album is as wonderfully colourful and creative as I would come to expect from VanGaalen, but my personal interest is diminished by the vast influence of other bands so it just becomes slightly more difficult love. Maybe this is what pretentious wankers claim to feel when they say a band’s “older music was WAY better” when there’s actually nothing inherently wrong with the album in question! Even as I write this I can feel myself enjoying it more with repeated listens so I don’t want to end on a downer; this is a pretty great album, but it’s just going to take some time for me to get used to it.

This all said, in looking for the album artwork for this post I stumbled across positive reviews from various sources, all granting the album a minimum four stars out of five and some giving it top marks. Though I can’t speak for credibility of the writers and disapprove of these arbitrary “scoring systems”, it might be of interest to those of you who do appreciate such things. Go wild, folks!

You’re a Fucking Fish (opinion piece)

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Sorry to break it to you, kiddo; but you’re a fucking fish. Well, not exactly – but you are either a shark or an aquatic mammal for the sake of this following analogy. Warm up those flippers, you lovely little fishies; it’s time to get wet!

Dolphins

Ahhh, the dolphins! The beautiful and majestic creatures of the sea… In spite of the numerous cases of murder and rape accounted to the bottle-nosed bastards, we all love them, don’t we? (I’m not shitting you with that last line, dolphins are fucking evil in real life).

Who are the dolphins, you might ask? Well the artists, of course! Maybe the PR agents as well, come to think if it…

That’s right – we watch and celebrate as they exuberantly splash through their every day, singing beautiful cackles and notes to each other and actively supporting each other in their day-to-day lives. You see, a dolphin knows that it’s within his best interest to ingratiate itself with others and, though there are often cases of rivalry and unrest amongst their communities, they usually respect this mutual understanding and strive to work together against the larger threats of the ocean.

The dolphin itself, though a strong and capable creature, does have his admirers and predators. Usually the well-being of the dolphin lies within his strength, resolve and cunning. He knows the seals generally aren’t a threat and, in some cases, they even grow to respect and value the species as more than simple cohabiters of the sea! As we all imagine, the largest adversary the dolphin might face in the sea is a shark of a similar size to him; with exception of the orca, but we’ll get to that later.

These sharks sound like wankers! Who are they?

In this analogy, I consider the sharks to represent the many threats to the stability and longevity of the band. Whether it be an exploitative record executive or harsh critic, a shark ensures her livelihood from the efforts and life blood of a band or artist.

It sounds pretty fucking harsh, but that’s just the way the world works! I could elaborate on the importance of this cycle, highlighting the all to familiar “natural selection” argument, but I’ve covered similar thoughts in earlier pieces and am more than likely to mention it again in the future. In the meantime, consider that the shark has the same right to exist in this world as the dolphin does, abiding by a strict position in the natural food chain and achieving her living as she must.

In providing such adversity, the shark keeps the dolphin on edge and further necessitates the need for communication amongst the other wildlife of the sea. Some sharks are bigger than others, some are more aggressive and brutal than others and some are actuallytotally harmless – but the one consistency is with their contribution to the natural cycle of their environment.

Fucking seals, man.

Perhaps the more troublesome to envision in this analogy, but the seals would represent the more outspoken audience and the shameless flatterers who, despite their appreciation of the dolphin, actually contribute very little to the wellbeing of the creature.

With no reason to engage in hostility with the seal, the dolphin flows through with grace, totally accommodating the presence of the creature and they exist together in a fairly consistent harmony within their shared space.

Though the seal may hold admiration for the dolphin, it doesn’t actually provide the dolphin anything required for the growth and development. It instead exists to serve itself and show no more than minor support on the rare occasion it’s made to do so. The dolphin feeds off small fish and sustains himself in a moderately self-sustaining environment. When a shark enters the equation, the dolphin usually has the sense to evade the attack completely and might even consider holding his own in a fight if it has sufficient support from his pack; of course, the seal isn’t actually part of this pack and offers no significant contribution.

