Miserabilsm: What is it good for?

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My favourite miserablists are Martin Carr and Danny McNamara. They do the best 'woe is me' songs ever. BUT they also manage to bring beauty, truth and love into everything they write. They seem to know that we are here to love and that is what makes them great.

Other miserablists I like are: Kristen Hersh, Kurt Cobain and J Mascis.

-- Mary (muzzystar@hotmail.com), August 15, 2001


Didnt Martin Carr once say that sad songs were easier to write? Miserablism, I must admit, Embrace sadness (embrace sadness) the ballads do get to me, even though, if I was a self respecting indie kid, I would hate Embrace but I don't. I find them interesting...

Miserablism? Have you heard Montgolfier Brothers Seventeen Stars?

Fav. miserablism: Mogwai, Joy Division, Jeff Buckley, Van Morrisson....and Spiritualized.

-- doomie (doompatrol@hotmail.com), August 15, 2001.

Hmmm... I've gotta admit a fondness for Morrissey, but only begrudgingly, and only The Queen Is Dead and Meat Is Murder, and a load of the singles. His solo stuff, what I've heard of it, was far to self-indulgent. When he had Marr, thingy, and whatsisname backing him up and (one hopes) telling him to stop being such an 'insufferable cunt' every ten minutes.

Self-indulgent 'woe-is-me' melancholy works best when it's tied to a sense of redemption and hope, I think. It's much less offensive and more potent in its ability to help you see that things can be made better if it's got a silver lining.

And Nick Drake too. Just 'cos... Well, just 'cos.

Generally though, I think far too much gravitas is given to the idea of artist as martyr and tragic idol - I can't be fucking doing with that at all. Life's about so much more than being sad - happiness is just as profound as sadness, and probably more so.

-- Nick Southall (nick@beatbay.co.uk), August 15, 2001.

And Miles Davis too, in his elegaic fifties period.

And Dusty In Memphis.

And Danny McNamara. But Richard is the better songwriter.

-- Nick Southall (nick@beatbay.co.uk), August 15, 2001.

I hear ya, Nick. I was thinking about this post and my other answer was going to be Electro-Shock Blues by the eels. A sad album, but, nonetheless redeemed by PS You Rock my World...

-- doomie (doompatrol@hotmail.com), August 15, 2001.

Actually 'Viva Hate' is damn good as is 'Vauxhall and I'. I really don't count Morrissey as a miserablist even though he so patently is. He makes me laugh, that's probably why. What should I expect from the Mont Bros?

-- Mary (muzzystar@hotmail.com), August 15, 2001.

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