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Broken Record #22
Benjamin Shaw has a real way with words, which you can hear on his new album Goodbye, Cagoule World. You can also read it here in this feature where Shaw tells us about records that he loves and hates. Said new album is out on Audio Antihero records on 21st April and its a definite contender for album of the year, full of invention and raw understatement (check back here for the full review). This is certainly one of the most entertaining Broken Records we've had in a while, so enjoy.
Hello. I don't really know what under-rated means. Is it under-rated by me, or under-rated by you, the reader? Or even worse, the general public? I don't know. If it's something that's been under-rated by me, then it's probably for quite a good reason, like, it is rubbish. But if it has been under-rated by you, the reader, then you might be wrong and me right again. There are a lot of options, I don't know. I'm going to go with 'I feel like this record is under-rated by you, the reader, but I don't think it is'. I choose Sometimes Life's Cool by Mi Mye. This is a lovely record. It came out last year on that 'i don't know how they do it' hitrunner label Philophobia Music, and it is lovely. Lovely crunchy guitars and mopey lost-love words (the best kinda words) and I like it when he says 'well, fuck you..' in one song. In the context, it warms my heart and I agree, fuck them. Not instantly recognisable, but give it some time, as it took me a while, but man, such great tunes, (and guitars and drums from members of The Spills I believe? Dunno) it really fucking won me over.
See, naming over-rated records is what I spend most of my days doing, just quietly to myself - y'know, griping - so you would think this would come easy. There are definitely a few names and records that make my jaw tighten. Undue praise and all that. But that probably just says more about my own feelings of unsuccess and failure more than it does how rubbish they might be. They are definitely rubbish though. I know it. There are so many records I would want to single out, but maybe I should just take out a whole genre. Yes, Dream Pop it is. And with it, anything by Beach House. There are many beautiful albums that fall under this umbrella, some I hold dear, but the Dream Pop 'sound' is so weirdly common-place now, it drives me slightly up the wall. Again, I fear the reason that I resent Dream Pop enough to write about it here, is that its disciples get much better press than I do. It's that simple - weasles, and Beach House's Teen Dream is the biggest weasel of them all. Having said all that, adding fourteen layers of reverb and calling yourself a soft and thoughtful pseudonym - as if Deerhunter never happened - will not necessarily make me hate you, so please, fill your boots.
I like driving. Driving is cool. I haven't done it in years though. This one time, my wife nearly got me murdered with her road rage. That was not cool. The last time I drove was ON TOUR. All the cool people go ON TOUR don't they, in mainland Europe of all places. We started in Barcelona, outside a cafe with a mineral water and one of those sweet open top pork sandwiches they have there. Dreams in our dreaming faces. We climbed in the van and clicked play on the stereo. Pavement, mother-effer. We played to approximately 4 people on that tour, but the driving was cool.
Being 14 years old was mega. I had just discovered drinking, weed and Nirvana, I had grown my hair out for the very first time, just in time for summer, and most importantly, I had my first girlfriend and we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Then I bought her a Jon Bon Jovi CD. To my credit, it wasn't just some very badly judged gift-giving, she genuinely was a Bon Jovi fan (hello, alarm bells?) and she was over the moon with her gift. Best of all, she didn't even know he had a solo album out. I know, right? So when the end of the summer came, and she eventually left me for her church youth group leader ('Oh, Hi Atheism, nice to meet you') it was this album that would stick in me like a late-90s Country-Pop poo-stick. I even bought another copy for myself. I think I still have a soft spot for that album, with all its corny faux-country, lost love words and even fauxer rock guitars, but I imagine this could be any old shite from that moment and I'd still feel that same twinge of heartache.
I don't really believe in records of sin. Either you like it or you don't, it's kinda stupid to be embarrassed by it. Whatever your thing, you should be free to feel that rush of love and excitement without judgement. Of course there are exceptions - like, if you enjoy listening to music made by Tories (I'm looking at you Gary Barlow) then you should really question whether you deserve to listen to music at all.
Are you kidding me? It's Islands in the Stream by Dolly and Kenny.