Category Archives: Music/The Local

I’m a cyclist, a driver and a pedestrian

When I experience, hear about, or witness irresponsible behaviour in a professional context it reminds me of the debates between road users who annoy the hell out of each other all the time.

You get folks saying they’re better drivers ‘cos they’re cyclists and so on.

I hear “all agents are c*@!s”, or “all promoters are slippery”.

I also hear that that which you dislike in others is what you recongnise/dislike in yourself.


Collapse Board is a great place to lose two hours

I could call it Collapsing. It’s when I have an extended session having clicked an Everett True tweet and been on a readathon. The latest started with his response to an article by Andrew Dubber: Music Journalism is the New Boring. Itself an excellent piece. I then found myself lost in the Collapse response to this N+1 article about Pitchfork.

All raise interesting questions and are proof that there is excellent music journalism if you’re ready or prepared or bothered to find it, like music itself. I’ve not spent enough time reading about music but then it can get pretty fucking boring, reading about something that someone likes – which (liking everything)  is largely what this article is accusing Pitchfork of these days. So too, the Dubber article.

There’s often too much of the writer in there however, and that can be grating. And I know I know that this is probably me, not the writer, with the problem… but still…

I find Dubber sometimes has the tone of an irritated knowitall wanting to prove he’s the one with the answer to everything. He’s angry! The thing is: he’s most often bang-on about the things that are getting on his nerves, and they should be getting on all our nerves too.

The N+1 article is a great read, as is the publication, I discover. (All due to my reading of THIS on Collapse) However writer Richard Beck still manages at the end to do what he criticises most Pitchfork writers of doing, albeit in perhaps a more subtle (or tongue in cheek) way. He wants us all to know that he gets it, but that at the same time, he wants us to know that he gets a whole lot more besides. Just like the Pitchfork writers, he’s showing off a bit:

But the story of The Beatles doesn’t begin with John, Paul, George, and Ringo deplaning at JFK. It begins with Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1722 Treatise on Harmony, which began to theorize the tonal system that still furnishes the building blocks for almost all pop music.”

I found the above to be a little lofty and I found myself wanting to dumb-down, and defend some shitty pop journalism.Which again says more about me than ought to be necessary in something like this.

In the last few months I’ve been looking at the Collapse Board more and more often, and enjoying it very much. It has been a pleasure to connect with. Check it out for yourselves.
I’ll be looking up Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1722 Treatise on Harmony.


If you got ears… you gotta listen

This from here:

Shutting the fuck up at shows is a subject close to my heart. I put together and run the now annual Shhh event in London, so you’d expect that perhaps, but I’m not some kind of perfect self important gig-goer, respectfully silent in reverence at the efforts of the artist before me. I’ve been told to shut up plenty of times. Not quite as much as I have been the one doing the telling, but still. It happens to all of us I would like to think, although I’m sure there are loads of folks who have NEVER been told to STFU…

The thing is, the shows where I HAVE shut the eff up, have been those ones from which I have returned home complete, with that wanting-to-discuss-it-till-the-cows-come-home feeling of really having seen something important. I mean, how can you tell if you really liked it, if you didn’t really listen?
It doesn’t have to be a quiet show either. I definitely told a couple to have their conversation elsewhere at Glastonbury one time (and got a ripple of applause) and that was during The Arcade Fire. The couple in question were pretty loud and high and unaware of anyone else and hey I was nice about it ok? Another time, and this being an amazing example, was at an ATP, for THE MELVINS. Hardly a band tinkering about in some hushed plink plonk experimentalism. They ROCK. And it was amazing to stand in awe at what I could see and hear. (OK, so I was unable to speak as I was really high, having been FORCED to get into that state by a now unnameable record company big wig, and their unnameable record company big wig friend.)
In any case, whatever the state you’re in while watching a band it’s usually better if you listen. If they suck, then there will be a place you can go to calm down (or the opposite?!) and have a chat with your pals… There certainly is at the Shhh event on Sat 4 Feb at The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green. There are more than 3 performance spaces, including a Cinema and a little gallery of artworks inspired by the idea of shutting the fuck up… and there’s an outside space too.

– Howard Monk