On Traversing the Uncertain Marshes of Time
I was playing some records in my local pub when a young man asked me to play Shed Seven. I apologised and explained that I didn’t have much old stuff. “Shed Seven’s not old,” he replied. Leaving aside the fact that Shed Seven was manifestly old before it was even conceived, in simple time terms Shed Seven – its heyday, if you want to call it that - is at least ten years past now. Has this person recently escaped from a freezer?
So, anyway, I finished playing some records and went home to put on the happening pop music video television, as you do.* And the first thing that came on was endlessly up-and-coming Manchester outfit The Whip with their persistent non-hit Trash. The Whip are a kind of Slaughter and the Dogs for the noughties disco punk rock generation. They are not that great. They’re awful, really. But they are so much less bad than Shed Seven.
The second and third things that came on were Animal Collective and Fuck Buttons. And, you know what? I didn’t kneel at the foot of my Christmas tree and give thanks that I survived the appalling nineteen-nineties - the worst decade in the history of pop music, bar none – and got to hear some of the amazing things that are being made in this decade, because I couldn’t be bothered, but if I could have been bothered that’s exactly what I would have done.
(* As you did. This was written in 2008, before MTV gazumped the trend the BBC are now following by axing the one good thing they had to offer. Two years on, I’d boil lobsters for a channel that would show me the fucking Whip.)