Sunday, August 31, 2003

So, the best albums of the year so far, then. First of all "Mt Eerie" by The Microphones is THE best. Then you've got, in no particular order, Matt Elliott - "The Mess We Made", King Geedorah - "Take Me to Your Leader", Noriko Tujiko "Make me Hard" and "From Tokyo to Niagra", Richard Youngs - "Airs of the Ear", Nurse With Wound - "Her and Me Fall Together in Free Death", Why? - "Oaklandazulasylum"....

And I could go on but the point here is not to create another useless ROCK LIST but to point out that, while these albums are stylistically divergent, I like them all for the same reason. They all seem to be the result of an IDIOSYNCRATIC PERSONAL VISION. In a time where just about every existing genre has recycled its history to the point of utter redundancy and just about every idea from the avant garde of the past hundred years has been co-opted by the mainstream, this element comes to seem all the more important.

Resist the music of empty gestures - support the grand artistic statement!

Of course, there's two problems with this

(i) Eccentricity is just as easily co-opted as anything else and do we really want a million Polyphonic Spree style phonies clogging up the record bins?

(ii) Some visionary artists simply run out of inspiration and should either give up or seriously reign their ambitions in - witness Lou Reed's "The Raven" and Neil Young's "Greendale", two truly awful concept albums from formaerly visionary artists.

Still, that Microphones album, man....

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