Monday, August 21, 2006

I got those How the Web will destroy capitalism by the back door, if only by accident (it's that Herbert Marcuse, I tells ya!) blues

I'm rather stung (nah, not really) by the allegations of dumbing down that arose from the previous post. I'm working quite hard at the moment, so I don't have much time for recreational reading, watching, listening, etc - the sort of thing that tends to provide the meat for this blog. As a result, the stuff that's crossing my radar tends to be work-related, and therefore has a personal context, as well as purely intellectual/cultural. It's tied to what I'm doing, as much as what I'm thinking or in the Adorno/Raymond Williams sense (HA!), consuming.

So, the next couple of months may involve more of the old-school, diary-type blogging that Betty recently toepoked into the back of the Zeitgeist. Being a naturally shy, grumpy, anti-social bastard, the overall effect may be like that of Stevens, the butler in The Remains of the Day, desperately trying to engage in what he thinks is "banter" with the men in the pub. And, if you must know, I did read the book before I saw the film.


I used to mock employers who restricted web access to their wage slaves, claiming it encouraged time-wasting, but as I get older and more right-wing I start to see the point. Here's an example. As some of you know, my current Big Writey Project is a book about Radiohead, with specific reference to OK Computer. One of the tracks that was considered for the album, but never included (indeed, never released in any form) is called 'Lift'. Yesterday, I was trying to find a definitive set of lyrics for 'Lift'. I tracked down what I was looking for on a Radiohead fan site; but a few lines along, I saw a reference to an earlier version of 'No Surprises' (a track that did make it to the album) with very different lyrics. This was news to me.

So, I checked that out, and realised that I'd need to add a few paragraphs to what I'd written about 'No Surprises'. In particular, there were these rather arresting lines: "He was sick of her excuses/To not take off her dress when bleedin' in the bathroom." I immediately thought of that brilliant and blood-obsessed songwriter Bill Callahan, aka Smog, aka (Smog). But which song was I thinking of? I remembered that a few years back I'd written a piece about Smog and his claret fixation for Tangents.

So I went there, and realised I hadn't visited for a few weeks. I read some of the new pieces; wondered why I'd never really got Michael Head/Shack/the Pale Fountains (but damn, John Carney gives good footnote); and made a note to track down the BMX Bandits' version of 'Hopelessly Devoted To You'. Then I noticed an approving mention from Alistair regarding a site called Popmusicology. So I went there and nosed around for a bit, and it was OK, but not scintillating.

By that stage I fancied a cup of tea, so I shut down Safari, which revealed an open Word document - the draft of my chapter about the rejected songs from the OK Computer sessions, with the word 'LIFT' followed by several question marks. And I looked at my watch and realised that I'd typed that, and begun to search for those lyrics, two hours ago.

So I wrote a blog post about it...


Billy said...

Those lyrics are very Smog-ish, I love Smog.

Anyone who writes a song whose lyrics are pretty much entirely: "I remember entering you / I'm going to be so drunk at your wedding" is nothing short of a genius in my book.

tom l said...

as a musicographer (word?) i was curious what you would think of this rolling stones post by my young nephew -

in regards to Dr Nazli, she's a professor of computer science, and several of those blogs are student projects.

realdoc said...

Still, surfin' t'internet beats drinking people's fat into a cocked hat as far as I'm concerned.

(As a subject for a blog I mean.)

Wyndham said...

Strange, I've always wanted to do that to Thom Yorke.

Tim Footman said...

Billy: "When they make the movie of your life/They're gonna have to ask you to do your own stunts."

Tom: That's pretty good stuff there. I think the key change in the Stones came when the Beatles rivalry began to fade. Has he published anywhere else?

Doc: The two can be enjoyed simultaneously.

Wyndham: It's chocolate, ya doofus!

Molly Bloom said...

Sometimes you can be sucked into a spiral of searches. And when you look up...hours have passed. Why does time pass so fast when you are on the Internet? Is there some kind of strange cyber-door you pass through when you press 'search'? I'm fascinated by the amount of hours I can spend moving through *portals* of Web-space. Why do I find it fun? Why do I like that timesuck that I pass through so much? I don't know.

Journeys. Perhaps it is all about journeys.

The Communist Manifatso. That is so funny. Very, very clever. *Holds her hands up in defeat* You are the word-play 'pun'dit.

orange anubis said...

The thought of your Radiohead book excites me a great deal. Are you looking forward to the reggae version of OK Computer ('Radiodread' by the Easy Star All-Stars) which I hear is out soon?

tom l said...

Drew's a grad student at Yale - the only writings of this sort I've seen from him have been on his blog, and those are few and far between

Spinsterella said...

"Why does time pass so fast when you are on the Internet?"

A very good question.

And "I'm going to be so drunk at your wedding" is the loveliest threat I've ever heard. I've never heard of Smog, I feel I may be missing out.

Tim Footman said...

Molly: No, the pun-dit was Jimmy J. Or maybe Tim Vine. What happened to him?

Anubis: I've heard some bits of it, and it sounds rather good. They've got some remarkably top-notch talent on board (Horace Andy, Toots & The Maytals). I've been drowning in Rhead cover versions these past few weeks, including an a capella 'Karma Police' by a college glee club called the Bison Chips; and a delightful bluegrass medley called... wait for it... 'Rodeohead'.

Tom: He should do more. Nudge him, in an avuncular manner.

Spin: The album Supper is particularly good. I think his lyrics are better than his choons, but the overall, morbid effect is quite endearing.

Billy said...

"And "I'm going to be so drunk at your wedding" is the loveliest threat I've ever heard."

It's a threat I intend to use. I haven't had the opportunity yet as no one I've 'entered' has got married yet.

Molly Bloom said...

The last I heard of Tim Vine...he was being pelted with eggs for re-telling his 499 jokes on Eltham High Street.

What I want to know is...why are there only 377 available on his DVD? Do you think he conveniently *forgot 122 of them.

Tim Footman said...

Oh God, that's a Guinness Book of Records type question, and I've finally severed all ties with them since they included Paris Hilton in the new edition under the heading "Most overrated celebrity".

Although, oddly, I was once pelted with eggs... in Egham... and do you know who was with me? Disgraced BP presenter Richard BACON.

It was all very conceptual.

Helga von porno said...

I am 73 minutes into a time wasting digression now and all I have to say is I know someone called "Eggbert" and the bastards at his junior school teased him mercifully to the extent that they cycled past his house and "drive by" egged him.
That should have been mercilessly but I think I'l leave it. He change his name to "Wank"

BEAST said...

I always get very very drunk at everybodies weddings , wether I have 'entered ' them or not.
Is that wrong ????

E-market said...

I completely agree with you, Tim! Restricting the web access to the employees seems a bit ridiculous to me ...maybe the cause of the bad results is a question of management ...who knows?