Don’t let that point swim past you; “the dolphin has his own pack and does NOT rely on the seal”. 

Though the seal certainly deserves his place in the world, a prolonged involvement in such varying societies is often counter-intuitive to his own survival and just muddies the water when he makes attempts to ingratiate himself amongst the surrounding communities.

What does the dolphin want? 

The dolphin wants what the dolphin actually needs. It needs food, air and general sustenance. He needs room for development and growth in a plentiful environment where everything around him supports his longevity and success. Were a dolphin to naturally evolve in any other way, he might be just as willing to devour his fellow dolphin – he would almost certainly devour the seal too! You see, at the end of the day, the dolphin forages for his own survival; not for you. 

You can slap your flippers together until you they’re black and blue, but the best way to help a dolphin is to provide him with mackerel and food deposits. Shameless adoration doesn’t help the dolphin, and if you encourage a self-congratulatory clapping within the behaviour of the dolphin he might easily fall prey to a shark under the distraction of such pointless flipper-tomfoolery.

The shark may lash out at the dolphin, but the dolphin will almost always escape with total grace and evasiveness – this constant testing proving invaluable when faced with an even bigger shark or a killer whale.

Oh yes – there’s more! 

As the saying goes, there are plenty more fish in the sea; and more than a few aquatic mammals!

Did you know that an orca, or killer whale, is actually a dolphin? Oh yes, they sure are – and they’re often worse than the sharks themselves! Considered an “apex predator”, there is almost nothing to compete with her might, size, cunning and ferocity. She is free to feed from sharks, dolphins, seals and even whales and might often suffer no consequences from such a brazen attack.

Remember that for the purposes of this analogy, that artists are dolphins – and that any artist has the potential to be as destructive, reckless and careless than even the worst sharks? Don’t believe me? Take a look at the arrogant and dramatic natures of some of the more vulgar and problematic artists such as Axl Rose, Anthony Kiedis and Jay Kay in the classic 2002 clip where he meets the full resistance of the mighty forehead one absolute fucking shark of a photographer.

Let’s get deep, guys…

The world isn’t as black and white as the sea is blue and there’s a spectrum and a natural order to everything. Sometimes the shark looks like the nastiest fucking fish in the sea, but it’s just within her nature to serve the role she does. Does she deserved to be reviled? Sometimes she does but, to reference the mighty Pink Floyd; she’s just another brick in the wall.

Same goes for the dolphins, you fishy fuckers! Sometimes they can be a beautiful marvel of nature, but even the smaller ones are sometimes capable of acts of cruelty and abuse. The level of destruction isn’t limited to any species, to any particular person or any profession and all contributions, positive or negative, serve a necessary place in the musical world.

I’d recommend that all of you slap-happy seals out there ingest these following words. Broaden your scope of vision and impartially accommodate the areas of the musical world you would usually dismiss and disregard. Try to approach the industry with the intent of learning and progressing your knowledge. Take the good and the bad and learn to truly appreciate the beautiful variety of artistic ability there actually exists and the way we all form one greater musical ecosystem.

Chad VanGaalen is Pretty Fucking Fantastic (fangasm)

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(You’re in for a world of weird, folks!)

With recent mainstream releases at an all-time terrible, I turn my gaze to a dear old love of mine; Chad VanGaalen – A largely unsung artist with all the heart and creativity I expect from a professional musician, and then some! It can never be a white British or American artist which impresses me, can it? Chad VanGaalen himself hails from the universally beloved Canada, making his musical debut in 2001 with various independent releases and going on to release his first label-supported album in 2004 with the charming and beautifully creative, Infiniheart. Yet, despite his consistently high-quality work and notable measure of success in Canada, his work seems largely neglected in the US and UK markets.

