Friday, April 08, 2011

Anyone still listening to that Burial album?

37 comments:

W. Kasper said...

I wasn't even listening when I listened to it.

Biggie Samuels said...

You mean the second one (Untrue)? Yes, I still listen to it regularly and it was apparently my third favourite album of the noughties (according to this http://bubblegumcage3.com/2010/01/11/top-ten-albums-2000-2009/).

If you mean the first album album, though, I'd have to admit that I never listen to it any more because I'd always rather hear Untrue.

In a more general sense, a large number of people are certainly still very, very interested in Burial, if the online reaction to his two recent 12" singles is anything to go by.

owen hatherley said...

Sorry if this arses up the theory, but am with Biggie on this - still listen to Untrue a lot, although the first album never. It's much better than you think it is, you know.

carl said...

A Pox in both your trousers!

mystified not just by its popularity but its enduring popularity...

loveless and untrue are just two records i'm never going to get i supect...

tho thanks to sam's recent jungle mix i am slowly inching forward on that whole issue

a london something is kind of incredible innit?

actually i heard a couple of the newer burial things and they sounded super-bland and formulaic to me...

maybe i'll go and listen to untrue again...

Biggie Samuels said...

"loveless and untrue are just two records i'm never going to get i supect..."

Well, there's your problem. If you don't like Loveless, you don't really don't like music. And you're also a bad person.

Obviously, I'm joking but there's a very deep-rooted part of me which genuinely believes that. Whenever anyone tells me they don't particularly like MBV, I almost black out with rage. Seriously! Is this the way other people feel about their stupid religious/political beliefs?

carl said...

yeah... these overlaps and then total non-correlations of taste are wierd arent they.. ie.. yesterday i was listening to Disco Inferno.. tremendous... now I'm sure we can agree on them! or on numerous other things, but other stuff that we're both deeply into will doubtless mystify the other...

i mean i can recognize WHY x record might be good/important/groundbreaking... but it doesn't move me in any way which leaves you in a kind of aporia.. do you a argue against it despite acknowledging its innovative qualities purely on the basis that soemhow it hasn't "taken" with you or do you praise it for said qualities without actually enjoying it...

it's tricky with any given record to identify what it is you do and don't like about it and how they contend with each other and hang together...how it relates to a particular time and place in your own life and so on...

Phil Knight said...

I have the same problem with "Loveless" that I do with "Spirit Of Eden" - the abandonment of what were probably the only two decent rhythm sections in late-80's British music.

A criminal waste really, and not one that any number of ambient textures can atone for.

Greyhoos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greyhoos said...

Admittedly, I haven't put Burial on in a good while. But no matter, because a lot of other things I've been listening to this past year or so owe it a considerable debt.

And perhaps better that I hold my tongue on the topic of "Loveless."

W. Kasper said...

Loveless - two tracks in, and it's "YES WE GET IT. NEXT." Similar effect with Burial. 'Concept' all spent within a few bars.

It's not about 'not liking music', it's about indifference to 'novel' production techniques that get done to death. I'm afraid they do sound the same as their imitators as time moves on.

Greyhoos said...

Well, if we wanted to get into which artists have repeated worked a narrow formula vein or slim sliver of style, we could be here forever & it would probably amount to only so much subjective grousing.

As far as "Loveless" goes, I thought it was pretty alright at the time, but nothing colossal as all that. When it came out, it didn't strike me as a revelation -- just more like a new wrinkle, advancing on a sound that I'd heard a few other artists tinkering with beforehand. So I've always been a little bemused by the mega-status its taken on over the years.

Biggie Samuels said...

Shame on you all! I've had my say on the people-pretending-Loveless-isn't-the-highpoint-of-human-culture debacle many times in the past, so I won't waste my time on it here, other than to provide this link:

http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2008/10/post-rocktoberfest-2008-extremely-loud.html

Greyhoos said...

Yeah, I'm hardly trying to start a dirt-clod fight over the thing. But for me there's really no degree of "pretending" to it. It's more a matter of age, experiential points of reference, etc. Such things have been known to happen.

For example: Daydream Nation. First SY disc that failed to excite or interest me. I was quite disappointed w/ it when it came out. Spun it a number of times waiting for something to click, eventually shrugged it off and sold it within a matter of months. As its stature grew over the years, I sometimes wondered if I'd been unfair, or had merely had some kneejerk reaction to it -- yknow, seeing how it was supposedly so great & benchmark-y & all.

Eventually I had the chance to found out; to revisit & revise when its anniversary reissue ed was released a few years ago. I was assigned to review the thing for publication. I approached it totally open to the idea that I'd totally missed something the first time round, that I might hear it with a new and different set of ears.

But no such luck. I still found it boring.

