Monday, December 3, 2012

Bish Bosch Is Out Today! The Genius Of Scott Walker, And Other Records I've Liked In 2012

 Today sees the release of Scott Walker's new album, Bish Bosch. I've been awaiting it for about a year, ever since I've seen a picture somewhere of a double bass laying around in a recording studio and someone mentioning it was for "Scott Walker's next record".

I would have a lot to say about Scott Walker in general and about this record in particular, but I'm in the throes of relocating abroad and don't have much time today. So I'll just say it's a great record, more diverse and less austere than The Drift.
I've seen a lot of comments about the record and about Scott Walker ever since a couple of songs have been previewed in November, and since some asshole released the  album on a torrent two weeks ago (may Godzilla fry your ass, you jerk who did that), some very enthusiastic and positive, some downright dismissive.

The naysayers tend to categorize Noel Scott Engel [Walker]'s music as "impenetrable" and "inaccessible" or, supreme anathema, "pretentious". All I can say is that if you don't like things of beauty that are experimental, not melody-driven, and so far out there that nobody else makes music similar to it, then by all means go back listening to Justin Bieber and Nikki Minaj, and feel put out because you can't read beyond 6th grade level.
It's not because it's intelligent that it's "pretentious", and wearing your unwillingness to make an effort as a badge of personal courage squarely puts you in the imbecile category, if you ask me. I know you didn't, sure, but if you can't get into Walker's music, just say it, there's no shame about not getting into something. And as for Walker's music itself, it's nowhere near as pretentious as James Franco believing he's a poet/artist/actor, you know?
Meanwhile, Farmer In The City is one of the most beautiful song I've ever heard. Sorry for you if you can't appreciate it.

As for myself I came to like his music via Tilt, not though his early Walker Brothers output, and I don't find his records any more impenetrable than, say, Coltrane's music. If there's an audience out there for Bj√∂rk or Swans or Sun 0)))  then I don't see why people can't get into Scott Walker. Personally I find the success of Lady Gaga or, in indie circles, of Grimes or Alt-J incomprehensible, so there you go.
Anyway, just do yourself a favor and go buy Bish Bosch and get through a really amazing experience.

All of this to underline that 2012 has been an incredibly great year for music, so if the end of the world does happen in just a few day (bring it on!), we will have gone with a bang.

 I see tons of websites and also personal friends  are releasing their "best of" records for 2012 just now, even though the year isn't over yet. I don't really have any best of so I'm just going to list what I really enjoyed that came out this year, without any particular order. Also I'm sure I must have forgotten some records because all my music is currently stored in crates loaded on an ocean freighter and I won't see my LPs until early next year,

Please note that because I'm not in the United States right now, I don't have good independent links at the ready for the records I'm listing. For convenience sake I linked a lot to Amazon but by all means, please go buy your records in person at an independent record store, or buy directly from the labels, and if you are in the United States remember that Amoeba offers you free shipping. They also ship worldwide (for a fee), if you are abroad.

Records I really loved and made my life so much richer in 2012:

- Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

- The Raveonettes, Observator

- Richard Hawley, Standing At The Sky's Edge

- Dan Deacon, America

- Scott Walker, Bish Bosch

- Swans, The Seer

-  Willis Earl Beal, Acousmatic Sorcery

- The Chromatics, Kill For Love

- Liars, WIXIW

- Japandroids, Celebration Rock

- The Jazz Butcher, The Last Of The Gentlemen Adventurers

- The Monochrome Set, Platinum Coils

Albums I liked but somehow expected to be somewhat better

- John Cale, Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood

- Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls

-The Beach Boys, That's Why God Made The Radio

- Albums and boxsets I haven't had the opportunity to get this year, and I'm too broke now:

- Patti Smith, Banga

- William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops

- Can, The Lost Tapes

-  Pauline Oliveros, Reverberations

- Sauna Youth, Dreamlands

- Meshell Ndegeocello, Pour Une Ame Souveraine

- Jah Wobble & Keith Levene, Yin & Yang

- Django Django, Django Django

PS: I don't know if you guys can see the video for Scott Walker's Epizootics I've attempted to upload. I see it on my dashboard but not in the post preview. I've been having this problem for a while now, even though I'm using 2 Google products, Blogger and YouTube. Go figure.