I find it a little surprising that VanGaalen doesn’t gain more recognition from fans of the Psychedelic movement, given that some of his work almost seems somewhat reminiscent of other like-minded bands. Through a quick squint, one might notice similarities to albums such as the incredible Innerspeaker by Tame Impala; another album I feel is unjustly dismissed in light of their most recent album. Much like Innerspeaker, the album pays large homage to the Shoegaze movement and other more psychedelic styles which depend largely around soundscaping. Like many others within this style, VanGaalen respects this influence in a sheer abundance of unique charisma and personality.

I often complain that a lot of music seems to lack a particular point of interest, but I feel like I may have been totally spoiled by VanGaalen in this respect. His music feels consistently fascinating to me and unfailingly wins my adoration with every listen. Every track simply radiates creativity both in the music and in the lyrics, often addressing topics with a somewhat bizarre perspective, using strange lyrics to conjure up truly unique imagery. In spite of this bizarre lyrical theme, however, the work retains a constant state of accessibility and emotional investment, with the very sounds and various dynamic builds capturing the true essence of loss and hardship and tempering such challenging feelings with a general feeling of wonderment, beauty and even cathartic joy.

Another interesting point to note is VanGaalen’s ability as an animator. His colourful and abstract nature is perfectly displayed throughout his music videos; most prominently in the videos to Peace On The Rise and Monster. His ingenuity and imagination is absolutely masterful and more admirable than the majority of bands I have since heard and seen, with the closest competition to such inventiveness being the animations in the comedy cult-classic; The Mighty Boosh. Anybody with the slightest familiarity with the creative minds of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding will know that such a comparison is a true compliment to the creativity of VanGaalen.

Without a slightest interest in any recent musical releases, I wanted to take the time to introduce this absolute marvel of a man to those unaware of his music. There’s a great deal of wonderment to Chad VanGaalen and I feel he deserves more recognition than he currently receives. In the process of researching his work and background I found that he has released an album this year which I currently have a keen interest in listening to and reviewing, but without any knowledge of its quality, I’ll leave a recommendation to listen to either the Shrink Dust or Soft Airplane albums for a great introduction to his character and music. He’s a beautifully clever man and I couldn’t begin to truly explain the love I hold for his music. Listen to it, but be prepared for something deeply weird and absolutely mind-shatteringly abstract.

Dog in the Sand by Frank Black & The Catholics

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(Sorry Frank, it just ain’t my thing)

Reeling from the aftermath of my first Christmas alone with nought but gratuitous quantities of Carling, my debauchery-inciting personality and a shameless commitment to my current FIFA campaign, I return with yet another review requested by one of my more active readers! After struggling through the cataclysmic entanglements of my unmade bed and the bewildering minefield of empty cans beside my glorious speakers, I fought my way to my MacBook to bring you my review of Dog in the Sand by Frank Black & The Catholics.

Curiosities arose from the very beginning when the very introduction had me confused as to whether I was enjoying the music or not. It feels more than easy to compare the track to some of Lou Reed’s worst music, but there seems to be some bizarre charm to the track. This is before the song alters tone in what I consider to be a highly jarring movement which leaves me to question the very tone of the music. Forgive me if this thought is mistaken, but I generally enjoy when the first track doesn’t leave me confused about the style and character of the fucking album. 

Blast Off stands a pure example of grossly ill-considered tones and poor production, delivering such in what feels like an absolutely fucking disgusting and vulgar display of poor sound design. Whether it be the intent of the artists or not, the track sounds like a complete and total fucking mess. Though the following track sets a better example with a darkly sleek and arousing introductory section, the song seems to continue the theme of total disorder and highlights an apparent lack of a specific vision regarding the tone of the album. 

The album stands out to me as a highly intriguing product for its curious recklessness in tying together what could otherwise be considered fantastic music, were it structured in a more cohesive manner. Any album which has me screaming “Why the fuck did you do that, you fucking morons?” on numerous occasions at my monitor strikes me as a poorly constructed piece of work, and this thought only feels more validated as the album progresses with almost no sign of maturing into something more tonally cohesive. 

