Friday, 20 January 2012

Here come the warm jets...


The long greasy pole of success is something that only a certain percentage of people are interested in climbing, mainly due to the uncertain road ahead and general vacuous nature of the business in the public eye. I would say that although I want to be successful in any venture or path I take I don’t believe I’m cut from the same cloth as someone that wants to be ‘papped’ within an inch of their life from morning to night.

I have recently been hitting the job market hard trying to undertake the next step of my slowly unravelling semi-career as a music writer. If this was the 1970’s I may have a chance of moving up to a staff writer for a music rag although in today’s world of online journalism it seems that anyone with a passing interest in music has an opinion just as strong and valid as my own and has lovingly crowded the market 10000/1. One of the replies I got back turned out not to be a internship for a well known music and culture magazine as originally described but in fact an opportunity to appear on an upcoming TV show about burgeoning wannabe interviewers/journalist’s in the music and showbiz world. As the brief was scanned over and the introduction questions seated before me a shudder ran down my spine like a brick of solid ice slipping down a pair of broken braces. This is not how it should be or what I want.

I can imagine watching an episode of this new show in horror. Whether somebody is a good ‘character’ or ‘comes across well’ on TV is so far away from what is relevant for a writer of any genre. I understand if you want to be an actor or pop star then these things are important but to be a bone fide ‘backroom boy’ who gives a toss? Some of the questions are taking the word ‘banal’ to a whole new level. ‘Who is going to be the biggest star of 2012’? Seriously that is a question. In what respect do they even mean? I know they want me to say someone like “oooh let me fink…probably Lana Del Ray she’s actually betta’ dan The Beatles” when in fact come to think about it someone like Kim Jong-Un the new 29 year old supreme ruler of North Korea might pip them all to the post by declaring war on the free world at the flick of a button. It’s all relative. As a music writer I don’t think I’m in a position to follow trends or guess what’s going to be the new thing for the masses to like and appreciate, I just pick songs and albums I feel people would be interested in reading about and tell anyone that reads my page what I think about them. I get some sent to be that I’ve never heard of and some reissues that I have, either way I’m honest always. I think any in roads to the glitz would narrow the field of subjective creatively as I would be bound by favours and back scratching/stabbing while being denied complete editorial control i.e. “do you realise how much money label ‘X’ has put behind this artist, you can’t call their new single and ‘turd’ of a song about nothing, re-write it and give it a happy ending and we might get an interview out of it”.

2012 better have some goodies as with January nearly at a close the year hasn’t exactly got of to a belter yet, although with hopefully new albums this year from The Stone Roses, The XX, Peter Doherty and the ‘crazy psychedelic’ album of Noel Gallagher’s collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous hopefully it will pick up soon.

In the mean time pin back your ears, open up Spotify and tune in to these gems of audio perfection for your listening pleasure.

Needles in the Camel’s EyeBrian Eno
Zen ArcherTodd Rundgren
Psycho KillerTalking Heads
New OrleansGary U.S.Bonds

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