How NOT to write about music – 68. The Regrettes


I was reading a couple of entries I made on my old Brisbane blog: so lively and full of ready comparisons and touch points. A riot of imagination and enthusiasm. Some of the time, the references even made sense. Something about outdoor living (even if the closest you get to the outdoors is opening up all the doors onto the deck of your Queenslander so the sunlight is streaming in and you can hear the wind tumbling through the numerous trees right outside your house). Now, I glance out of my window in Haywards Heath and note the phone wires vaguely blotting the sky, my neighbour’s van parked outside and the fact that – for the first time in over 25 years – I am not living in a house on a hill. Subsumed. I wanna let go of that – and sure, when I am with colleagues and students at BIMM London I am not dwelling on that, although the fact my life is in a constant state of flux, always travelling on the way to somewhere, alone, is unavoidable – but often find it impossible.

I no longer sit at my computer in the evenings, instead watching old kids’ movies and wishing my kids were there with me.

So. Pop music. A few years ago, I was all over this band – loved them, enraptured, a music crush for sure, swimming in the clouds and dancing among the trees, the rasp in the voice, the laughter in the guitars, the sheer Go! Violets factor of it all (their song ‘Teenager’ remains one of the greatest pop songs of the past six years) – but now when I search for what I wrote about this kick-ass LA pop band a couple of years ago, I cannot even find anything.

Played ’em to death on the way up to Guildford, I did.

That’s Guildford for you.

This new song is not as gleeful as that fucking INSPIRED Christmas cover but… what is?

What the fuck is?

it still kicks ass and wobbles my belly.

As I wrote then:

Polished. Too polished? Right now, no such beast exists. Tightly wound. Coiled. Plays the obvious cards in its hand. N’owt wrong with that. “I’m not like anybody else/So you can just go fuck yourself,” the ladies spit before reverting to sackcloth and surf guitar. Good form.

Or alternately:

Think of me as the lonely backwards uncle you never wanted to know. I venture out-of-doors determined not to miss Bent before I leave town and then discover I’ve compounded my crime. (Crime? If loving music is a crime then lock me up and throw away the key. And other such meaningless cliches.) MotherFUCK. Er. (name left blank) create the sort of raw, untrammeled, dissolute, claustrophobic, depressed, repetitive, surging, hopeful, bittersweet, dissonant, melodic, beautiful raw, beautiful cool, beautiful dispossessed, beautiful minimal, beautiful beautiful punk pop music I’ve ALWAYS loved, and I was but 50 minutes (and a resultant 10.2 km walk back) aware from witnessing it in the flesh. I’ve just discovered they’re from Sydney. Fer fuck’s sake. Do you think if I get down on bended knee I might be able to convince them to come back down to Brisbane before the end of June just to play a set for me? Just me and a two-pack of kitchen roll to catch the saliva uncontrollably drooling from my ears. I mean mouth. I mean ears.

Yeah, that was me then.

And this is my now. I love this new Regrettes song possibly more than even this. Savage.