Sunday, January 9, 2022

cultural striptease

 Cultural Striptease

for an Italian publication, 2010? 

NB this would need to be updated and amended if done now e.g. the iPhone has now entered my life, to ruin it

Your first cultural memory?

Probably The Beatles ("Yellow Submarine"). Unless we count British children's TV shows like Andy Pandy and Pogle's Wood.


The song where you would like to inhabit?

The second (subaquatic-idyllic) section of John Martyn's "I'd Rather Be The Devil", but I'd need to have gills instead of lungs.


A song you are listening obsessively on your iPod? (do you have one?)

I do have an iPod but hardly ever use it. The last song to obsess me was Black Eyed Peas's "Boom Boom Pow" which came out in summer 2009 but which I only heard this month -- that got several replays on YouTube.


An embarassing (or dangerous cultural) pleasure?

I can't think of anything that embarrasses me. I suppose I am ashamed of how much time I waste watching junk TV -- cooking shows, reality-type pseudo-documentaries, "Best Interior Design/Next Top Model" type contests. There really are so many better things I could do with my time.


The song/movie which changed your life (a quote from it).

Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the U.K."--no specific line, but the excessive demand in the song and Johnny Rotten's performance left me with excessive, unrealistic demands in terms of what I expect from music (world-shaking impact, breath-choking intensity)

A recent album/book/movie/author that you consider your personal discovery.

In the era of webbed music and hyper-hipsterism, it is very hard to be first on the block with a new group, or a new anything. Generally I am happy to pick up on things a little bit after the "new thing" hunters get there.


Things your children should read, listen and see?

The Wind In the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.

The Railway Children.


If I say television: is there a sitcom or something unexpected you can’t stop to watch at?

Peep Show.


Music: the playlist/soundtrack of your life, in 5 songs.

The Slits, "So Tough"

My Bloody Valentine, "Slow"

Orbital, "Chime"

Omni Trio, "Renegade Snares (Foul Play Remix)"

Ariel Pink, "The Ballad of Bobby Pyn"


The ringtone you have on your your mobile phone, now?

The standard one it comes with.


What do you think of people who obsessively wear earcuffs while walking or other?

It's not how I would choose to live. I don't like to be insulated from the outside world. I was never a big fan of the Walkman and the only time I use my iPod is on long train or bus journeys, or late at night when I want to read while sitting on the sofa (rather than attached to the stereo via headphones).


A quote from a song to tell someone: you love him/her; you want to leave him/her. And a song (quote) to convince someone to stay with you?

"It's only me/Who wants to wrap around your dreams"--Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams"

"Lovin’ you...isn't the right thing to do"--Fleetwood Mac, "Go Your Own Way"

"I can still hear you saying/You would never break the chain"--Fleetwood Mac, "The Chain"


Your relationship with new technologies: do you have a Blackberry/iPhone, you are an email addict, what’s your opinion about Facebook or similar?

No Blackberry, no iPhone, only shaky command of my mobile phone to be honest. Email, addicted, yes of course. Facebook--coming up with clever comments on stuff is too much like work for me. I'm on it but I hardly ever update or leave anything comments. Twitter is another step in the ephemeralisation of everything: I can remember magazine articles and music paper record reviews from 30 years ago; I can remember certain blog posts and online essays from 7 or 9 years ago. But do people remember a Tweet for more than a day?

A stupid thing that you cannot stop to do online. Or a digital gaffe.

Saving articles and blog posts "to read later". "Later" never comes and I have a folder called Reading Matter with a couple of thousand files inside it.


Have you read books on kindle or some e-readers?


What you would have want to learn to do in life?

Practically: Drive a car (I've just moved to Los Angeles so this is essential). Play a musical instrument. Learn how to make beats. Learn how to beat-match as a deejay.

Existentially: Be more patient. Waste less time.


What did you learn from a book/movies/music about: sex?

There's no substitute for hands-on experience.


Do you read magazines?

Yes, but not as much as I used to.

What did you save/hated of our last ten years culture, the so called Noughties, Anni Zero.

Love: Music's inexhaustible capacity to come up with the unexpected, the revelatory, unknown pleasures (Dizzee Rascal, Animal Collective, Ariel Pink, Ghost Box, Vampire Weekend...). Blogging as a rebirth of music  journalism.

Hate: The effect on the internet on my attention span, which is shot to pieces (see above, about magazines). The wars and the propaganda machine that attempted to justify them. Still waiting for the future/the 21st Century to start, the first ten years just seem like the Nineties continuing. Twitter as the slow erosion of blogging

A word that you love. A word that you hate.


Root canal

Were would you go for a “cultural” tour? 3 places

Places I've never been -- Tokyo, Bombay, Beijing.

If you would have to write an autobiography, what could be the first line? And the dedication?


I will never write an autobiography. But the dedication would be "For Jenny and for Joy".

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