In a year that saw Thenisaid growing increasingly weary of popular culture, there were still some records that got played on the newly purchased iPods. Yes, this device itself marking a change in attitude and initially increasing the sense of dread we were feeling. Will we be downloading music now? Like teenagers? And yes, we would, as it turned out. The editor finding himself marooned in the third world for much of the year, there was no way around it. We therefore had to face the uploading of a ridiculous number of records before his departing, and the whole staff was happy to see him leave.
He told us before he left that pop music had cut his feelings short, that it wasn’t allowing him to register emotions beyond a certain number of clichés, and that this was part of the reason he had to go, that life was more than pop and rock and reading reviews and going to gigs. And what could we say? We had no idea what he was on about. He just left and said goodbye.
So while he was away we openly continued our former lifestyles, drinking our beer and discussing what he would term infantile lyrics, arrested artistic development, and worse.
We kept compiling a list of albums we liked, very discerningly we thought; blissfully unaware of what was brewing below the equator. This is what we had down before his loud and, frankly, strange return:
Deerhoof – The Runners Four (we know, 2005, but still…)
Calexico – Garden Ruin
Evangelicals – So Gone
The Tyde – Three’s Co
Ali Farka Touré – Savanne
Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Graham Coxon – Love Travels at Illegal Speeds
Serena-Maneesh – Serena-Maneesh
And that was about it we thought, it wasn’t such a god year for music after all, or maybe we were getting bored and disinterested as well?
And then he came home, and all other weirdness aside, suggested we add these albums to the list:
Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
The Lemonheads – The Lemonheads
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
All by former, now faded lights, and we thought he must have caught Dengue fever at least. But he insisted, saying that being away had taught him a thing or two about being cool, and who were we to argue?