Sunday, April 11, 2004

Chocolate and 31 other songs

I was woken this morning by a phone call from Norman the Greenbelt Senior Fire Officer: “Morning darlin’, can you do me a favour?…Sorry did I wake you?” .

I guess as Ops people go, I’m probably going to be a good bet for who will be in at 10.20am on Easter Sunday morning… even if I’m not necessarily going to be up and about!

Forty minutes later we’ve run through a couple of issues and I’ve emailed him a document he needed for the crew leaders meeting that was about to kick off at his place.

I make a mug of hot chocolate, grab a yoghurt and a granola bar, shove Scissor Sisters’ eponymous album, Snow Patrol’s Final Straw (their Chocolate is just about my favourite current tune) and REM’s Automatic for the People on the CD player and head back under the duvet to read (hey it’s a holiday and I’ve not been well!).

I started Nick Hornby’s 31 Songs yesterday – he’s kind of the literary equivalent of comfort food, perfect for a taking it easy bank holiday weekend. That said I’m not totally enjoying 31 Songs – especially the couple of chapters for which I’m not familiar with the source tracks.

There’s also definitely a problem with the age gap between author and reader in a few cases. The second paragraph of the chapter on Paul Westerberg’s Born for Me, starts with “For those of us who were born in the late fifties and fell in love with rock music during the early seventies have a complicated relationship with the solo.” as the prelude to an anecdote in which he walks out of a Led Zeppelin gig. Well I’ve never (knowingly) heard anything by Paul Westerberg, I was born in the period in which he was falling in love with rock music and I have a very simple relationship with overblown rock solo’s – zero tolerance. I suppose I can relate to the walking out on Led Zeppelin bit though, I had an ex boyfriend who was a fan and the minute it hit the stereo I’d hit the road. Come to think of it he was also into Pink Floyd, what the hell was I thinking?

Anyway I nearly make it to the last pages, before the combination of “Learning from Los Lobos” and Michael Stipes beautiful tones lulls me back off to sleep and I awake slightly stunned a few hours later.

A bunch of us head around to Phil and Sarah’s tonight for an Easter Barbeque and I raise my disappointment with 31 Songs. Stuart sums it up well saying, “Well I could write essays on my favourite 31 songs, but I can’t imagine it would really be of any interest to anyone apart from me”. I think that’s it in a nutshell, the reason you enjoy a bit of music is so intensely personal that it’s probably never going to make the greatest of subjects for a book.

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