I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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* One exception: short stories.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Strap on the crampons

POP EXPLORED. Part one. This will be a great climb. Not Everest (described once as “a dull trudge”) but technically hard like K2 or Kanchenjunga.

My problems are several. Left to myself I only become aware of pop songs twenty years after their emergence. Yesterday I listened to Elton John and Kiki Dee singing “Don’t go breaking my heart.” OK, but it has whiskers. I need to know 2011.

But who can I talk to? Pop lovers are inarticulate. None could define Garage Rock (Does it deserve capitals?) for me. And I’m not referring to teenage I-phone flippers, I’ve asked adults knowledgeable about particle physics and/or schisms in left-wing groupuscules. Their vocabulary shrinks, they “er” and “um” when asked about Bjork.

Luckily I have a springboard. Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, doesn’t just write about Messiaen but also about youthful, evanescent guitar-strummers. His book Listen to This includes long articles about the aforesaid Bjork (Apparently seminal, except for having survived decades in a field where longevity is suspicious) and about Radiohead.

I’ll put Bjork to one side for now, listen to Radiohead, and report back. Here’s what Ross says about Radiohead’s Colin Green: “Lavishly well read, he can talk at length about almost any topic – Belgian fashion, the stories of John Cheever, the effect of different kinds of charcoal on barbecued meat – but he gets embarrassed by his erudition.”

My kind of guy. Better still: “(Green) seized hold of his brother’s tune that had set the song in motion. The doubling of the theme, a very Led Zeppelin move, had thunderous logic, as if an equation had been solved.” So pop is analysable. Let’s see if my erudition is up to it.

FROM MY SHELVES
With pianists slow movements are what count. Any fule can play slow, but does it hang together? Solomon, blasted by a stroke at the peak of his powers, always made sure it did

2 comments:

earlybird said...

In suspense as to what you will make of it. I've never 'got' Radiohead myself. It's just noise to me.

Rouchswalwe said...

If I had to put it in a nutshell, I'd venture to say that a quality group like Radiohead is understood by taking into account an entire album. The individual songs were written as parts of the whole. Each is a knot in the tapestry. "Album" dates me. Let's say, an entire original CD then. The one I reach for time and again is Amnesiac. For edgier music, I reach for Queensryche's Promised Land.