FOR SOMEONE WHO enjoys loud, strange noises, it’s been awfully quiet here for the last few months. I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t gone anywhere and there’ll be new content coming soon.
Last year was a super-productive one for Ugly ‘n’ Weird. The site had been on hiatus for years, while I focused on writing about weird music in a book instead. Last year, I realised that what I was working on for that book would be well suited to the site, so rather than toil away in total obscurity, I decided to post it up. I developed a new structure for the site, focusing on the artist bios and album reviews from my book, and reinvigorated the design with a new Word Press theme. It’s been a useful process, and one that’s made me reevaluate what I want the Ugly ‘n’ Weird book to be. Ugly ‘n’ Weird has been evolving and mutating for a while now, changing shape on a regular basis, and has now come full circle in a way. I think it’s finally taking it’s ultimate form.
Last year, while I managed to get seven artist bios and accompanying reviews up in quick succession, I wasn’t able to keep that momentum up. Partly that’s because I ran out of pre-written material, and partly because 2016 was what the Romans used to call an annus horribilis (translation: a horrible anus of a year). Sure, events like Brexit, Trump, and Aleppo have been maddening, baffling and tragic, not to mention the Celebrity Rapture that occurred. But it’s been tough for personal reasons too. Here’s hoping 2017 is a better year, and ugly and weird in all the right ways.
So what’s next for Ugly ‘n’ Weird? I have over 100 artists in mind to cover, so there’s plenty of work to get on with. I’ll be writing a Björk bio and review of the album Medúlla this month, which I’m pretty excited about. Björk is someone I’ve run hot and cold on over the years, but I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s one of the most challenging and fascinating artists to emerge in the late twentieth century, as important to the weird side of popular music as Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Robert Wyatt and Yoko Ono; and like those artists, she’s not afraid to let things get a little ugly. In researching the Icelandic genius, I also realised that I need to do a separate entry on her early post-punk band, Kukl. I had originally envisaged only touching on them briefly within the Björk bio, but they’re worthy of their own bio for sure – the list of artists just keeps growing! I also plan on covering the mysterious rock-in-opposition chimera from California, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, before tackling one of the artists that most fully embodies what Ugly ‘n’ Weird is all about. I won’t say who that is, but I welcome anyone to take a guess. I’ll give you two hints: this band has an insurmountable discography, and has been mentioned frequently on the site.
Also, I’ve been collaborating with my friend Ben Kooyman on a piece about the film Ghosts …of the Civil Dead, which involves the work of a few musical weirdos already featured on this site. That will appear on Ben’s brilliant Down Under Flix website, an essential repository of commentary on Australian films that have gone under the radar. I’ll let you know when that’s posted, and you can expect to read more about awfully entertaining music here soon.