Tagged: Jenny Hval

20 for ’15 – The Playlist

Well, it’s nearly the middle of February already – so it seems as good a time as any to wrap up this round up of the previous years best songs. They don’t call me The Timely Content Kid for nothing. Also some might call having 25 songs on a top 20 list something of a cop out. To which I have no real argument.

It was a great year for music though and I think this list demonstrates just how good. Especially since it was a year in which I didn’t find much time to delve into all that much hip hop – Busdriver and Milo narrowly missed the cut for the list but that was about it for my rap listening in 2015, bar a couple of L’Orange produced albums – and almost completely ignored what was by all accounts an excellent year for black metal. It was a year of Too Much Music and this, for better or worse, is how I spent it. And given how much fun I’ve had putting this list together I’m leaning towards, “for better.”


20 for ’15 -Jenny Hval – That Battle is Over

Part 18 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015

Another track I wrote about in Wanton Miscellany #2That Battle is Over stayed on my ‘current listening’ spotify playlist for pretty much the whole year. I never did quite get into Apocalypse, Girl as a whole but this track was amongst the most startlingly brilliant things I heard all year.

If it wasn’t for me watching this video on whim me and Jenny Hval’s work would never have gotten along. I tried listening to Apocalypse, Girl on the advice of some usually reliable sources and immediately hit a brick wall. The free poetry delivery of the opening track was too worthy, too self-consciously in my face for my taste. Perhaps that had something to do it being a drinking alone on a Tuesday sort of evening, but it was a bit too much.I didn’t get it. “Why is this woman singing about rotting bananas?” I wondered. “What was that about beckoning the capitalist clit?”

Then I saw this. I watched as Hval walked through a house full of sketches of traditional ‘womanhood’ – baking, reading to a child at bedtime, applying lipstick. I witnessed as she took a seat and lit a smoke as they gradually disintegrate – humorously, horrifically. l listened as she intoned, “Statistics and newspapers tell me I am unhappy and dying,that I need man and child to fulfill me,”  with equal amount of sneering and of fear. And I listened as she shoved a stick into the sand to redraw the battle lines of the 21st century. Simply, eloquently, angrily: “You say I’m free now, that battle is over, and feminism is over & socialism’s over. I can consume what I want now.”

And that’s how Jenny Hval made a fan out of me.

Wanton Miscellany #2

Episode two – in which our hero contends with the realisation that Bad Guys frontman Stuart is his partially long haired doppleganger, and that perhaps he’s not the glistening adononis he imagines himself to be:maxresdefault (1)

Y’know I still can’t quite get my head around the idea of music videos existing without actual music channels to play them. I know there are still technically such channels around, all with names like 90s teen girl magazines that play the same 3 videos in rotation (so far as I can tell there are only 3 videos shared by all the latest pop hits). But it’s not like it was Back In The Day when MTV stood for music television and if you sat and watched patiently for several hours you might see a decent video, is it? Those were the days. Or what about the heyday of MTV 2 where if you waited until 2am and were willing to watch 8 or 9 videos of identikit glitchy electronica you could see a few videos by semi-decent indie bands, eh? Good times. Now in this god forsaken age you can just type in what you want into an internet searchamajig and there it is. Blam: Bad Guys are singing about prostitutes right into your eyeballs. It all still seems like voodoo to me. But then I didn’t have access to the internet until I was 20 – I had to go round my mates and run up his phone bill on dial up waiting 2 hours to download the new Offspring single on Napster.

And they call this progress.

Ok, so maybe it’s not quite the stories of hardship my old man tells me about his tough Northern upbringing in the 60s. Yet I still get the feeling that when I try to explain this to my kids one day they’ll look at me the same way I did him when he told tales about hiking 7 miles in the snow to school.

Anyhow, in the absence of any kind of curated content (I’m ignoring the million or so curators on youtube; who would trust the kind of myopic psychopath who spends his time compiling internet videos?) I tend to careen sideways into music vids every now and again and go, “ooh, that’s quite good, isn’t it?” And then I put together this, the latest installment of the seemingly annual series Wanton Miscellany, in which I present some of these videos that I’ve stumbled over like a drunk idiot struggling to navigate the living room in the dark at 2am falling onto an upturned plug and screaming like he’s taken a hot knife to the liver.

That was a rough night.

The Playlist 

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