Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Negative Capability: Keats Via The Urinals

From a letter written by John Keats
to his brothers George and Thomas Keats,
dated Sunday, December 21, 1817.

"... Brown & Dilke walked with me & (sic) back from the Christmas pantomime.  I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously -- I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason -- Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.  This pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration..."

Selected Poems & Letters of Keats, edited by Robert Gittings,
Heinemann, London, 1966.

Keats is so punk rock!

The Urinals called their 2004 compilation "Negative Capability... Check It Out!" so... we checked it out.

Charcoal portrait of John Keats by Joseph Severn, c. 1816.

The Snark playlist for Tuesday, May 18, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

The Fall -- MEXICO WAX SOLVENT -- Your Future, Our Clutter (2010, Domino)
Citywide Vacuum -- MUCH TOO JUNG -- Pact (2007, Eleven37)

Rent Boys Inc. -- LOOK UP -- Squeal For Joy (12" EP) (1983, Rent Boys Inc.)
Big Boss Man -- KELVIN STARDUST -- SoulShaker, Vol. 2 (2007, Phantom)
Devo -- PRAYING HANDS -- Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (1978, Warner)
Planit & The Dirty Sample -- KING BALLOU -- Two Blue Apes (2010, Neferiu)
Mildred Bailey & Her Orchestra -- AND THE ANGELS SING -- From Avenue A To The Great White Way:  Yiddish & American Popular Songs from 1914 to 1950 (2002, Columbia Legacy) [orig. 1939]
Sonar Kollektiv Orchester -- MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS -- Guaranteed Niceness (2008, Sonar Kollektiv)

Roxy Music -- PSALM -- Stranded (1973, Atco/Reprise)
Dry & Heavy -- MR. BLUEFLAME -- One Punch (1998, Beat Records)

The Urinals -- SURFIN' WITH THE SHAH -- Negative Capability... Check It Out! (2004, Warning Label) [orig. 1978, 7" vinyl, Happy Squid]
Ian King -- TAKE, O TAKE THOSE LIPS -- Panic Grass & Fever Few (2010, Fledg'ling)
The Wave Pictures -- KISS ME -- Instant Coffee Baby (2008, Moshi Moshi Records)
James White & The Blacks -- WHITE SAVAGES -- Off White (2004, ZE Records) [orig. 1979]
k.d. lang -- LOVE FOR SALE -- Recollection (2010, Nonesuch)
Porcelain Forehead -- GNAWIN' ON (NEUROTIC SONG) -- Frog Boy Lives (1985, No Exit)
Cougarettes -- ERRAAEL -- Milk Fangs (2010, Machette Records)

Caribou -- HANNIBAL -- Swim (2010, Merge)

Thanks for listening!

The Rent Boys and Porcelain Forehead vinyl belongs to Pat.


  1. ...MexicoWaxSolvent (does MES have a title generator on his manual typewriter?) into MuchTooJung was really good!

    I'll have to check Fall album #104 out.

  2. I always thought I ripped off my bass moves offa ESG, but I guess it might be more Rent Boys, no?

    LookUp, HappyFunk thanks you!

  3. Love the pinball game that is Set 2! Free ball! (searching out Big Boss Man right after this post)

  4. On your copy of Before Food vs. Big Fish: LIve at The King Wah, before eventually launching into Happy Funk (La La La La), a certain vocalist (who shall remain nameless) banters with the audience thusly:
    "This is the only song we really know. We stole it by the way, in case ya didn't know... We'd like to thank the Rent Boys and a lotta other people for this song."
    Happy Funk is a great mini-epic.