Saturday, June 19, 2010

Watch That Man

Rob Young's forthcoming book sounds fantastic:
This is a hugely enjoyable and persuasive account of "how British musicians and composers have drawn on an idea of folk, alongside a literary (or cinematic) sense of nostalgia and connection with the landscape, all of which feeds into an encompassing expression of Britain that Blake, at least, called 'visionary.'" Dipping in its pages is to be swept up into a story that connects artists as different as Vashti Bunyan and the Aphex Twin.
He also has a blog to go with the book; I really like the second poster here--might have to steal that for my certainly-not-mythical, ten-months-in-the-making post on Donovan.

I should have mentioned the blog Pushing Ahead of the Dame a while ago. This is another of those long-term, super comprehensive projects that I love. PAOTD is dedicated to discussing every single one of David Bowie's recorded songs, even the covers. I started reading it somewhere toward the end of the Hunky Dory songs, and while I haven't gone backwards into the archives, I've enjoyed following him (I think the author is a he) from there. I was already a little over familiar with the Ziggy Stardust songs, so the transition to Aladdin Sane has been a nice change. Not that I'm a stranger to that album, but I certainly never came to the conclusion that "Drive-In Saturday" is about how "a post-apocalyptic civilization, through fear or reactions from fallout, has forgotten how to have sex, so the kids watch Rolling Stones promos and old films to see how it was done" before. While being a Bowie fan is obviously a prerequisite for enjoying the blog, even if you're not an acolyte it's a good example of smart, educated music writing that you don't tend to see much.


  1. I think we instinctively recognized and experienced that landscape/nostalgia connection when we were kids, listening to Physical Graffiti and riding through the hills on vacation in England.

  2. Definitely. LZ + the Peak District and Wales + all the fantasy/fairy tale/folklore stuff we read back then was a pretty potent blend that left me with a real affinity for folk with a mystical bent. I also think that's why I prefer the folkier side of LZ to the overt American blues stuff--it matched the landscape better (the folk stuff is also less macho).