It’s hard to keep up with anything anymore. Everything is speeding up. Monday becomes Friday quicker than you can even start complaining about it and the next thing you know you’ve squandered your weekend on Quaaludes, foppish brunch dates, and loud, pulsing music in darkened halls. It is Monday again. The world does not slow for you, does not allow you time to take from your schedule to pause and consider anything at all. You are hurtling towards death. We are all hurtling towards death.
Sobering, to be certain, but think of all that there is to savor in the short time you are allowed to remain unshuffled from your mortal coil. We live amidst an abundance, an embarrassment, of life’s riches. Further, if you are reading this at all, it is an indicator of your status among the world’s most privileged. We are afforded such luxuries and should not take them for granted. We should revel in the simple pleasures, things like well-crafted song. Heartbreakingly simple things like the crack of a voice, or the true ring of earnestness in a lyric.
The internet expands our capabilities of experiencing these simple pleasures, and even expands how we define a simple pleasure. To the list of smelling flowers, enjoying a song or a meal with friends, we can add watching videos of European weathermen vomiting on a live broadcast, photos of Vulcans on unicorns attacking a planet of George C. Scott clones, videos of old garage bands on German go-go shows, and torrent feeds from every band who every laid their craft to tape/acetate/DAT/etc.
The problem is that along with all of the good we are allowed, we must wade through a sea of mediocrity and flotsam to find life’s true treasures. We must gild our thoraxes with armor and stuff our ears against dissenting and persistent voices of cynicism that mark our cultural discourse. We must dissociate from fashion’s fickle cliques, slough off fads and bullshit western cultural paradigms, and struggle through the thorned thicket of art and commerce to emerge with a mind towards intentional, mindful consumption and pleasure without guilt. What that mindset looks like for each of us is completely different, but there is no argument that in the world of art, music, cinema, literature, and 1980′s PSA’s for drugs, there is a lot of crap and there is a lot of gold.
There is also no argument that a lot of the gold gets unheard/unseen/unread as it rushes past in the fast-flowing tide of stimuli.
That is where we come in.
Welcome to Backlog, a new column wherein the keen cultural historians housed in the Donnybrook Manor will help you to pry your fingers between the wheat and the chaff, mining great veins of untapped ore, plumbing into great depths to shed light on overlooked and under-appreciated gems. Why bother with all the shitty art out there? Let’s celebrate what is good and what is so bad that it becomes good. Let’s abandon inanity, skip any new assignment of genres, and gorge ourselves on the feast that surrounds us. Let’s push aside the rot and the muck to unearth the truffles. Let’s smell the kitten’s neck.
We’ve got much in store for this column but in the interest of brevity, we will leave this with just an introduction (well hello there, handsome), and a playlist for you to stream (simply because we can, damn it).
Whereas this playlist may serve as a very small indicator of what is to come (two artists featured in the mix will become the focus of write-ups in the coming weeks), it is by no means indicative of genre or aesthetic leanings for the column. This playlist signifies only the fact that when we sat down to make you a mix tape to let you know how we feel about you, this is what we came up with. We hope you enjoy it. We recommend loud volume, bass boost, cough syrup if you’re feelin’ it, and allowing for plenty of room to shake and shimmy.
Stay tuned to Backlog, we’ll get you caught up.
1. Sugar Minott – Oh Mr. D.C.
2. The Funkees – Acid Rock
3. Can – Vitamin C
4. Betty Davis – Anti Love Song
5. Lafayette Afro Rock Band – Soul Makossa
6. Creation Rebel – Chatti Mouth/Threat to Creation
7. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – Noude Ma Gnin Tche De Me
8. Caetano Veloso – O Heroi
9. The Ex – Theme From Konono
10. The Dirtbombs – The Thing
11. Piero Umiliani – You Tried To Warn Me
12. Silver Apples – You and I
13. The Deviants – Nothing Man
Coming up next week: What do The Muppet Show and Swedish porn have in common? Find out next Monday!