There’s No Accounting For Taste

Hole-+-Drew-Barrymore-+-Everett-True

If the numbers don’t add up by tomorrow, Collapse Board is no more. Thus spake Everett True, and he’s a petulant little bugger at the best of times: don’t think he won’t do it.

He’s holding the site hostage until 25 people buy the new record by Maria and the Gay which you can hear here.

Unlike some people, I have no issue with buying MP3s because it’s my way of investing in the next record. A big part of me is just tempted to buy the record because it’s a fiver and will save the website. I could offer it to the first person to email me, and delete/not install it because I’m no advocate of piracy. The trouble is that I’d then be investing in the next Maria and the Gay release, which is a problem for me because I think they’re bollocks.

That’s the trouble when you go from inviting people to share the news about that great thing you’re enjoying to outright trying to force them to like it: it never, ever works.

I once sat down with one of my friends and played her a bunch of Foetus songs, and she didn’t like them. They were “too much”. This is someone who, broadly, loves great music. There are many records we can agree on – but then, when she played me some of her favourites, there were quite a few that I didn’t enjoy either. Another friend and I can agree on Foetus, but I don’t “get” Diamanda Galas. That’s just “too much” for me.

JG Thirlwell himself has a Tumblr page, and indeed there are many great things to find on there – such as this gorgeous piece by Gorecki. Then – conversely – there’s stuff like this. Point is, if even the person who can pretty much do no wrong artistically still only has about a 50% hit rate when it comes to recommending stuff for my pleasure, the whole “You think I’m awesome so you’ll like what I like” argument falls apart pretty quickly.

Everett True is doubly screwed in that department because of his whole ethos: everything is based around honesty, integrity and independent thought. It’s the opposite of being a “tastemaker”. That’s how you end up with acts like Coldplay in the charts – because fashion magazines tell people to buy their album and, in the absence of any strong feelings either way, people feel obliged to comply. I took an alternative path with Arcade Fire: it’s “the done thing” to like them, and Everett True dislikes them, but I wasn’t going to obey either. I’ve not spent hours listening to them, but from having heard five or six songs by them, I’d conclude that they’re OK. Distinctly average. Inoffensive. It’s probably the most unfashionable opinion to have towards the band, but it’s honest and it’s mine.

All that said, I’ve bought music by a fair number of acts because of Collapse Board. I buy anything I review (the exceptions being dEUS, Cults and No Mas Bodas – all of whom were kind enough to send me their albums; and the YACHT one I reviewed from Spotify). I’ve also purchased music by Three Trapped Tigers, Nice Nice, tUnE-yArDs, DD-MM-YYYY, Paris Suit Yourself, Thurston Moore and many others, all because I clicked on a link in a Collapse Board article or comment, and enjoyed it enough to make the purchase.

That the f*** is the point of writing anything, Everett True. I bought some great f***en music, thanks to you.

Just not that particular one.

There aren’t many places on the internet where people write so honestly about music. Rants and raves motivated solely by passion about music, unfettered by concerns about advertisers or politics. The most truthful, heartfelt discussion of music, with probably the best comments section of any interactive site (where else can people disagree so ferociously but so respectfully?).

So if you do like that Maria and the Gay album (and I urge everyone to at least give it a listen and see what you think), then please do buy it and save the site.

But if he ever pulls this s*** again, I’m getting a cattle prod and zapping the hell out of the temperamental git.

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