Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's not snobbery

Some people wear music snobbery like a badge. A worn-out, badge of course, not one of those shiny brand new ones - ugh. They constantly proclaim their love for the obscure and their dismissal of the mainstream. They accuse their friends of being lazy with their music choices. Oh and they laugh about it and say that in the end it's all in the name of fun and yes, music taste is personal and no, don't cry, your taste is not shit. I didn't mean it that way.

Oh hello.

Last night our little popgang put on a little popshow. It was one of those things we wanted to do to make January slightly more bearable. The idea was to get three bands we really love play a bright pop night and if anyone turned up we would consider that a bonus. It turns out loads of people wanted to brighten up their January; it turns out people were ready for indiepop in large doses; it turns out this bloody thing works and it's all worth it and everything is going to be OK!

The room was packed all night which made me smile so much I almost passed out at one point. I watched the nervous bunch of pretty kids called The Deirdres try to find their instruments, wear capes and get on stage with the sole purpose of making everyone as happy as possible and felt relieved because seeing the surprise on people's faces, I knew that their version of fun was the version of fun that the people in that room were after. And when Pocketbooks started singing out their shiny pop poetry and everyone was watching smitten, I realised that I am not a snob and Pocketbooks shouldn't be obscure. They are glorious and sparkly and I wished I could explain to a lazy music journalist what they sound like but all I'd get would be how they should do this and that and the other and then maybe, *maybe* someone might notice. I am not a snob. I just like lovely music. Sparky's Magic Piano had everyone mesmerised because their songwriting is really quite stunning. They didn't want to stop playing because they could see that girl down the front swaying and singing along and I bet they could also see just how miraculous everyone thought they were. You couldn't miss it. I'd love to claim the night as a Spiral Scratch triumph but I know that it was a triumph of the quiet sparkly minority that doesn't listen to indiepop because it's obscure but because it matters and it's not ambitious in any way other than striving for the lazy perfection. It's flawed and it's pretty which is as perfect as anything can ever be. So stop calling me a snob: it's not about obscurity, I am not trying to be clever, I only want to have a dance and a cuddlejump.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a choice between a bass and a glockenspiel

First of all, here is an mp3: it's one of my favourite songs of all time and as I am not one for end-of-year lists or polls or anything that makes you compare and contrast when you should be dancing or daydreaming, I thought I'd post a song that doesn't make me nostalgic or even particularly happy. It just makes me swoon.

Red Sleeping Beauty, 'You're the Kind' (.mp3)

As I am sitting in silence in the spare room, the noise of the wind is deafening, despite the double glazing. I can probably feel it more than I can hear it but the lights of Brixton twinkle so brightly behind the bare trees that they become almost audible. I love saying 'I am shattered', especially when I am. I am shattered. The sound of people talking makes my head bang and I can't understand a word that anyone is saying. I type out emails and click 'delete' instead of 'send'. I think of the future and cry. I go to bed and my eyes hurt when I close them and I move my limbs around in despair, and lose my patience. Pop music is only something I double-click on to listen to, or a flyer on Photoshop that takes ages to load. Still, I am proud and my eyes shine as I catch the bus in the rain in the morning because there are things to look forward to, random little things like popshows, or shivering in the cold watching football, or sleeping on a floor surrounded by people whose hearts are in the same place as yours (the right place, in case you are wondering) or waiting for a delivery of a shiny new bass guitar.

There is hope. It's small but very bright. Blindingly so.

And this, this is the brightest thing of all: