Track of the year so far, no question – that bass! And ok, I accept Skeng isn’t exactly the most wholesome role model for young people, but he’s got a way with the lyrics and delivery, and the burberry ofc. London was everywhere and was a track of the year last year, as I expect this one will be. Good video too. V thin. Do you think he gets enough to eat 😐
Som.1 – Ultimatum
Coming straight out of Montpellier, hefty, buzzsawing breakbeats, dark and lowering bass and a driving ’don’t stop, gooooo!’ catchline. Killing it.
Bree Bree – Eva Bless!
Clean, catchy and direct. Confidence in the skill and the song. Great riddim too, that little shuffle that Bree Bree rides to deliver the momentum.
YouTube playlist link:
Reading Janet Malcolm The Impossible Profession at the moment, hence the playlist title.
A post from years ago , from before When the Screaming Stops, so the derangement is better known now. Still fantastic ofc. His face was just everywhere in the hotel I was in. V odd.
I’d missed all this Matt Goss being a thing in Vegas.
Here in the Nevada Desert, Goss has reinvented himself as a new Sinatra. A Peckham boy updating the moves Ol’ Blue Eyes invented. And rather than running him out of town for the cheek of it, the Americans have fallen for Goss in a way they never did before.
This feels like the sort of place Vegas is. Producing weird Gatsbys out of the desert.
For a while he had no money at all. ‘All our assets had been frozen. I was down to the wire, I’m talking only being able to buy one cheeseburger a day.’
Now he can afford many cheeseburgers a day. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Not everybody is impressed. As Goss walks through the casino, flanked by bodyguards, on his way to the show, a lone voice from the card tables shouts out: ‘Douche bag!’ The singer spins on his heels, outruns his guards and goes close up, face to face with the offender.
‘Just because I’m on the billboard doesn’t mean I won’t sort you out.’
Underneath that tux is a tattoo he calls The Mark: a circle pattern worn by a close group of friends, all sworn to loyalty, including his father and his stepbrother Adam.
It’s a strange picture of a man, who went through a fame-loss-fame cycle, and it’s shaped him in some weird ways. But, again, Vegas feels right for that sort of thing. He may not be ‘Britain’s Answer to Frank Sinatra’ as the billboard has it (it’s a quote from The Sun), but he maybe he is this version of America’s Frank Sinatra.
Five o’clock in the morning, and as the sun rises Goss is standing in the bay window of his suite, black tie hanging loose, with a tumbler of Johnnie Walker Black Label in his hand, looking down on Vegas.
i used to do a four song “EP” every couple of weeks or so. stuff i’d be listening to. favourite songs, themed tracks etc. called it “month’s mind”. going to do it again. a diary of sorts. going to try for once a week.
I’m going to try (once again) to write a bit more here. It will necessarily largely be stringing beads on the thread of the week, and I’ll need to work harder at writing better than comes naturally, but it is with the intention of plugging recent experiences into the wider set of more permanent feelings and thoughts.
Saturdays have become my day for catching up on bookmarked articles and things of interest held in abeyance during the week, so that’s also the time I’m likeliest to post.
Sometimes a song has a line or moment in it which seems to catch something about a moment now, or of another place, without it being clear why:
Pete Hammill’s Sitting Targets reaches a typical point of anguish, with the lines:
And I’m losing control of my body, and I’m running scared. Oh, remember the black and white movie, A positional state of affairs, Of the fashionable interest in moving, Just to prove that we’re there.
(In fact it is apparently, ‘We’re left with a black and white movie, a positional state of affairs, An obsessional interest in moving, just to prove that we’re there’ which is clearly right on a re-listen. but the line that’s been in my head has been that ‘of the fashionable interest in moving’.)
This is a propulsive song about escape, from an emotional trauma only defined by the terms of its escape.
If we’d been stuck just a few hours more I’d have cracked up, I’d say. No, you never can tell when it’s coming; It’s so hard getting out of the way;
It is something impending that has brought about the crisis – and with the road and car the means of escape it would be wrong to say somethingcoming down the road. It is more something that looms, something unavoidable, but out of sight, something which makes you feel like a sitting target. Target for what is the question implied by the title. I tend to feel that all art of mid-sixties to early 80s should be assumed in some way to be characterised by anxieties of possible sudden nuclear annihilation, and there is obviously existential fear here, but also there is a sense of the claustrophobia of your home environment, of society and time closing in.
Oh you never can tell how it’s going, No you never can see how it’s been, But to stay sitting targets is surely No better than living a dream.
So that set of lines, which kept on surfacing in my head, work against the rest of the song, and critique the urge for escape – the motion is out of control, it is required for a sense of self and of agency, otherwise unavailable to someone staying in the same place.
That this song plays into a deep-seated set of my own anxieties – staying in one place, continuous building on something being an exclusion of other possibilities, ultimately stemming I think from fears of death – is certainly one part of why this song appeals to me generally.
But its point of specific application right now – the thing that caused it to snag on a hook – is harder to define. I find myself circling around the notion that ‘Of a fashionable interest in moving’ is suggestive of psychosomatic mechanisms at play in society at the moment – the need to express internal stresses in other forms.
A trick that Hammill pulls off quite well across his albums I think is to locate these particular moments of emotional agon into social/historical/scientific spaces, which allows for this sort of application.
It is surely not the motion aspect of the song though – a decade of Tory government now using policy as a way of rhetorically realising an apparently expressed desire for a permafrosted 1945-1948 country means it must be more the threat of stasis implied by the idea of sitting targets.
Perhaps it also links into anxieties I have about the debates taking place on the left – the need and indeed the opportunity to reframe for the future, of the possibilities of the new communities that will form, that are forming, identified in their literary expressions by John Self at the end of his piece on the Brexit novel (a phenomenon to which I am totally indifferent, unless it’s written by a John Lanchester of course). The song seems to warn of the need to avoid the stasis born of fear, and inutile movement for movement’s sake, which is not in itself progressive, but an escape.
As I say, I am fully aware these are, in proper Pete Hammill fashion, personal anxieties mapping onto the social and political space.