if everybody knows how it’s gonna end//why doesn’t someone stop me;
Number of music magazine reviews completed: 5 of 8
Number of said reviews which slag off Belle & Sebastian: 1
But it’s a work in progress and, to be fair, it’s a little difficult to curse the name of that heinous blotch on the face of Scottish music when you’re writing about scuzzy, feedback-heavy, shouty music for spotty fifteen-year-olds who think that song titles with swear words in them are cool”.
The devil makes work for idle hands. As I wait to see final proofs on my own magazine, I’ve already reported one particularly heinous copy-and-paste enthusiast to Myspace abuse. Practice random acts of evil: it makes your day pass so much more quickly.
It’s been snowing on and off all morning here and while more rural ares of the country are bedding down under fluffy white blankets of the stuff it’s yet to lie anywhere within sight of my fifth-floor office window. City Centre winters are such a cop-out: what makes it in the way of snow is rendered to slush by rock salt and buses before most of us have even stirred from our beds. Heads down, trudging into biting winds and freezing horizontal rain the fairytale winters of our childhoods seem a lifetime ago. The trains might not be running, but you’re still wanted in the office by 9am.
I love to curl up on the sofa with the fairylights on; listening to the rain outside while I sip from a mug of tea. It feels lovely and homey in November, when the leaves are changing colour and the nights are drawing in. In recent years, however, January has become a ferocious beast which roars in the night and consumes the wheelie bins; bringing with it an ominous cold that seems to reach with icy fingers into your very soul. The chill in my feet I can’t quite get rid off puts me off for the rest of the day.
I suppose if I didn’t love my new black Converses so much I could wear more waterproof footwear and would feel a little warmer.
I’m listening to Ys and envying California the wild beauty of Joanna Newsom. Such spellbinding stories seem to belong more to the untamed edges of my own country than the Sunshine State: perhaps the closest our own music has come is Edwin Morgan’s vocals over the crashing sonic waves that form the last minute or so of Idlewild’s The Remote Part album.
I hate that, when I think of Scottish music, what automatically springs to mind is disgust and twee deedeedee deedeedee deedeedee the boy with the Arab Strap. But that’s my own failing, not yours.
Shuffle. Of course the subtleties in most of my favourite music, the sassy bar-room brawls and lovers and losers driving cross-country in the back of some ancient Cadillac, won’t even translate for the Scottish accent. What sounds like freedom through the eyes of Craig Finn or Jesse Malin sounds inauthentic in our tiny back yard; like a hand up a skirt, a jaikie brawl or a dream on the dole. My winter malaise and dissatisfaction talking.
running down a busy street
she was drunk when she kissed me
…she’s just that kind of girl.
I close my eyes, take a breath, and wait for summer and adventure to roll around again.