The album is absolutely packed with interesting and well-considered music, but it feels so poorly delivered that I can’t possibly disavow my position on the numerous flaws. The structural composition throughout serves as a masterclass in how not to write songs, with every example of style and ability suffering at the hands of the out-of-place transitions and nonsensical instrumental sections which possess so little impact they actively undermine their respective songs. 

Were I to praise a specific song from the album it would be Bullet for its pure style, character and, above all else; its consistency! Though there are various changes throughout, they seem much better considered than the rest of the tracks and everything seems to make a lot more sense. I genuinely did enjoy this track and would gladly recommend it to those with a penchant for upbeat and generally cool sounding music. The song itself feels faintly reminiscent of Bad Things by Jace Everett and captures the essence of the genre well with a sly grace and appropriate level of sleaze. 

As the album progresses further you begin to develop a leniency towards the product, eventually coming to appreciate the subtleties not as evident in the opening tracks, such as the tones and sounds of the lead guitar, though later tracks attempt to disguise this genuinely charming addition with a crass and muddy sounding rhythm guitar. Inconsistency and lack of clear direction remain as much an issue towards the end of the album as they are during the opening tracks and the album this contributes to a lack of resolve or maturity to the product as a whole. 

Put simply, the album just never learns a lesson throughout. It has a great potential but delivers it so poorly that the album as a whole feels grossly amateur and the total lack of ability to engage the listener its lack of flow makes for a dreadfully dull listen. As I stated above, I would recommend the track Bullet, but the album as a whole just lacks a character you can really access or invest in. Like many others, I don’t hate this album; I’m merely disappointed by it. There’s a lot to like but the overall display is just awful and it contains all the flow of AIDS-ridden ejaculate. 

A Response to Fan Mail

From high above in my privileged ivory tower I did spy, like an owl to a shrew, the childish thrashing of one of my more discontented of readers. I would not normally consider any form of response, being that the ego of such an insignificant creature means absolutely nothing to me. However, when I contemplate the time and energy one spends reading my posts, I consider it an obligation to return notice to even the lowliest of contributors. To avoid any possibility of libel or accusations of personal attack, I shall avoid referencing the contributor by their given name and will intend refer to them as “Mr. Poo-Poo Pants”.

It is with this respect and the grace and charm you have come to expect that I shall acknowledge and address any major concerns projected in a public review on my page by Mr. Pants, and will attempt to offer context to the initial cause to the vocalisation of his issues.

Mr. Poo-Poo Pants’ post is as follows;

“The authors eagerness to inform the reader that he is, in fact, a writer, shines through the majority of the reviews obscuring any points he is trying to make about the music.

Plus, Cornetto ran a series of so-called “Raunchy reviews”, wherein the author uses exclusively sexual language for metaphors and similes to review the albums. Sure, I appreciate the idea of themed reviews but this particular series is often juvenile, self-indulgent and excruciatingly cringe-worthy. Nothing can be learned from the reviews due to the fact the writer is too busy (metaphorically) wanking himself off (geddit? I can do bad sex puns too).

The one thing Cornetto can be commended on is his output, which is consistent and borderline prolific but unfortunately, the writer seems to like the sound of his own voice more than he does talking about music.

Tolerable at best, egotistical and extremely pompous more often. Look elsewhere for music reviews.”

I consider the best place to start would be a brief analysis of the text and perhaps an explanation to the concerns Mr. Pants actually raises, and I have decided to address the concerns in order of mention.

Section 1

The introductory paragraph seems basic enough; it addresses mentions of my profession as a writer and a music critic throughout my work. Though poorly written and presented, the paragraph raises a significant point, to those without a basic education in the writing and structuring of an article. Though I expect one to posses a basic understanding of blog when reading my work, I understand that many simply lack such advanced cognitive ability and so I shall elaborate to the purpose of this.