Biggie Samuels said...

So, yeah, Loveless, Untrue and Daydream Nation are all albums I like so much that I can't imagine anyone with a remotely similar frame of reference not liking them. But I guess this thread is proof that such outlandish things are possible.

However:

a. I still maintain you're just pretending (perhaps because accepting that it's all a matter of taste is just toooo booooring.)

b. I do marginally prefer Sister. We can all agree on that one, right? Well, unless Mark K-Punk is reading this.

Greyhoos said...

Agreed, yes. EVOL and Sister. By that point some were claiming that SY'd were already "selling out" (or whatever) on account of those LPs being slightly tidier and more melodic. But I've always enjoyed them just fine.

Well, yeah...perhaps it is "boring" or trite to take the subjectivist position. But at the same time, I'm hardly making any claims to authority or validity in putting forth an opinion that's squarely in the minority.

Another example: Bitches Brew. Greg Tate, David Toop et al can convince me in print that it's incredible. And I can hold that idea in my mind up to the point that I actually go double back and listen to it ONE MORE TIME, again finding that I infinitely prefer Live Evil or Herbie's Sextant instead.

But in the end, so what? All that matters to me is that I (thankfully) made sure in advance that I never paid more than a certain amount for a second-hand copy of most of the above.

Biggie Samuels said...

Suppose I should admit there are classic albums that I probably SHOULD like but have ever been able to get into. Marquee Moon and Astral Weeks spring to mind.

Greyhoos said...

And its funny how what what we're getting down to now is something that Phil mentioned on the 70s blog the other day -- the "alt canon." More specifically: How said entity started to shape up during the 90s, as the cultural landscape was rapidly transforming.

So w/ that in mind, I will assert the subjectivist stance once again. Really: What the fuck do I know? I spent most of the 90s listening to a lot of things other than rock, because I'd grown so bored with it.

Anyway. My apologies to Carl for treating the comments section of his blog like it's some Electric Audio chatboard or whatever.

Phil Knight said...

I'm totally with Greyhoos on the boringness of Daydream Nation, the first AOR Sonic Youth record. SY were always a self-conscious band, but DN was where for me they changed from being self-consciously modernist to being self-consciously post-modernist.

Biggie - I'm going to patronise you massively here (I'm a middle-aged man, after all), but I kind of sense that you need to, er, sonically get out more.

Forget what all the mags say. Really, everything was done long before the 80's or 90's.

For example this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30xBn2OkXyk

When you consider that was recorded in 1968, you can perhaps understand why most of us don't find MBV all that impressive.

W. Kasper said...

As much as I 'dig' jazz, there's only about three Miles albums I rate that highly - Bitches Brew is definitely one of them (and does everything better that Eno claims to do!). Herbie Hancock's a bit of a blind spot for me, though (a bit 'cop show').

As for Sonic Youth - they're a weird one. I like them early and more stoopidly punky, or the big sellout that was 'Dirty' (which cuts the smarm and just rocks). 'Teenage Riot' has its charms though. Was it their arty 'poshness' maybe? I'm much more entertained by Black Flag and Minutemen. But a lot of post-SST stuff was just footnotes to the 60s in hindsight. Definitely the case with shoegaze/4AD/JAMC stuff.

W. Kasper said...

How did one sentence generate 19 comments?? Spend a week writing a post and not a bloody peep!

Phil Knight said...

1. Take much-loved (or better) much-reputation-invested-in artist.

2. Hint that they weren't much cop.

See my forthcoming post "Pulp: Hinge & Bracket lite?"

carl said...

right.. i'm happy for you to be having this chat here, frankly so go ahead...

gotta say DN was where i lost interest in SY too...tho i was never a massive fan anyway..

re untrue, loveless and dn.. there's something unremittingly wet, dripy and bland about those three records i can't get round and re loveless and dm i'm not really surprised posterity has treated them kindly in that they kind of shadow later indy but offer a hipper earlier model for it...ie..they were recuperable to the Juno generation in a way that say, swans or whatever or just weren't...

actually i think there's very little from my own most intense period of engagement with music approx 86-92 (16-22) that seems very interesting to me now....

it's 6 in the morning here and i'm awfully pissed so that's just taken me about 30 mins to type...

carl said...

yeah...one sentence, 19 and counting comments...

so it goes....

Phil Knight said...

I don't want to keep piling on here regarding other people's tastes, but one thought does continue to tease me.

In 1987-88, when I was doing my A-levels, and listening to the likes of The Smiths and The Velvet Underground, all the AC/DC-Status Quo-Nazareth fans in their sleeveless denim jackets had already left after their CSE's and occasional O-levels.

As I now spend most of my leisure time listening to AC/DC, Status Quo and Nazareth, are those guys now stretched out at home listening to The Smiths and The Velvet Underground?

