Julian Cope “Fear Loves This Place” I’d been listening to Cope since ’89, after a friend turned me onto Fried, and I bought Peggy Suicide on the strength of that. However, it absolutely floored me when i heard an unfamiliar single from on the radio. It was the kind of song that made the sky of my little world go dark as i was bathed in the starry vision of this song. Even at noon, the song could make me feel that it was midnight. I might have my time all messed up, but a couple of years before, i’d been affected by the second big story arc of the comic Hellblazer, when Constantine began hanging out with the travellers and mucking about with ley lines and megaliths. It’s amusing me to read now that Cope says that Jehovahkill is his only occult album.
Julian Cope “Don’t Call Me Mark Chapman” I’d been waiting years for the followup to Jehovahkill. When i finally got my hands on it, racing home to play the disc, the album sounded unfinished, unfocused. Railing about the dangers of cars seemed too petty after the cosmic revelation of the previous album. I’d ignored the album for weeks, perhaps months, until a roadtrip when my friend and cousin Zane insisted we play on the ride back from New Orleans, even though i was embarrassed of the album. “Yeah, it’s pretty shit, isn’t it?” Ever since then, i’ve been more defensive of the album, as no one can talk shit about Cope to my face, even if Zane had actually been a Cope fan longer than i had been. I think that i get it now. There’s a Dadaist quality to it, an immediacy to his rage and humor. I now know that I don’t need another Jehovahkill, but i enjoy hanging out with absurdist wordplay and goofy underproduction (for example, literally going wah wah wah instead of using a guitar with a wah pedal.) There’s an unmissable undertone of real rage here though. Instead of picking something more accessable or profound lately, i’ve taken to playing this particularly song to those who have never heard Cope before, just to see a possible reflection of myself in ’94, wondering what i would have thought if this would be my first exposure.