Monday, September 10, 2007

fever pitch

Just finished reading Nick Hornby's "Songbook" which seems to be a slightly extended version of his "31 Songs" in which he writes about a selection of his favourite tracks (nice work if you can make a pile of money out of it).

Judging from his choices I think I share about 60% of Hornby's musical taste: I like the same singer/songwriters (Aimee Mann, Ben Folds), some of the same bands (Teenage Fanclub, The Bible) and I too can remember a time when Rod Stewart made good records, but I also thought a lot of his sentiments about music in general were spot on:
- sometimes you hear a great simple, unpretentious pop song on the radio and play it over and over again for days ("I'm Like A Bird" by Nelly Furtado is his example),
- people whose favourite song reminds them of their honeymoon, their student days, a foreign holiday, and so on, don't really like music much: "if you love a song, love it enough for it to accompany it throughout the different stages of your life, then any specific memory is rubbed away by use" ("Thunder Road" - Springsteen),
- whatever music critics say, we need happy, uplifiting music ("Ain't That Enough", Teenage Fanclub), not stuff which reminds us how crap life can be ("Frankie Teardrop" by Suicide).
- "solo acoustic shows [can give you] a little too much meat and potatoes and not enough dessert."

My favourite passage is the claim he makes for Ian Dury's "Reasons To Be Cheerful" to be adopted as the new national anthem and to be played at sporting events and state ceremonies: "Just imagine: Before each England international, David Beckham sings, 'Summer, Buddy Holly, the working folly, Good Golly Miss Molly and goats,' while the rest of the team chants, 'Why don't you get back into bed?' The boost to national morale would be incalculable."

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