When beginning an article it is mandatory to begin with what is referred to by writers as an introduction  this usually being where I make remarks to my profession. Perhaps a familiar concept to many, the very purpose of an introduction can be lost amongst some when presented with too many fancy words. An introduction primarily serves to welcome a new reader to the context, purpose and character of the piece, as well as providing background information which may benefit the previously mentioned points and establish the author’s credibility and disposition. An attribute to consider is that any post I make can be a new guest’s welcome to my page, and as such I have to write in a manner which accommodates those unfamiliar with my character and style.

Apply this information to my previous articles and I believe Mr. Pants may take to a better understanding of my work and structuring. If this is an insufficient explanation, however, I would be more than happy to recommend him to a more advanced and expansive institutional facility where he might better learn to embrace such knowledge.

Section 2

The following paragraph addresses a slightly more understandable concern. This concern regards a lack of appreciation for a particular writing style or theme. Though he understands there is a theme in use, he refuses to judge it by its own merit, instead relating it to his own preference for writing and work so far detached from the portrayed style it is completely irrelevant. Complaints of its “juvenile” and “self-indulging” nature fall completely flat when one considers that this is the entire point and selling point of my own blog. It’s juvenile and self-indulging by design and a lack of appreciation highlights that Poo-Poo simply isn’t the target demographic for my writing.

Another point to consider on this matter is that this is largely written from the perspective of a persona. With a total lack of understanding of structuring and personal style there is more than a passing chance of Mr. Pants not understanding this premise, so I shall elaborate clearly. A persona relates to a character or personality one might use for entertainment, personal isolation from a person or product or just because they feel more confident as that character. Though I would never compare my work to the sheer godliness of David Bowie, he stands to be a remarkable example of somebody using an alias, alter ego or persona to better market and deliver his work.

I approach writing from a deliberately obnoxious and egotistical persona as a result of what I consider to be great humour. I find incredible comedic joy in the “desperate, sex-crazed loser” character portrayed best by the late Rik Mayall in the classic British sitcom; Bottom and I feel his influence fairly evident in my writing, though obviously not to the same hilarious effect. I believe this insight should help provide a better grasp of the previous point and offer understanding to my particular writing style, but the more I read Poo-Poo’s post, the longer I start to question his competency as a functioning human being.

Regarding the point that “no information can be gained”, I would like to refer Mr. Pants to a word he breezed over in his poorly constructed statement’ the word being Metaphor”. I fear that, in spite of his understanding of the concept, his inability to apply such metaphors to his imagination is likely the larger contributing factor to his lack of informational intake. A writer uses metaphors and similes to invoke a state of personal relation to the point and, when the metaphor is applied to your imagination, it allows you a clearer understand of the feeling the writer is attempting to convey. After all, does feeling not inspire interest and and curiosity better than factual information?

I consider my approach to contain a fair dose of both factual information and subjective feeling, but I feel it worth stating to those without an understanding of journalism that we are usually encouraged to describe how something makes us feel and to approach a matter from a largely subjective perspective. Couple my interest in sexual humour with an encouraged subjective approach and I’m sure my vulgar comedic metaphors make a lot more sense.

Sections 3+4

I have decided to couple these two sections into one because there simply isn’t enough substance or length behind these sentences. Clearly, Mr. Pants is grasping at straws and is desperately hoping to elongate a particular point in a pseudo-intellectual manner, this lack of true intelligence evident in the fact he took time to research my work and review it in the first place, but I digress…

He makes effort to acknowledge my output, which I personally appreciate; but he fails to display any knowledge in why I actually write! At risk of shattering illusions, I write a piece every day because I want to refine my own writing ability and I enjoy talking about music. Should a critic enjoy having a voice? Of course they should – it’s their fucking job! A self-indulgent nature is prevalent in the majority of professional writers, and to dismiss this as a negative is to show a total lack of understanding towards journalism and writing in general.

