Monday, July 27, 2009

Elephant Stone

Three days late so far. Got to be a girl, keeping us waiting like this. Oh come on, hurry up and come and go!

For the commute I pulled the Stone Roses out of the CD collection and apologised for neglecting them for a while; been hanging around with young whippersnappers like Fleet Foxes and um, Paul Weller.

We keep accumulating culture. I wonder how long we can keep it all manageable? Our parents had the Beatles and the Stones – but so did we, their music never went away. And we also had the Stone Roses and Radiohead too, and our kids will have the Beatles and the Stones and the Stone Roses and Radiohead and Fleet Foxes and whatever else comes along.

There’s a weird foreshortening effect when you try to place things in time. Why do music videos date so much more quickly than the music itself?

Elephant Stone sings to me of Adidas Gazelles, sunlit concrete, fizzy cider, plastic footballs, Saturday nights, skinny jeans and trackie tops, girls at the Thekla, Britpop, lounging on the grass at the Ashton Court festival, four independent record shops on Park Street, tequila slammers (nasty), boomerangs on the Downs, On the Road, essay deadlines, dingy flats and Trainspotting posters...

Some of those things seem ages ago, some very near and some blend into the present anyway. I still generally have a pair of Adidas Gazelles on the go but skinny jeans are most definitely a thing of the past. (God, all these years with that song in my head and only now, thanks to the internet, have I learnt that that line is not “Teacher Ben and Butcher go…” but “Did your bed and bookshelf go, and run run run away?” Unusually, the actual words are a poetic improvement on the kissthisguy)





Responsibility looms. Is it really all over so soon? No, music lasts forever and time is meaningless. I’ll start Junior on Sally Cinnamon; it’s a song for All Ages.

12 comments:

malty said...

Nine months, plus or minus seven days Brit, that is how it should be described, pregnancy.
The older you get the more aware you become of times gift, perspective. In idle moments pondering begins, usually about things that have been, placing them in the correct order leads to all sorts of head banging "what, forty years, never". "England beat Germany 3-2 and no penalties, twenty four hours ago, unbelievable"

Peter Burnet said...

Have you tried Scrabble?

Brit said...

Not got that desperate yet.

Gaw said...

I think having children tends to provoke reminiscences. Sort of anticipatory ones, if that makes sense: time is meaningless, life is a wheel, and all that.

BTW we were told that due date is +/- two weeks!

Nige said...

Yes 'due date' is a bit of a con really - I mean, how are they to know?? Anyway, good luck when it happens Brit - any day now, I feel it in my waters.......

Peter Burnet said...

Not got that desperate yet.

OK. Wanna argue Darwin?

Ian Woolcott said...

I predict: you are rushing to the hospital this very minute. Or not. My son was two weeks 'late.' But of course he was right on time.

I was sixteen years old on student exchange in London in 1989. At a record shop I asked the girl at the counter what she was playing and she handed me a Stone Roses cassette. It was one of the great highlights of my adolescence. And Fleet Foxes is my drive-home music of choice for 2009. I'll have to start taking taking note of your music recommendations, Brit.

martpol said...

Not to spoil the party or anything, but I've always thought the Stone Roses overrated (despite a few cracking tunes) - and Fleet Foxes for that matter. May I haughtily propose Elbow and Bon Iver instead, as replacements for, respectively, quintessentially British indie and quintessentially American indie-folk.

Brit said...

No you may not, Martpol. You are profoundly wrong about the Roses and bring shame upon yourself.

(Mind you, on Second Coming, which of us wouldn't have cut Breaking into Heaven in half, dropped three of the duff songs and snuck Fool's Gold and What the World is Waiting For on there, so that they left us with two sublime albums instead of one?)

The problem with Elbow is that you can hear all the words. Unless you're Bob Dylan, that's a grave rock mistake.

The Fleet Foxes record is a work of great and lasting beauty. I know this because I am fundamentally in tune with the way of things - I take no pride in this, it's a curse.

----

Good man, Ian. But no, we're still waiting for Godot...

martpol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
martpol said...

"...on Second Coming, which of us wouldn't have cut Breaking into Heaven in half, dropped three of the duff songs and snuck Fool's Gold and What the World is Waiting For on there, so that they left us with two sublime albums instead of one?"

And then do the same with the debut: cut Don't Stop, Bye Bye Badman, Elizabeth My Dear and Sugar Spun Sister, and improve the production on This Is The One, and you'd have a cracking EP.

Fleet Floxes may have a degree of beauty but they also sound so fragile, as if captured in some sort of a musical block of ice. I've listened to the album half a dozen times and still can't decide whether the songs are perfect the way they are, or whether it wouldn't matter if they were entirely different.

Oh, and they came up with the least crowd-pleasing repartee of all time at their Glastonbury gig:
"Why do you guys like certain bands anyway?"

Brit said...

And then do the same with the debut

You're only embarrassing yourself now.