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Thursday, July 03, 2003  
The Great British Music Debate

Part 2

“Pretty well heard all of it although I’ve been keeping an aye on the tennis as well…” and doesn’t that just sum up the whole fucking problem, eh? Keeping an eye on the tennis. We won that once too. Play The Smiths. That’s it. Oh, Blake was right, Jerusalem, oh yes, England’s green and pleasant land and he was seeing angels just like I am seeing angels and all you could ever do was put them in a fucking cage, you fucking hypocrites, murderers, fascists, this is not your culture anymore, it is OURS.

30 years ago it was not totally different, people won’t forget it anymore than people forgot whoever the fuck it is that you can’t remember from 1973 you fucking fuck, singer songwriters? Die die die die die. You are not the person who is meant to remember what is number one now. “Dance culture… very boring for some of us over a certain age…” You cunt. You are your father. You are the one thing you always said you would never ever ever be. Which means you failed. Which means get the fuck out. This is MINE. This is OURS.

I downloaded two Four Tet tracks a year and half ago and now I own all three of his albums and a Fridge album and two Manitoba albums and numerous singles and theboylucas and Prefuse 73 and Savath & Savalas and and and and and all because of those two tracks. People download because they want to hear things. You don’t understand how much I hate you. All I was doing was dancing on my own and I was happy and you can’t stand that. Is this how you want me to live my life? Like you? You never smile. For fuck’s sake don’t crush me like you got crushed yourself. It’s not the only way. I want beauty and fire and grief and hate and love and I do not want this cold cold resignation and bitterness. I hear this; Travis, Texas. The Great British Music Debate. I hear this; Travis, Texas. And I hear death. And cold cold resignation. I’m sorry your friends are dead but we are not yet dead. We’ve seen enough to know that this and now are what we have and what we are. We can mourn or we can turn away and live.

“There is so much to say about this music. I don’t mean so much to explain because that’s stupid, the music speaks for itself. What I mean is that so much flashes through my mind when I hear the tapes of this album that if I could I would write a novel about it full of life and scenes and people and blood and sweat and love.

And sometimes I think maybe what we need is to tell people that this is here because somehow in this plasticized world they have the automatic reflex that if something is labelled one way then that is all there is in it and we are always finding out to our surprise that there is more to Ginsberg or more to ‘Trane or more to Stravinsky than whatever it was we thought was there in the first place…

So Lenny Bruce said there is only what is and that’s a pretty good basis for a start. This music is. This music is new. This music is new music and it hits me like an electric shock…”

From Ralph J Gleason’s original liner notes to Bitches Brew. Yes, the liner notes that brought a tear to my eye last night.

Tell me where to go. Show us the roads. Marcello, Todd, mark, Gavin, Joe, Cozen, Karim, Simon, Ian, kate, Stevie, Sam… please… please… please… For fuck’s sake don’t let us die. Point us in the direction. We’re all fractured. We’re all scared. But we don’t want to be.

“And all the world is football shaped… /… one two three four five / senses working overtime…” XTC do it better. You’re all so tired. Give in and go home. It’s nearly midnight. It’s all happening. You can’t see it.

And here they come. Coldplay. “Let’s go back to the start…” Fools. Onwards. To go backwards… is to die. I’m not ready.

7/03/2003 09:21:00 am


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005