If you’ll enable me a moment of humanity, dear readers; I do all of this for me. I hope I bring enjoyment to others with what I do and I have a genuine interest in the musical interests of other people, but I write because I love writing and I want to get better at it. I also love music, believe it or not! I listen to an average of three to five new albums every day and I usually write about at least one and I do this because it’s what want to do. Do I like the sound of my own voice? You bet your fucking ass I do, and if I didn’t appreciate my voice I wouldn’t be in pursuit of a profession so fundamentally hinged on it.

The Plot Thickens…

I’d like to take some time to briefly detail how Mr. Pants came to be such an outspoken voice on my work to better fill you in on why he saw fit to try to besmirch my page.

Following what I considered to be a pathetic and pointless attempt to project his ego, I saw fit to respond in a private conversation with him over Facebook to better encourage a productive response from Mr. Pants. With total impartiality, I shall repeat the transcript in text format so as not to infringe on Pants’ right to confidentiality. The conversation went as follows;


Mr. Pants: “Hey. Some hopefully constructive advice: I don’t think you should write about hiphop mate”

Mr. Cornetto: “Constructive advice would include reasons why I shouldn’t write about it and aspects I failed to acknowledge which are necessary to an accurate assessment and discussion of the genre. But I’m all ears!”

Mr. Pants: “Okay. It’s pretty patronising to detail me the ins and outs of what constructive advice is pal. I was opening a dialogue haha, tone that confession down”

Mr. Pants: “Condescension even ha 🙄”

Mr. Cornetto: “Respectfully, I felt it necessary to detail these points to better attempt to gauge a practical and constructive point from you. Understand that I desire only to communicate with a cohesive purpose, and not to accommodate the ego of another.

Were I to be patronising, which is certainly not the case, I would refer you to my previous article regarding “Handling Criticism”. Of course, some sections will require minor re-wording, but I am more than confident in your ability to do so.

Thank you for your time!”

Mr. Pants: “Sorry, the ego of another?”

Mr. Cornetto: “If you can’t understand the point I made then you surely won’t understand my explanation.

Please don’t make me explain the indications of the end of a conversation.”


 

With no alterations, this is how the conversation transpired. There were more messages to follow, but I simply sent his messages to the spam folder and ignored them. The entire topic was driven by what I consider to be a childish and self-appeasing mentality; one person appeasing his ego through a pathetic attempt to patronise and undermine me. Though somewhat condescending in response, I requested productive input and further stated that, as the conversation was, he was simply wasting my time.

Perhaps the conversation could have stayed at that, but in sending his messages to a spam folder I had denied his attempts at validating his comments, in turn causing him to take what action he could take against me, namely rating my page at a one-star rating and attempting to attack me with a poorly constructed and ill-considered comment on my page. Were I to abide my usual rules regarding responding to half-assed criticism, I would ignore the man, but I felt so flattered at the time Mr. Pants committed to my page and at his seemingly desperate attempts to communicate with me that I felt it a near obligation to return time to him.

It may surprise people to hear, but a poorly-constructed review on my page and an exaggerated low rating doesn’t really bother me all that much; especially when I know the cause is rooted in a damaged ego. I really don’t care if one gets “butt-hurt” over my attitude to them, and no other critic worth their weight will either. Saying that, people who show a measure of intelligent thought and reward my time with constructive and purposeful conversation will find themselves welcomed by a deep respect, whether they oppose or agree with my own character or work. Simply put; I won’t waste my time and thought on somebody who isn’t worth my time, and I would honestly expect the same of any of you.

