“Something’s Wrong” - The Jesus & Mary Chain
For a second today, I thought I’d forgotten to buy a ticket to the now-sold-out Jesus & Mary Chain show at 9:30 Club—but I didn’t, so I’ll be there, fucking around on my cell phone because I won’t be able to see anything, and taking shots because I think I’ll need them.
Psychocandy is the album we’re supposed to love and so we say it’s indisputably our favorite, because it sounds like the record someone—who is not the type to make music but is very much the type that listens to a lot of My Bloody Valentine—would like to make. It’s pop music muddled by feedback in a way that wasn’t original when it was released nearly 30 years ago (Sonic Youth, duh) and has been replicated ad nauseam since then, anyway; Psychocandy is the album I listen to when I don’t think there’s anything else musically, emotionally, or physically left for me to plunder in my life—literally, “up against the fire and I don’t feel any heat.”
But everyone has their actual-favorite Jesus & Mary Chain album, and mine is Automatic. It’s polished, pointed, and sounds like sex. I am going to recommend that you have sex to Automatic. You should be drunk and in love. You should be leaving at 7 a.m. the next morning to drive to Pittsburgh with your friends. You should ignore this, take another shot, fuck the man you’re in love with through “Her Way of Praying,” kiss him during “Head On,” sleep for an hour, and vibrate for the rest of the weekend on a high that’s part hangover, part endorphin, part wanting it. When, a few months later, you are at a bar and “Head On” starts to play, ask him if he put it on the jukebox. (He did.) Automatic is the accessible, clean, radio-ready Jesus & Mary Chain album, but it’s aggressive, too, in a way that attracted it to me originally and has been particularly important in the past year. Sometimes, I want to feel snotty and angry and sexy and too smart for my own good and like I’m making imprudent decisions, and “Blues from a Gun” is almost invariably in my head when I do.
But Psychocandy is still unquestionably the best, no?