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Friday, January 30, 2004
About this poptimism business: personally, I really enjoyed 2003 as a Year of Music, and found a lot of stuff to be excited about. I'd rate it, if I had to, over 2002 and 2000 but under 2001, probably.

But that's not really how I think about music. I think about music in 3-month blocks. And I have to say, this recent 3-month block has just sucked big ones. I went to Virgin today and the only thing I could be bothered to listen to was about a minute of the new Oneida record, and that was so awful that I almost lost the will to live. (They don't even pronounce their own name right, the fuckers.) What have I bought lately? Fabric 13, and that's alright, but nothing on it's as good as the original mix of the Heiko Voss track that closes the whole thing. Other than that, some Bartok, which pretty much kicks the ass of everything else out there right now. So right now, yeah, sucky times indeed.

But I'm certainly one of those poptimists, I'd have to say. The problem I think people make in criticizing that almost-always-excited worldview (and I suspect I would be reasonably excited if I weren't so generally listless right now anyway) is that I don't believe most of us think in year-long segments. We're not that organized--we're not really listmakers. We're not that kind of music obsessive. We're not cataloguers, we're cherry-pickers. So we'd never say a year is bad because we don't give a shit about years. We give a shit about moments (three month blocks for me, different for others, I assume), and in any given moment, we can always just pick up some old album we love and get excited again. Years are an arbitrary measure only of interest to the non-poptimists because that's the kind of music fan they are: they always look backwards.

Off-puttingly obsessive twenty-year-old pop chart catalogues do little to dissuade me from liking Basement Jaxx, or from insisting that I'd rather appreciate Justin Timberlake now and later than only later, if at all.

Yeah, you poor bastards wandered off the True Path while I was gone, didn't you? Weeeeell...