Friday, March 23, 2007

lifted from the guardian

Flushed with the excitement that I now have two potential contacts at the Guardian through whom I can pursue my seduction-by-stealth of Ms. Barton (apart from Assistant Blog's very own Guardian Spy, Ali's about to move in with a Guardianista), I find a couple of articles worth linking to in today's paper:

First off, an interesting interview with Mike Scott of the Waterboys, who made the vain error of wading in and editing his own Wikipedia article without providing sources! What an idiot - except of course, surely he himself is the most assured source on the subject of Mike Scott. Well, I guess there have been enough self-serving, fact-erasing celebrity memoirs in recent years to crush that argument flat. Anyway, still uneasy with the circling motions of fame, he's a little reassured regardless, because they finally accepted his alterations.

Alexis Petridis, meanwhile has a little fun with Enter Shikari - or at least, with their fans. I particularly liked this extract, where Coops, a 17 year old fan, outlines his gig-going philosophy:

"The passion in the music, I think. Like, you're rocking out so hard and then you're raving out so hard, everyone's having such a good time and it gets too hot and you don't want to stop, because it's boring if you stop. You keep going and going and going and you can't hack it any more because it's brutal."
I love that teenage logic. Gigs are brilliant, right, but then sometimes, you stop rocking, and then it's, like, boring. Teenagers are like sharks, they have to keep moving forward, or else they die.

Oh, and here's an interesting aside from the same article. "The Times illustrated a story about the band winning an NME award with a picture of Shakira".

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to 'Rough Crossings' on the BBC tonight - Simon Schama's film about the journey from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone undertaken by the black slaves who escaped the plantations to fight on Britain's side in the American War of Independence. I've read the book, and it's fascinating and beautifully written. Today's TV page highlight's Schama's adroitness with descriptions, noting his "the wind-chipped edge of eastern Canada".

Today's Hail Hail Rock and Roll is no less lyrical, Laura Barton painting a picture of the love for a band resembling a tree you feel compelled to climb as it puts down root below you. "You place your weight on each branch with trepidation, in case it cannot carry you; you try to discern if it is a sapling love or a true, oakish thing".

Each of Barton's fine-tuned articles is like an acorn planted, recalling the Mountain Goats song she quotes, "Coming up through the cracks / Pale green things", which stay with you and grow.


Guardian Spy said...

Well, three mentions for my section! Assistant Blog, you spoil me. I will correct you, however, and point out that Mike Scott wrote every word of that piece, and it barely needed any editing. Marvellous. I will also confess that I am the person mentioned at the start of Laura's column who has fallen in love with the Hold Steady.
One day I will share with you the story of how the Wedding Present led me to try to get a bill through the US Congress, and I was only a handful of votes away from success. I see that you, too, have loved that band.

jonathan said...

It took me a while to really get into The Hold Steady. The other way of falling in love with a band, which Laura Barton doesn't mention, is the slow burn from disinterest to curiosity, then sudden, unexpected passion. Hearing them in passing, I'd never get into THS (or Midlake, the other band that turned it round for me last year), but they just shuffled their way across my ipod enough times for me to suddenly get it. So yeah, with you on that one.

Paul said...

Tell us your Wedding Present story Mr. Spy!

I can only remember 'Brassneck', but they all sounded the same, didn't they.