on life, music etc beyond mainstream

In an interview he said:  „As  a doubtless self-obsessed novelist, what was important for me was some sort of honest personal response to what actually happened in my youth around that period of discovering Can. When I was also discovering other stuff, like books.And Weather Report. And Teresa.

You can write that in English: “I discovered the music of Can,” but what does that actually mean for a young individual? It actually can be devastatingly powerful thing. It still is, when a bit of art hits you right between the eyes. A myriad of complications and subtleties and self delusions too, are contained in “discovering” music. Often those subtleties are dimmed by cliché responses and egg-head posturing. In the book, I had to more or less explain the whole musical culture of the place I grew up in and which I was immersed in.

Otherwise the enormity and uniqueness of what the album was and what it meant to me is lost. And I am not sure if I captured the full effect of it. So I had to paint the CONTEXT of the listening, and I do believe that is often what is missing from some criticism and academic writing.

These days a hip kid can click a download and have Tago Mago in minutes. I wanted to sort of show the slow, laborious, physical process of what it was like to buy vinyl records in a small, isolated Scottish town in the late 70s and early 80s. It must have been quite similar in small US towns in those years before MTV. And of course we knew nothing else – to us that was normality. It will probably bore the pants off people. But I had to be honest about what it was like for me. That’s all I had to offer as a writer – an honest response to a youthful aesthetic experience.“

(The presentation of this book is part of my imaginary Punktfestival day in September 2015. Alan Warner’s approach to a German milestone of so-called „krautrock“ seems hugely enjoyable.)  – me

This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 10. September 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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