Thursday, January 26, 2006

Old old old

I seem to be slipping into old age. Think I'm losing touch with pop music, which is probably age-appropriate, but it hurts. Still, it happened before in the early 90s when I never really got grunge.

Location is something to do with it. Here in BKK, Coldplay is still pretty fucking radical. Yes I can download stuff, yes I can read about, yes, if the worst comes to the even worst I can get it delievered. But I still feel isolated. Last week I bumped into a Canadian Belle & Seb fan and nearly wept with relief. The irony is, Oasis and Franz Ferdinand and Placebo will be playing here next month - but I'll be in London, having just missed the Bonzos reunion there.

(On the subject of Oasis, I always thought they were overrated, but they did provide me with an epiphany of sorts. The only time I saw them live was the moment I realised that "alternative music" was dead. It was Knebworth, 1996, over 100,000 people, and my view was blocked by three of those people, all wearing matching cagoules proudly announcing their allegiance to the Crewe & Alsager College of HE Lacrosse Club.)

Another reason for my estrangement from happy happy sounds is that I've been doing much dull work, which means concentration, which means background music, which often means classical. Obvious bits, like Brandenburg 5 and Beethoven Choral, but also oddities, like some French Renaissance stuff performed by the Baltimore Consort, which is all lutes and citterns and viols and recorders and hey-nonny-nonny but without being loathesome, strangely. And from here, it's but a step to complaining when anything written later than 1600 turns up on Radio 3. Not to mention the current hullabaloo kicking off at Radio 4. Anarchy! Bolshevism! Matron!

Even the films I've been watching have been elderly. Sorry Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, 1948) and The Thin Man (WS Van Dyke, 1936). The first is noiry, Barbara Stanwyck neurotically great, Burt Lancaster pretty wooden (he was better on a trapeze). The Thin Man, another one I thought I must have seen before, is as fab as the crits say, and pretty damn raunchy for the era. "He never got near my tabloids!"

Looking back over some earlier posts, I realise I never got round to writing about Authenticity by David Boyle. I now can't remember it, and can't find it. But I will do something about, because I can remember it annoyed me, although I don't know why.

Just take me out back and shoot me, yeah?


Paul in the village said...

Hello old git. Bad move missing Franz Ferdinand. Thy were transcendentally wonderful and funny a few months ago at a Steve Lamacq Radio 1 gig in the Astoria. But another thing - that Ugly One Morning writer you like, come on, it's just annoying. And he's right glum on the phone too. (Or was it something I said to him. It did involve the phrase Nicky Campbell.) Instead - A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor - 1st leg of his wander from Rotterdam to Constantinople in 1933, at the age of 18/19. Wide-ranging, fascinating, erudite & enlightening. And another thing, two of the Smiths are getting back together this weekend in Manchester - New Order, Badly Drawn Boy, Doves, Stephen Fretwell, Mani & Johnny Marr & Andy Rourke in aid of Christie Hospital. 1st time Rourke & marr perform together since split in 1988.

Tim Footman said...

Chris Brookmyre, you mean? Well, you know these Celts. He does seem to have followed something of downward trajectory since U1M, doesn't he?

Marr/Rourke collab noted, as well as the rumours that a certain frontman (whose quiff is moving further and further backwards) might deign to bless them with his presence. Unlikely, I feel (and I was the one who fell for the bait of a possible Jam and/or Style Council reunion at a Ronnie Lane benefit in about '95).

Fermor noted, although I've got a big pile of dead trees by my bedside at the moment, gazing at me with disapproval, hissing "Call yeself a frickin' intellectual, do ye? Can't hardly be bothered to pick us up..." Am specifically thinking of Michael Chabon and Paul Auster. Sorry chaps. Busy. Tired. Lazy. All that stuff.