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Friday, April 25, 2008 

Keep on talkin' like Jesus

Two things went up at PopMatters today: My Retribution Gospel Choir review, and the inaugural installment of the Pick Just One column, on The Fall.

I hate – I mean, really, truly, hate – The Fall, but I want you to know I think that is one of the best pieces of yours that I've read; it's right up there with the Bowie stuff for Stylus. The fact that I could make it to the end, even though Mark E. Smith brings bile up to my mouth, says a great deal.

Huzzahs, young Master!

That's funny, because all I can see when I read it is all the places where parentheses have been replaced by (to my mind, but I love parentheses) somewhat awkward phrasing... them's the breaks though. I'm glad you liked it, but a bit baffled by your hatred of the Fall? I think this calls for a post over at I Am Not Me...

Well, they may have edited out a bit of your panache (I too, like many parenthetical asides, dashes,etc. as you well know), but the core of the argument, the reasoning, examples and so forth, are intact and coherent. I also think you've come across a bit tentative or defensive in some of the Popmatters pieces; this is unapologetic, and convincingly so.

I wrote a bit about Mr. Smith once back at Crackle & Pop:
The Fall-uh

Well, honestly, that kind of defensiveness is sort of a hallmark of my writing a lot of the time - it goes hand in hand with a kind of self-awareness. I agree that many of my best pieces are ones where (for one reason or another) I get away from it, but I also kind of like my normal mode (but I'd have to, wouldn't I?).

Credit where credit is due; that assertiveness is mostly down to the same parentheses-hating editor and his suggestions for re-writing - not that I was trying to disparage his writing earlier!

I think I'd read that piece, actually... we're not going to change each other's minds, although if I was going to try it'd probably be with Hex Enduction Hour. But I love a lot of the later, weirder stuff - I'm not sure any self professed hater of post-punk stylings could like Code: Selfish or Extricate, but they're both underrepresented on that compilation and better than much of it (yeah, I'm a 'real' Fall fan - I find fault with every compilation!).

Truth be told, I keep 50,000... around because it's an easy way to get the best bits of the patchy early records and as such the first nine tracks of disc one are what I listen to the most. I own most of the albums that cover the rest of disc one and the first 11 tracks of disc two, and the remainder of disc two I have mixed feelings about (except for "Powder Keg" and "The Chiselers," from The Light User Syndrome, but if there's a Fall album I love that you'd be likely to hate, it's that one...).

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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