Sunday, May 11, 2003

weird unquantifiable things: when the record you're listening to as you walk around in the rain makes rain noises itself, and the traffic between the two...

I was trying to think what to listen to as it was raining and gravitated to this one record and didn't realise the link was as obvious as it was until after I got back in. oh my.

tom waits, rain dogs: songs for losers, i guess. Half of what happens happens to other people and the other half is stuff you're making up or allowing yourself to believe about other people in the hopes that it makes life more interesting. ("I heard he has a mistress. I heard she's Puerto Rican. I heard she has a wooden leg.") I think I've listened to this as much as anything else I've heard in the past two years or so and I'd been wondering why the lyrics never stuck to me, and I think that's why, this one-step-away-from-everything vibe.

Of course there are songs which imply things actually happening, though. I don't know. Maybe the key thought is: the narrator of 'Downtown Train' doesn't seem to have any reason at all to assume the girl he wants to see will be there, but that hardly seems to make any difference. But this might just be the effect of having a Big Chorus.

Friday, May 09, 2003

They were playing videos on The Box earlier today without the station logo in the top right, or any of the other usual rigmarole of phone lines scrolling or whatever else, and for a minute or so I felt disoriented like one of the walls or the ceiling had vanished, but the room was somehow still there, still standing

A Probably Incomplete List Of CDs The Author Owns He Has Yet To Listen To All The Way Through, Largely For Personal Reference, With Parenthetical Comments Which Attempt Humour And/Or Lightness Of Touch And Mostly Fail

barry adamson, the king of nothing hill (don't even start) (actually after hearing superfly i think i get the joke; however it does not appear to be funny)
at the drive-in, vaya (well. yeah.)
biff bang pow!, songs for the sad eyed girl (bought out of morbid curiosity. cheap. surprisingly actually rather good. well. heart-in-right-place.)
black sabbath, the very best of (it would be like eating several steaks at one sitting, or the same steak, over and over again, for two hours)
handsome boy modelling school, so... how's your girl? (can't believe i haven't, i like this a LOT, in fact i'm going to listen to it right now---)
dire straits, money for nothing (ihavenoideahowthisgotuphereitmustbemydads)
manic street preachers, this is my truth tell me yours (ihavenoideahowthisgotuphereitmustbemydads)
gorky's zygotic mynci, bwyd time (bought, mislaid, just found) (would appear to be in welsh)
pavement, slanted and enchanted (like eating several IRONIC steaks at one sitting) (i don't know. it's late.)

'f course, the really worrying ones are the ones i think i've never listened to and then realise i have. hullo, the eels

This is because in the past couple days I have listened to The Kick Inside and Marquee Moon, both of which had been laying around rather a long time, and realised I rather love both.

The Kick Inside: songs written at ages thirteen to sixteen, I think, displaying all the weird honesty and innocent self-obsession and sincerity of that age, and these songs end up utterly in conflict with the TASTEFUL and MUSICIANLY studio arrangements, imprisoned, and nevertheless it adds up to something quite lovely.

"A good life means fighting to be human under growing difficulties. A lot of young folk know this and fight very hard, but after a few years life gets easier for them and they think they've become completely human when they've only stopped trying."
-alasdair gray, lanark

Marquee Moon: one of those records made to EVADE punk, to find a mindset actually capable of allowing you to reach another human being -- cf. dexy's, and john lydon through 'holidays in the sun' to p.i.l.'s 'rise': "anger is an energy" really means realising THERE ARE OTHERS --but marquee moon, it seems like an attempt to find something, a moment of beauty i guess, in the way of whatever might be in the way ("punk" maybe), and the music is all grooves and attempts to burst out of them, like right at the end of 'marquee moon' more or less. i think "honesty" is a part of it, much as i might hate to admit it. the photo on the cover they look like they've dressed from thrift stores, and not like how people usually look when that's said, the kind of magpie cool that's usually implied, but rather they look like the kind of people you actually SEE in thrift stores: they're dressed like that.

well actually they're not. not quite. but:

AND RICHARD SAID hey man let's dress up like punks think of what we could do
BUT SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SAID you'd better not

(well actually i misheard this. but wouldn't it be great? why shouldn't it be right?)

(and at this point, please, go and listen to the above two records, and everything else released in the period 1977-1978, and also read lester bangs' january 1978 essay on richard hell, please and thank you and GOODBYE)