An oddly solitary summer so far, despite being very busy. During the week I keep realising I’ve done two or three daytimes in a row without actually speaking to anyone, from when Rifa leaves til when she gets home. It’s not quite loneliness – but certainly disconcertingly isolating. I’m also hamstrung half the time by a vicious cashflow fuck-up. You might’ve thought – being a stride more successful now than I’ve been before – that I’d've sorted out the money thing, but no, it only takes a couple of cock-ups and a burst tyre on the 303 to stick me right back on the line. Note to self: still not good enough at building in fiscal safety nets. Anyway it’s the mighty Tim Victor’s stag tonight and hooking up with human males is exactly what I need, though they’ll be a mess by the time I get there.
Recently, two unusual little mentions of me on Drowned In Sound have made me stop and think about the company I keep, both in life and in other peoples’ perceptions. I’ve enjoyed reading DiS forever, since it started really. Years ago, I even wrote a bunch of reviews and articles for it (under a different name – they didn’t know it was me and I didn’t review myself or anything!) and I think it anticipated the direction both music and journalism have travelled, over the last 5 years, far better than more corporate efforts like NME.com. Particularly in terms of building an interactive readership and merging conventional journalism with open source content, DiS should probably be seen as truly pioneering. Original editor Sean didn’t like my stuff but he was polite/friendly and never nasty or anything (we haven’t met in the flesh) and, over the years, some of the very best-written pieces about me (positive and negative) have been on DiS.
Anyway, these two mentions are making me ponder the difference between ‘company’ (your friends/colleagues/partners in life/musicians you actually associate with) versus ‘company’ (other musical acts outsiders might connect you with or place you beside, for whatever reason).
The first was long-standing senior Gareth‘s thread about “classic DiS bands” that included me in his list, along with Idlewild, Bright Eyes, Radiohead and Reuben (!!). His slightly screwy definition of ‘classic’ was about having been heavily covered in DiS at some point but not innovating, or something (Radiohead!?) but it was well lush to be included. However, the thing that really catches my attention is the Flash Company I’m put in – because in lists like that, I’m so often the token obscure one, who fewest people have heard of. Certainly DiS readers! In those circles, even Reuben are better known than me: maybe more older acoustic/folky fans know my songs but they’ve sold out places like The Astoria.
Then the other mention was another incongrous list but this time it takes the biscuit. Gets my goat. Gears grinding. In a (really harsh) review of Luke Leighfield‘s single, reviewer KK (who the fuck?) mentions me in passing, alongside Get Cape and – deep breath – pause to load up a big fat shotgun – Scouting For Fucking Girls! Obviously there’s a nasty (quite funny actually) description as well: he wants us to die (suffocating, tied up in front of a mirror I think). But that’s not important. This is important: Scouting For Girls? SCOUTING FOR CLUMPING UBER REPETITIVE INANE DUMBO PIANO BASHING DOFF-DOFF-DOFF FUCKTARDERY GIRLS!?
So. I know it’s unprofessional but I’m calling you out, “KK”, you custard-thick substandard shit-stick of a hack you… you’re not too big or too old for me to put you over my knee and give you a good hard thrashing. I’m serious. If I learn who you are, and we’re in the same room or field, and you don’t surround yourself with muscle very fast, I’m going to give you a spanking, my friend. Bare arse and everything. No belts or paddles, but you’ll pray you weren’t born. The relentless teethgrinding trite-city that is S******* F** G***s? I tell you, you’ll be wishing you’d never even typed their name out so close to mine, as your tearful friends rub antiseptic cream into your aching butt-cheeks. You are fuckked.
Anyway everyone, please don’t forget I’m now available for childrens’ songwriting workshops. ;o)