"“I am of the belief that there are two distinct schools of rock journalists: (1) those for whom punk rock was the most important thing that ever happened, and, (2) everybody else (who, for lack of a better collective noun, I will call ‘shitheads’). Shitheads write about whatever is presented to them, non-judgmentally treating all styles of music as equals, distinguished from each other only by superficial stylistic elements. From the shithead school comes the deification of hip hop, AM radio floss, salsa, zydeco, blues and jazz artists, who ought really to be judged against either the entire spectrum of popular culture (against which their insignificance becomes obvious) or other practitioners of specific-genre music (against whom their minute differences might be measured).”
To which I think we can all say -- wow. Behold the perils of being one of the several billion people in the world with less integrity and principles than Albini.
Seriously, I wrote about the guy (who hadn't yet fucked up Nirvana's followup to Nevermind when he made the comment above) in these precincts in 2010, and at the time I allowed how I thought he was a talented guy if something of a large asshole, in part because he thought it was funny to name one of his side project bands Rapeman. (Yeah, I'm aware he got if from a Japanese manga and thus it's like, you know, cool and ironic. Fuck him.)
Anyway, it also occurred to me at the time that the most important reason I think Albini's an asshole is because of what he did, wearing his "I am not a record producer" hat, to The Fleshtones' "Let's Go," the should have been a huge hit first track from what should have been that band's commercial breakthrough album Laboratory of Sound from 1995.
Seriously, this is one of the absolutely greatest rock songs and performances ever -- the right three chords, those strategically placed yelps of the title acting as a terrific hook throughout, the atomic energy level (that "The hell with radiation!" movie sample at the beginning is doubly appropriate) and perhaps the funniest and most bordering on genius lyrics about the appeal of cheap thrills/transcendence in the history of the music.
Let's get goneDoesn't get better than that, frankly. And yet you listen to the version that Albini "produced" and it sounds like every crappy teenage garage band that ever taped itself on an old Wollensak in their parents finished basement in 1965. Seriously -- I weep when I hear this; it's still thrilling, obviously, but when I think of how good it could have been if somebody not Albini (or an asshole) had been in charge of the recording it's enough to make you want to go to Chicago and smack the little twit upside the head.
Get completely fucked
Let's go crazy on angel dust
Let's go -- let's get out of here!
Let's get drunk
Let's get in a fight
Let's get into something really wrong -- that's right!
And let's get out of here!
Oh well, Could have would have yada yada.