EPs or LPs? Who Gives a Shit?
First, is it me or are year-end best-ofs coming out earlier and earlier every year? We still got a month’s worth of albums left to drop and publications are posting their favorites on Black fucking Friday. Ridiculous. I’d talk a bit about how my scores correspond to the leaders, but Tom Hull sums up how I feel about it pretty well.
Second, I know Parquet Courts are operating under the moniker Parkay Quartz, but because I like consistency and don’t care whether it upsets anyone, I’m filing it all under one name.
Expect a flurry of posts like these as the year winds down, with writing quality probably dropping immensely. I ran across my old blog (boy, was that an embarrassing click) the other day and had a good laugh—on account of the shittiness, not because I ever wrote a clever word there. But something I liked was how often I was posting, if only for a short while. Over the last year I’ve gotten into the habit of posting megadumps of Honorable Mentions and Lemons, and I think I might ditch that unless it becomes necessary. I’d like to switch to writing a few extra sentences about Honorable Mentions, even if they’re lowly * reviews. It’ll fill up space here a bit better, I’ll post more often (in theory), and you won’t have to wait almost a full year to see what I think of an album released in January. Not like you cared anyway, you jackass.
AGAINST ME! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Total Treble): Because I didn’t see a pic of the album cover that wasn’t a thumbnail for the longest time, I had no idea it was a tit and the layers of flesh and muscle beneath, a pretty clever way to boldly reinforce frontwoman Laura Jane Grace’s identity, who by the way details the difficulty her fictional transgender prostitute faces—homophobic jackasses, not being able to be seen as anything more than a faggot, unwarranted violence, death and death and death—better than, say, David Bowie could. And sometimes I swear I hear a hint of Billie Joe Armstrong’s theatricality (“Unconditional Love,” especially) but without pomp and a hella lot more assertiveness, which makes sense considering Armstrong probably doesn’t have the balls Grace wishes she didn’t. Is that a joke I can make? B PLUS (***)
PARQUET COURTS – Content Nausea (What’s Your Rupture?): Billed as an EP (36 mins? Really?) and filed under slight pseudonym Parkay Quartz—which last year I thought was a joke ensuring correct pronunciation a la ‘Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd,’ but it turns out it’s just Savage and Brown—this Sartrean survey of American life is sharp in ways more discomforting the more you listen. A fuzzfest featuring post-VU drone with a hint of horns and anxiousness, these stoners turn Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking” into either a gender switcharoo or cautionary tale about humanity wandering where it ought not. Savage fires free association poetry aplenty, lambasting consumerism in a way Occupy wish it could: “Just a broken piece of plastic / Just another new device,” “I’ve been tricked into buying quite a number of things / Yeah, bullshit and dreams,” makes time to mention he’s “been around long enough to know / life’s lived best when scrolling least.” Finishes off with a beautifully painted Southern gothic of a man who “stands his ground” but understands his guilt. The hell imagery depicting “modern life” is dynamic, dreary, and abundant. If it weren’t humorously bleak enough already, the album title refers to “World War IV,” an existentialist battle where the most destructive force the world wields is its own weary passivity and glum acceptance of all things status quo: Work. Consume. Shit. Die. A