This town ain't big enough for the both of Mitski and Mac DeMarco (or maybe it is!)
Some people say the world isn’t divided into winners and losers, that we’re all just bags of flesh doing the best we can, making mistakes, getting things wrong, getting things right, moving through life’s web of failure and success like tiny insects, guided by fate or God. To which I say: “No! Kanye West lost this week and Frances Bean Cobain won, you bloody hippie.”
Yes – it’s that time again, as we must assess the fall-out of this week’s pop culture inanity and sift the debris in two categories: winners and losers. Who threw a two on fate’s cruel dice?
Well, fate, like God and Kanye West’s release schedule, works in mysterious ways. Anyone who’s ever done anything remotely creative, whether that’s the Godlike undertaking of directing a film or the sweet and low-down job of tapping out a column – I’m scrabbling around in the dirt here – will know that it’s impossible to explain where inspiration comes from.
You throw up the antenna and see what comes down through the wires. Yet when slacker-pop dude Mac DeMarco announced his new album, ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’, and released its first single, ‘Nobody’, some thought they knew exactly what inspired him: indie alt-pop don Mitski.
For she had just last year released the album ‘Be The Cowboy’, along with a single entitled – you guessed it – ‘Nobody’. A backlash against Mac ensued (he must be taking the piss, devaluing her art, scrawling on her history, yeah?) though she nipped this in the bud, tweeting: “haha! I’m 100% sure mac & I just went fishing in the same part of the collective unconscious… my god, why is everyone mad? i’m laughing!” I tip my cowboy hat to you, Mitski.
Also! A special shout-out to Frances Bean Cobain, who this week appeared on RuPaul’s podcast and reflected on that photo of them both hanging out with Nirvana at the MTV Awards in 1993, when Frances Bean was a baby.
“I firmly believe that that photo captures my personality being made,” she said. “You are the reason I am the way I am… You were not my only drag queen in my life from a very young age. I had drag nannies. I remember waking up next to a nanny who used to do Miss Piggy-type drag in a red sequin dress and snout askew.”
Amazingly, it turned out RuPaul knew that queen, Loretta Pig from New York City. I just really fucking love drag queens and Nirvana, so Frances Bean Cobain wins forever and ever, amen.
Kanye West can never retire. In this way, he is an honorary millennial, so of course he is a loser. His 2003 contract with EMI states: “At no time during the Term will you seek to retire as a songwriter, recording artist or producer.” Like the rest of us, he must grind himself to dust until he is 300, grunting “Uh!” not as an ad-lib but because his hip keeps falling out of its socket, because he can’t hear Chance the Rapper, now a disembodied head in a jar, asking him to top up the formaldehyde. A sad state of affairs, though I personally look forward to the albums ‘808s And Joint Ache’, ‘Late Registration At The Doctors’ and ‘What’s He Ye?”
Another figure who must long to be put out of his misery: Sonic the Hedgehog, who has been rebooted as a nightmare creature. The first image from the upcoming live action / CGI movie has been leaked, and many noted that the new Sonic has a bouffant and the suspicious grin of a sex offender.
One person commented: “They made Sonic the Hedgehog look like the mascot for a disease in a pharmaceutical ad.” I have many fond childhood memories of Sonic and to a lesser extent Knuckles, and it pains me to cast him as a loser, but the evidence is right there. Jesus, Sonic, has Doktor Robotnik given you a malicious blow dry? Fate is cruel, God is dead, Sonic the Hedgehog needs a stylist who’s not from the ’80s.
Some people say Sonic the Hedgehog shouldn’t be in The Week’s Winners and Losers because he’s not a person, to which I say: “Mate, he’s barely even a hedgehog any more – he looks like Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome – so let’s give the guy the dignity of failure, shall we?”
Light Up The Sky
This is where I’d normally try and sign off with something silly and flippant, but it would be amiss to write a weekly column without marking the tragic passing of The Prodigy’s Keith Flint, who died on Monday, so let’s step back from this stupid conceit. We lost an icon and a major figure in British music, but we gained so much from his commitment to pissing off our parents and making anarchy seem like a real thing in 2019. Also, contradictorily, according to his neighbours, Keith was a top bloke, a pleasure to live alongside.
Rave in peace, Keith.