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...