Greyhoos said...

On the U.S. side of things: With friends roughly ten years younger than myself, I find that a few things often come up as reference points -- or cornerstone moments, if you will. The Pixies, Nevermind, and Daydream Nation. It's like they're the three big hallmarks of the birth of '90s alt-music culture, the point at which certain previously marginal sounds started to filter into the broader domain. And it seems Loveless is right up there with the aforementioned.

Not that I take issue with any of that. If I'd sat around passively listening to whatever was stinking up the airwaves throughout the late '80s -- during the hegemony of Hair Metal and whatnot -- I'd probably have been hungry for that sort of a change, too.

@ Wayne: Looks like it's time for an email exchange over that "cop show" remark. Think I know what you mean, but that's only one part of multifaceted early discog.

W. Kasper said...

"actually i think there's very little from my own most intense period of engagement with music approx 86-92 (16-22) that seems very interesting to me now...."

One word: Pixies. I never thought I'd rather listen to Geto Boys at their most disgusting 20 years later. But at least they didn't reference David Lynch to please GCSE pseuds like me...

The funny thing about a lot of these 'wet' bands was that liking them wasn't peer pressure, more me relaying peer pressure that I got from the music press. I put more 'work' into liking SY etc. than they deserved. Luckily, I've always hated the Smiths (why the hell did girls like them so much? As if I didn't have enough frustration!).

With Grey's and Biggies' side chat, Carl's drunkeness and Phil's quips, this is like a virtual pub outing...

BTW Pulp are just Sparks with '15'-rated lyrics by Madness. Which is probably why I like them.

Phil Knight said...

Well, I have to confess I'm pissed as a fart as well - been drinking all afternoon.

I think one thing that's quite interesting re: Wayne's point about peer pressure, is that I wonder if we have all had a "liberating" band - that one unacceptable band that we've nevertheless liked so much that we've gone "ah to hell with taste".

That's why The Stranglers are so important to me really, the first critically-loathed band where I could really say, "nah, I'm right on this one, no matter if the world is against me."

As to The Smiths, well I'd rather listen to Alexander O'Neal or WASP nowadays.

Biggie Samuels said...

"re untrue, loveless and dn.. there's something unremittingly wet, dripy and bland about those three records"

This is so utterly at odds with my experience of reality that I barely know where to begin responding to it.

"Biggie - I'm going to patronise you massively here (I'm a middle-aged man, after all), but I kind of sense that you need to, er, sonically get out more. Forget what all the mags say. Really, everything was done long before the 80's or 90's."

Yes, that is among the most patronizing and insulting things anyone has ever said to me in my entire life.

Good day to you gentlemen. I'm outta here.

Phil Knight said...

You see, this is the disadvantage of the internet.

If we were really in a pub, we could all put our arms around him, get him sat down again, and change the subject to football or Mad Men or whatever.

W. Kasper said...

You kids are so touchy these days.

Back in my day, we were beaten with rubber hoses in silver mines for 80 hours a week, and all we had to look forward to was mid-period MBV EPs and smartarse interviews with Thurston Moore in Melody Maker!

Why do you think we all ended up alcoholics?

Phil Knight said...

"It's your fault, Phil."






*stares down at pint*

carl said...

honestly, i go to sleep for seven hours and you've upset Sam in the meantime!

now i'm semi-sober and remorseful i'm going to send him the blog equivalent of a bunch of flowers...

hmmm..so actually there's probably no single band that we all agree on as being great...

ie i love both pulp and the smiths, they seem to me to have wit and flair on their side at the very least....compelling personas...which i couldn't say about mbv, b, or sy

i also think that certain innovative, groundbreaking sonics just lose the novelty....it's bit like watching last decades special effects, after a while they look crap and hokey....

case in point, i've just been watching the Matrix and it's all a bit daft and ropey....

so something that was once sonically amazing starts to sound kind of thin...

carl said...

(time lag as hangover and incredulity mean subversive taste sidestep leave him nonplussed)...


err..what WASP are you listening to there Phil?

Phil Knight said...

I feel remorseful for my oafishness as well.

But, as for WASP, well I'm afraid I can't resist this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y1GJa8f798

I'm not justifying it, or making a case for it, mind.

Jake said...

Gotta say: much prefer isn't anything to loveless and the first burial album to untrue - though don't listen to it anymore.
New Burial sounds like all the other stuff. He reminds me of Portishead first 2 albums - same tone, same sound same emotion. A little variety please. One trick pony. Though it is a nice trick...

Anonymous said...

Old men are sometimes touching, sometimes a little depressing, and always eventually boring, when they become bitter x

carl said...

anon... just admit you love us you young fool!