Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It goes without saying that I have been reveling in the shock and surprise that is Blur's Hyde Park reformation. As well as contemplating how I could possibly come up with the cash to fund such a jaunt, I had been thinking about how the reunion could have come about. After all, I had been long convinced of the tattered relationship between Albarn and Coxon. I had read all about it in magazines, you know. Not to mention in online publications. I thought I had worked out the dynamics of their working relationship and in doing so, I had dismissed the possibility of any reconciliation. Then I was struck by unusual thought. I thought of exactly how much of our engagement with music is derived from our construction of a musician's character. I am fully aware that my prior sentence sounds distinctly like meaningless "Bachelor of Arts" speak, but just bear with me here.

I can recall the days where I would fervently research the character of Steven Patrick Morrissey of the Smiths. In a very doting fashion, I would read all of Morrissey's archived interviews at The Arcane Old Wardrobe. Everything he said was always laced with a very deliberate ambiguity. Morrissey fancied himself a bit of a modern day Oscar Wilde. In retrospect, he came across as Wildean in the true Uncyclopedian sense of the word. I can never take his oblique statements seriously nowadays. They seem too much like flippant non-sequiturs, designed to create lust and intrigue in the hearts and minds of alienated young girls. I came to question his sincerity, really. My perennial issue with Morrissey is how is it that he came to write lyrics that are imbued with such intense feelings of yearning when he claims to be an individual entirely devoid of romantic inclination? What the hell is all that about?

I know that it is not just me. I know that others have carefully studied the personal background of their most admired musicians. I suspect that research is intended to uncover any trace of arrogance, indifference or insincerity on the part of the musician. When I realise that this musician is not "for real" as such, it becomes a real turn off for me. I know in my own interviewing experience, I could never listen to the music of Moving Units, The Departure, Editors, Kings of Leon or Ambulance LTD after I discovered what they were really like. I understand that I possess this hyper-romantic preconception that my musicians must care for music as much as I do. There must be some kind of requited nature in all this, otherwise my love is based on something that is fake and inconsequential.. and I can't have any of that.

So, where does this all leave us really? Must we all face up to the reality that our entaglement with music derives from a hyper-romanticised depiction of a person's character? I suppose so. Much like crush mythology, we should take solace in the understanding that we develop an affinity with the idea of a person, not the person itself. Perhaps I only speak for myself when I admit that I want to find affinity with musicians that have depth, warmth and doleful complexity. With that being said, I want to flesh out as many musical characters as possible so they all have a distinct role in British musical history. I suppose that is how I could understand how the hell Albarn and Coxon could have possibly mended their tattered relationship and play apart of Blur once again.


Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Britpop Podcast #10
The Fakrays - All Day
Elle Milano - Ooo Beyoncé Baby (Demo)
Let's Wrestle - I Won't Lie To You
Oasis - I'm Outta Time
Ocean Colour Scene - Huckleberry Grove
Suede & Pet Shop Boys - Rent (Live)
Mint Royale - Don't Falter
Kill City - Hooligans on E
Not the Nine O'Clock News - I Like Bouncing

Download (27.8 MB)

9 comments:

Dexter said...

El - For some reason, I can't download the podcast. Please fix it, as I've grown to love the shows.

Jerry

El said...

Ahh! Sorry about that Jerry -- the linkie is all fixed up now!

adam said...

The blur thing is true, and as it happened i played Tender on the contrast podcast this week. It's rather tempting...

Dexter said...

Working great now - Thanks,
Jerry

britpopsurvivor said...

"Never meet your heroes, they'll only let you down", advised the Bluetones, though this wasn't true if your heroes happened to be The Bluetones.

Pop music is tricky. For example, Damon is a fucking wanker, putting it mildly, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying all the wonderful stuff he's done. Though it probably makes me more critical of the crap things he has done. Coxon may have stole my girlfriend, but at least he was awkward and did some good solo records.

It's best to have some degree of separation, agreed: your eloquent imaginings of these people will almost always be better than the reality.

Pop stars should be remote: they should live on Mars. It's nearly 2009: why aren't pop stars living on Mars?

I like your blog.

El said...

Ahh! If only I could draw a graph that could somehow encompass the relationship between 1) how much you like a musician 2) how much you want to meet said musician and 3) how disappointed you will be when you meet said musician. It almost seems to be a distinct inevitability that these people will not be very nice. Well, at least to me.

It is fascinating to hear these stories of run-ins. I mean, having knowledge that Damon "is a bit of a wanker" is like living in the knowledge that Beethoven was a bit of a crankypants. Of course he was, but how much of a crankypants exactly? Unless we exerted ourselves to the extent that we actually read a book about it, we would never really know.. and to stop imagining what people are like would be a sad thing.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

Dexter said...

El - I've got the Libertines Babyshambles Session that has a long take that includes Huckleberry Grove along with Guns Of Brixton, Rubber Ring, etc. Can I send it your way?

El said...

Thanks, Jerry! That would be really great! Email is elle.gray(at)lycos.com!

Louise said...

I love Mint Royale Don't Falter!