I thought I was the only one whose vomit was gold tinsel
Hahaha you know the internet is as tiny as the rest of the world when your friend unknowingly reblogs a picture of your ex-boyfriend that your bestest American gal-pal took. Hey Eleanor, that’s Austin by Amanda!
I’ve spent most of today emailing every musician Crawlspace has covered in 2013, requesting that they write something small for an end-of-year round-up that the site will publish. It’s exciting because I am very interested in what musicians have to say about music. Some people I have spoken to say that musicians are bad at writing about music, as if that were a rule. What they mean probably is that musicians are maybe more reluctant to think / write about music on the terms that the music press believes music should be assessed on.
Realising this made me think about a couple of things. Especially this: I operate a website about music, and yet I probably only listened very closely to about ten albums released in 2013 during the course of the year, and some people would say that this makes me unqualified.
I definitely listened to and enjoyed more than that, but I didn’t compulsively listen. There is a lot of music in 2013 that I enjoyed but most of it I will not discover properly for a long time. Most of the music I enjoyed in 2013 I will only properly live inside in 2014, or 2015 or maybe in twenty years time. Maybe in 2021 I will listen to nothing but The Stevens’ first LP. There are a lot of records I heard which I enjoyed, and yet I did not write at length about them, mostly because I didn’t listen to them more than three or four times.
I don’t think it’s true that music made between January and December of any given year is at its most potent during this time period. It may need to be true from a music critic’s point of view, but I don’t consider myself strictly one of those because it’s very annoying to have to play that role all the time. Thinking about music is something few people actively do or ever want to do, because music insinuates itself. You respond to it instinctively before you begin to think critically about it, if you ever do. You understand it without needing to articulate why, and when you try to articulate why, you might arrive at a resolution very different to how you initially felt. I only want to write about music when I feel I can clarify the reasons why I am listening to it or why I feel a strong desire not to, and this process is hopefully interesting to others.
Crawlspace has published less proper, lengthy reviews this year than any other publication. The reason for this is that I can’t think of any reason for a piece of writing to exist unless it’s interesting, and the only way I can be assured that a piece of writing about music is interesting is if there’s something specific to be said about it.
Some music is great but not very interesting to talk about. I have listened to the Milk Teddy album ‘Zingers’ almost every day this year and I don’t think there’s anything interesting to say about it. I have listened to the Pop Singles album ‘All Gone’ just as regularly but it would be boring to read what I think about it. Neither were released in 2013. Neither are especially topical now or then. I love them, but they moved me in uninteresting ways. They both moved me in ways that I felt to be significant in a year they were not released.
All this self-negation is in service of illustrating one point which has directed Crawlspace for most of the year, and that is a dislike for the way we try to historicise music on the fly. For some people the only reason I exist - a person who writes about music - is because I am expected to preempt history. But I don’t want to do that. People naturally expect that from someone who writes about music, but I don’t want my writing about music to necessarily be about a judgment. Nor do I want it necessarily to be about deconstructing some intended or unintended purpose. Just interesting text about music. That’s all. It can do potentially anything on these terms.
A music critic is expected to file a report about the state of music within a given year. In some circles this is considered important. But history sorts itself out and the things we value in years to come may contradict what’s considered important now. That’s why in most cases, Crawlspace just alerts people to the existence of things within a very small circle.
The reason we don’t do authoritative top 10 lists on Crawlspace is because they are silly, and I want to take music very seriously. Music is very serious. It should not be paraded like fresh cattle. Music is fun but it’s not a game. Sometimes it’s the only reason I can smile. Sometimes I can hate everyone and then a song will stop that, even if the song is not positive. It doesn’t make sense to put it in a linear order. That would be dumb. Sometimes music makes me realise something that will keep me positive for several weeks in a row, even if it is ugly. I couldn’t list the reasons why.
I agree with everything in this so, so much. I can’t wait for my thesis to be done with so I have time to write about music again, but only music that I want to be writing about. I loathe writing anything but interviews because analysing music does my head in. There are so many of you who have the ability to write interesting pieces about things that I love, but I just don’t have it in me to write something (that I don’t think is shit) about something I’d rather just have float around in my head for days and weeks and years.
you might as well go and read this. http://crawlspacemagazine.com/2013/12/11/2013-in-review-artists-and-crawlspace-editors/
Thank you! One of my housemates is a *freshly* graduated D-O-C-T-O-R (hey Reubs) and despite his girlfriend’s initial reaction “OMG REUBEN, REUBEEEEEN!!!!” (s/o to Sophie) and everyone freaking out and stuff, Reuben just opened his eyes real wide and asked if my heart felt ok, and to inspect my red extremities. If he thinks I’m OK, I reckon I’m OK.
[Incredible] submission from the ever-pineapple-faithful, and wonderfully alliterative Women Wearing Wolves.
My knowledge of Japanese only gets me so far as to understand that that there says “Painapporu [pinapple!] something something”.
I think more of you should be submitting submissions of this calibre (or any calibre) to Pineapples, yo.
I just got totally fried trying to work out what was wrong with the lightbulb in this room. Like, my entire right hand had a surge of electricity run through it and then through my torso and down my right leg, out my right foot. Right foot and hand are still quite red and hand still feels tingly.
The last time I was electrocuted I was a little bubby and my dad was fixing a washing machine in the garage and for some reason touching it zapped me and people remember that I had a little hole in my index finger where the electricity went in and a little hole in my right foot’s big toe where the electricity came out. Always wanting to get to the ground.
My housemates are freaking out about it, I guess it was pretty traumatic.
Imagine if I’d died, here, right now, fixing a shitty light fixture in a shitty sharehouse in shitty Newmarket with my work clothes on, sprawled over my unfinished thesis, with a pore strip across the bridge of my nose. What a shit way to go out.