Friday, July 03, 2015

a legend returns

Legendary blogger Matthew Ingram - who retired about five or six years ago - is  back in the game!

You can imagine my surprise and delight on learning this today.

Matt already has a bunch of posts up at the new Woebot:

This one explores his reasons for dropping out, what propelled him in the first place, and the mysterious, not-quite-accessible-to-consciousness impulse that has brought him back.  (And who can say what motivates any of us to do what we do, really? )

This latest one concerns a recent book about Rough Trade and contains some interesting, potentially feather-ruffling thoughts about the role of cultural entrepreneurs - and "job-creators" generally.

It's good to have you back, man.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

music music # 12

Meta-musicians par excellence - Elvis Costello and Paddy McAloon

Elvis is always complaining

"take that chewing gum out of your ears"

"the dancing was desperate, the music was worse"

"listening to the sad song that the radio plays / have we come this fa-fa-fa to find a soul cliche?"

This was about the soul 'n' passion thing in the U.K. in the early Eighties, and specifically Dexy's Midnight Runners -  

From a great interview by Barney Hoskyns from the time: 

EC - ""I think perhaps when I wrote it I was asking myself the question. You know, is that all there is? Is there nothing more from within than just saying there's stuff from within? Is it enough to say 'I'm a soul man', without being one? "I always suspected songs that spoke about how much you spoke. I love a lot of Graham Parker's stuff, but there was one song I could never abide called 'Pouring It All Out', because it was a whole song about how much he was going to tell you. I'd much rather he'd just told me. And that's my bone of contention with Kevin Rowland, that he spends his time saying 'I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna tell you', but what does he tell you? At the same time, I like a lot of the mannerisms he uses."

Good points Elv, but then again isn't it even more emptily meta to write songs critiquing meta-soul, or commenting on trends within music?

(Does remind me that could probably do a whole Music Music" post just on Kevin Rowland)

Paddy is less bitter, more wry

Apparently aimed at Bruce Springsteen and his ilk - and seems to be based on a reductive misunderstanding of Springsteen, if that is the case.  "Some things hurt much more than cars and girls"... Cars, agreed, but girls?  They are right up there in the category of things that  can cause hurt, as far as pop music subject matter, I'd have thought.

Never liked that song and the album it's from was most disappointing after Steve McQueen.

Concept song-suite about Abba - more info here. My second favorite bit on the album, behind the concept song about Jenny Agutter.

One of a bunch of songs on Jordan: The Comeback about Elvis P. Yawn.

"any music worth its salt is good for dancing". "I'd rather be the Fred Astaire of words",   Cute.

What have I missed? Dozens I'm sure. Wasn't he once going to do a concept album about Michael Jackson? 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

music music #11

Ian Dury has a few

About rock and roll as vocation

About a rock and roller

.. and rock and rollers.

Only one-third about rock and roll...

I wouldn't say I agree with "S & D & R&R" as a philosophy - seems a bit limited. If I was doing the song, I would append another fifteen  things at least, including walks in the country, cups of tea, books, curry, and a bunch more, which would spoil the scansion and generally undermine the rock'n'rollness.

Mind you, Ian himself doesn't even agree with the "is all my brain and body needs" bit, because he devotes a whole verse to style - "every bit of clothing / ought to make you pretty" - as one of the bare necessities.

That's my favorite bit actually: "See my tailor / He's called Simon / I know / It's going to / Fit"