I’ll conclude with a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Poo-Poo Pants for his time and efforts and will leave with just a few summarising tips for him, from the mouth of somebody clearly more learned and experienced with basic communication:

  • Only write to somebody when you have something you want to say.
  • Approach others with respect and only offer criticism if it’s productive.
  • Don’t underestimate the extent another might go to in order to show you for the fucking idiot you are, especially when all they do is drink and write on a blog.
  • Stop appeasing your ego. Nobody cares about you anywhere near as much as you do.
  • Remember that you have nothing to prove to me or anybody else. Live life for you, not for some desperate form of validation from people who don’t even know you.

 

With that I shall leave you all to enjoy your Christmas Eve! Eat plentifully, spread the love of Yule and stay classy, you beautiful cunts!

Peace.

.

A Fever Dream by Everything Everything (album review)

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(My entire process regarding artwork is to just find something pretty)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to a new feature! One starring my beautifully sculpted man-fingers and highly-arousing mind reviewing and criticising the music you love! More so than usual, that is. By request, I have taken time to review A Fever Dream by contemporary Indie/Synth darlings, Everything Everything! 

Straight off the bat I feel it only fair to disclaim that I thought this album was pretty decent. With perhaps no eloquent way to say this, the very introduction fucked me softly with familiar Stranger Things vibes – which I count as a particularly high praise when I consider my appreciation for the show, and the music in particular. Being somewhat of a fan of 80’s New Wave music, this album holds much appeal to my nostalgia-ridden mind, but I will instead begin with a courageous dive into my many criticisms of the album!

One of my largest criticisms is that the album often falls into the trap of throwing too much at you. With such busy drumming and many competing overlaying layers, it can often feel difficult to find a particular aspect to focus on. Though effort has clearly been made to incorporate a tight groove, the lack of space often makes for a somewhat difficult listening experience. 

When isolated, all of the instrumental layers feel wonderfully mixed and performed, but, as as I mentioned above, they often clash in the full mix. A solid example of this would be in Desire, where the inclusion of space feels very well handled, but the track instantly falls apart with the addition of the more lead-focussed layers. 

I stand somewhere between appreciation and dismay when regarding the vocals. An unprofessional term I might use would be “Thom Yorke Falsetto Syndrome” when pushed to describe certain areas of the vocal contribution throughout the album and I don’t consider this a particular benefit to the album. Whilst understanding and appreciating the emotional depth behind his vocal tone, his lack of style fails to impress. 

Perhaps this previous point need not be attributed to his vocals alone, all things considered! Be it my hungover state or personal taste, I found there were many occassions where I lost interest in the album. The largest contributing factor towards this disinterest stems from what I consider to a fairly poorly considered flow. The album itself feels like a compilation of various sections without consideration for any dynamic build. What little inherent flow is further disrupted by what often feels like intrusive and misplaced intensity in the drums.

Perhaps the most redeeming element of the music lies in the creativity on display. Digital instrumentation and contributions give an air of personality to the songs and the overall album as a whole. Though lukewarm on Higgs’ voice, I find it highly effective in completing a rather expansive soundscape when coupled with the backing instrumentation. Put Me Together portrays this point better than most in the album and is easily the track I derived the most entertainment and enjoyment from, largely due to the incredible atmosphere established within the music and their faultless execution of this.

To summarise my thoughts; I like the album but it feels plastered in minor faults. Whilst I won’t accuse the album of lacking a strong personality, I feel the album is somewhat lost in its identity and often feels confused and disoriented in its delivery. I really appreciate the work devoted to the synthesisers, I like the tone of the drums and I think the atmosphere behind a great many of the tracks is very well constructed and delivered but there are a great many structural pitfalls throughout. 

When push comes to shove, I would recommend this album. I think it has its heart in the right place and it displays a very impressive measure of creativity that seems lacking in today’s contemporary music scene. The album packs variety and feeling and always offers something to get excited about, though it often does this at the expense of flow and accessible groove. Much like a foxy art student in a dingy bar; a quick fuck is totally justifiable, but you should get out of there before she opens her mouth and bombards you with incomprehensible and self-contradictory noise.