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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Numbers 35-31, "Middle of the Road Class War Terra Nullius Blu-hoos"

#32 Lil Wayne

35.Punks - I heart hiroshima
Tuff Teef (2007)
"Don't lock your doors, I have these PUNKS  on the ropes..."
OK so once again, we start this list with a duplicate #35, because, well I find numbers challenging. Shurrup. So, here we have one of the highest-placed Australian acts of the decade, and easily the lowest-profile such artist to make the top ranks. Because this is just GREAT songwriting in every dimension that matters. It has a hook to it that could land a White Pointer, it's delivered with sass and bravado, it swanks around your speakers like it was wearing a zoot suit.

And the band is WELL worth  catching live. It's ALL rather weirdly about Susie Patten. Weirdly because she's the drummer. Weirdly because she's the archest tomboy you're ever going to meet, and we're not used to either of those tropes as "frontman". The band is now apparently on hiatus as Susie is spending some time in Germany, like all the best Aussie artists do eventually. And I can't wait to see what she comes back with. Songwriting chops like this - and this came from their DEBUT - don't just evaporate. This one belts you with the first beat and doesn't stop whacking for three solid minutes.

35.Float On - Modest Mouse
Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)
Ah, the mice of modesty. Supposed to be indie, but this will fill any given dancefloor. The chorus is as catchy a one as has ever been written. Not much more to say really, you know the tune already. All-RIGHT.

34.The Coast Is Always Changing - Maxïmo Park
Apply Some Pressure (2004)
I  seem to recall back in the day I hailed this as the finest song of 2004. It now appears I was right, but only just. Someone from Sydney tried telling me I was 'Emo' for that opinion, or I forget, maybe it was my haircut, but what nonsense.

"You react to my riposte" is apparently pretentious emo lyrics or some such rot. But this BELONGS here for wearing its poecy so LIGHT on its sleeve. For a song with so may finely strung together shades of light and dark, an effect itself like waves over the sea floor. Oh, alright ... piss off.

33.Umbrella - Rihanna Feat. Jay-Z
Bravo Hits - The Hits 2007 (2007)
Some songs are just so well written that even an anodyne hits funnel like Rihanna can't mess them up. Even adding Jay-Z won't render them COMPLETELY banal, hard as he tries here.

Uh huh, uh huh, Yeahhh Rihanna,
Uh huh, uh huh, Good girl gone bad
Uh huh, scoop the remnants of my brain out with a fish fork ...

32.A Milli - Lil Wayne
Lollipop (2008)
So, yes, you know I'm supposed to be all gender progressive and blah. But I've always loved hip hop. LOVED. Picked on every day for a year for wearing a RUN DMC shirt to school camp. "Rap is crap, man." Yes, seeing what you did there ...

But some songs you just have to listen to with your ears half closed. It's a male-dominated genre, and it's in its essence puerile. And when those two factors work in tandem, sexism is going to bubble up. You either need to find a coping mechanism or a new genre.

So, here's what works for me. Some of this stuff is SO puerile that it's completely self-parodying. And there's a rare breed of artist that you no doubt instinctively despise, who actually when you drill down through the discourse seems to just know, accept and revel in it all, to such an extent that they're not really spreading ideology. I'm talking about Eminem, and I'm talking about nobody more than Lil' Wayne.

There's nothing here to mimic, it's all too ridiculous. "I'm a venereal disease like a menstrual bleed", "Coke in her derrière"? For God's sake, it's all just so laughable, does it parody itself so much that it's actually progressive? I'll reserve judgement.

This, its entire form, the lyrics, the backing track, it's all just RIDICULOUS. And there's never been a song like it.

31.Middle of the Road Class War Terra Nullius Blu-hoos
G.A. Richards and the Dark Satanic Mills Bros
Closed Off, Cold and Bitter - My Life as a Can of Beer (2005)
The good people in Augie March may well use this chart as evidence of their utter prominence amongst quality Australian artists over the course of the decade.

You recall the rules here limited each artist to a maximum three songs. Glenn A Richards, next to whom I once had a piss at Lounge..."Can't really say 'love your work' while we're doing this, can I? CAN I?"... Glenn is the only artist to feature here FOUR times.

I wish the Augies would add this to their repertoire, as it's up there with their finest, lyrically and musically. It kind of drones along letting the vocal to most of the work. And the vocal is certainly up to it.

"Here rests the thief who stole my self-belief."