It was always destined to be a weird summer. The music we listen to is such the conversant currency, it was somewhat inevitable that the wider agenda would bleach across this aural perception.
For those preoccupied during Geography 101, the UK is an unremarkable gaggle of windswept islands moored somewhere in the North Atlantic as if a schooner, crewed by drunk and surly unenthusiasts keen to head below decks for another session with the grog.
Except that this year the anchorage comes complete with officially-sanctioned bunting and cheap plastic flags, a summer Olympiad and fools in top hats – watch them genuflect wildly in the direction of royalty, as if the sixtieth anniversary of the most recent aristocratic anachronism to ascend to the throne is something a progressive democracy should be doing.
To be honest I can get by without enthusing upon the longevity of unelected Heads Of State. Can manage to ignore the corporate clusterfuck sports day that is the London Olympics. Neither event says anything about my life, and even a cursory revision of media consumed means a route is cleared for the important things in life – drinking and fighting and devising perpetual motion machines.
Yet popular culture is a weird beast, craftily complicit with intangibles such as national mood and notions of a jubilation subtly enforced. There was always a heavy dose of inevitability that anodyne dinosaurs from the world of pop and rock would be wheeled out to partake in such celebratory non-events. This is what these anodyne dinosaurs exist for, even if that does trigger mental images of Queen’s Brian May playing a guitar solo on the roof of Buckingham Palace… (and yes, that really did happen).
It’s more the rate of ascension to authority-diffident dinosaur status that scares me just a little. Even a quick glance through the various line-ups signed up to Olympiad gigs and Jubilee celebrations slyly reinforces notions that either I’m growing old as fast as some of the defining acts of my adolescence are, or selling out is mandatory – and like Blur, New Order, Annie Lennox, The Specials: we’ll all have our turn shortly.
Or in other words: when’s the Royal Einstürzende Neubauten gig?
Hmm… I’m not entirely sure where I was going with the above… but it sure feels better of my chest. As for four things I’d be better off exclaiming:
- Valtari, the new Sigur Rós album is still available to stream for a few more days at this link – as if you didn’t know already.
Yes, when drunk I did genuinely commit to liveblogging this Saturday’s Eurovision. I’ll be sofa-bound all evening, issuing a series of increasingly desperate missives live on LGM from just before whatever time the freak fest starts fouling up the airwaves. I suggest you join me.
Below the words, and apropos this week’s FuckedUpFestiveFifty: a Shortwave Set remix whose twists and turns and all-round gumption have me purring into my hipster trainers, or something…
The Shortwave Set / Harmonia (Fonix Remix)