The modern age is horrible. That’s a given. But there are some positive aspects to it.
Take being in a band for instance. You can now do it all for “nothing” and on your own terms. You can make believe and day dream and it’s all that little bit more “real”. Part of being in our band is trying to have all the good bits without any of the bits we don’t want. We can write as many songs as we want, record as many albums as we want, draw as many covers as we want, shoot our own videos, release stuff on our record label. We can play one show a year and pretend it’s Wembley.
To quote Robert Pollard (as is obligatory), what we do is
“count the days that we have wasted from the start speak the words and build a playground in [y]our head[s].”
We know we’ll never play Top of the Pops, we know our greatest success is probably behind us (thanks Gideon Coe), we know we’ll never actually be a successful band but we can pretend and we can dream.
So in that spirit we present what is perhaps the world’s first fan-fiction for an album, the one and only SOAP. Yes, it’s slash-fic for the 33 1/3 series, the Continuum series where a writer chooses a “classic” album and writes about it in depth. There’s been about 80 of these bad boys.
Max knew no one would write one about us so, in carrying on in our delusion, we prefer the term “building a playground in our heads”, he wrote one himself as a Christmas present to us all. Enjoy.
Is to know one’s self to know what other people think of you?
I ask this because I was discussing one of my favourite thought experiments with a friend recently; I asked her:
“Would you rather know all the bad things everyone’s ever said about you, or have everyone know the bad things you’ve said about them?”
They pondered this for a second and concluded that they had a pretty good idea of what other people would consider to be there foibles, so went for the former option. The interesting thing, though, is that (as far as i saw it) they were wrong – dead wrong – a million miles off from the actual things that people would see as negatives about them.
Obviously I did not decide to educate them on what I considered other people considered to be their failings. After pontificating on this for a while I came to the conclusion that she was coming from a very insular position were she had considered things important to her, rather than what might frustrate people socially.
More interestingly, it brought up another question: How much do we really know about what other people think of us and is this even important?
For example, I consider myself to be quite a self reflective person but would other people consider me to be obstinate, someone who continually makes the same kinds of mistakes, without ever realising I’m trapped in a cycle?
I have found that when talking about someone amongst mutual friends there is usually some kind of consensus about them, which, perhaps, wouldn’t be shared to their face: they’re moody; they’re lazy; they’re rude… etc. etc. This will be bandied around like it’s not a problem; you still like that person and they’re not there so there feelings will not be hurt.
But… wait… what if there’s a consensus about me that I don’t realise? If I knew about it would I be able to change myself to be a more positive person? Would i be powerless to do anything about my nature? Would I be offended that these jerks thought such jerky things about me? Is it actually important to be thought well of, to be, popular?
There’s a particularly wonderful fridge magnet that says “If you’re dog thinks you’re great, don’t ask for a second opinion.” There’s also research that says that, most commonly, the people who have an accurate opinion about their importance to the world and their ability to affect their surroundings are the clinically depressed. The rest of us are just delusional about our place in the grand scheme of things.
So if we are unaware, in part, of the negative things people might think of us, is this an actual problem? Possibly not, but it just strikes me as interesting as we are inherently social creatures* and are defined by our relationship to the world and the people. Even those people who consider themselves to be introverted or don’t care what the outside world think about them will engage in society through books, cds, the internet etc. Even if they genuinely don’t care what people/society think about them they still care about society enough to interact with some aspects of it. Perhaps the only people who can claim not to care about society are hermits**. These are in short supply.
This is why it must be strange to be famous; you have the ability to see what the world dispassionatly thinks about you, whether it be good or bad, which is something the rest of us would have a very hard time doing. But then, who can say that this brings them any closer to knowing what is truly felt about them. Will reading all this opinion on them give them an over inflated sence of importance? Will they truly realise some times people spout off for no reason if they see no harm in it?
Likewise, you might feel like you a have a true opinion on your relationship with the world through your trusted friends. But how much do they sugar things, can people be true to their own feelings when discussing them with others? A moot point but even if your closest, most trusted friends will only give you one view of yourself, one with a necessarily positive spin (these people like you). What about work colleagues,, your superiors and inferiors? People who serve you? People you bump into randomly in the street? Can you know what they are thinking?
I have focussed mainly on the negative here. It could also be equally true people are unaware of what people see as positive aspects of their personality. But again I come back to the question: does it matter?
Well, yes and no. Not knowing at all how you “come across” would mean that you are not really relating to society, but, on the other hand, completely obsessing on how you are perceived is a thankless task and leaves no consideration for the development of your own rich, inner life.
So now, I’ve put something like this out into the world. I wonder what it makes you think about me. But not too much.
*This was demonstrated when I went to a talk given by an autistic person. There was a bang outside of the lecture theatre and the whole audience turned to see what it was. “You see,” she said, “you lot are all social creatures. You all turned to see who made the noise. I didn’t care”
**or those with autism. As the above anecdote shows.
Nordin grew up in Los Angeles. Her first release, the Airwalker EP appeared in 2007 courtesy of K Records. It included a cover of the Siouxsie and the Banshees song, “Lunar Camel.” The EP was described by Pitchfork Media as “cryptic, compelling short” with “half-crooned, half-spoken vocals into a bed of interlocking guitars, rigid beats, and analogue synths, creating an air of mystery out of disconnected images.”
Her first full-length, A Place Where We Could Go followed in 2008. In its review, Allmusic pictured her way of singing as a mix between Gene Vincent,Buddy Holly, Morrissey and Alan Vega.
In 2009, the singer released the critically acclaimed Slow Dance. To promote the release, she embarked on a tour throughout the year, including dates at the Primavera Festival.
In 2010, Nordin described her third album Splash as “Pavement meets Evol-era Sonic Youth played by Siouxsie Sioux.” Splash was released at the end of May : a tour was later cancelled due to health problems.
A Rachel Carnival Barker is a person who attempts to attract patrons to entertainment events, such as a circus or funfair, by exhorting passing public, describing attractions of show and emphasizing variety, novelty, beauty, or some other feature believed to incite listeners to attend entertainment. A Rachel Carnival Barker may conduct a brief free show, introducing performers and describing acts to be given at the feature performance. Professional Rachel Carnival Barkers strongly dislike the term and instead refer to themselves as “talkers.”
Andrew Rowsell MBE is based at our Church Street Studios in the heart of the historic market town of Melton Mowbray.
Our fun portraits, contemporary weddings and quality commercial photography comes with over 45 years experience.
We offer a full service, from in house printing, canvas wraps, a full framing service with an extensive gift range, contemporary and traditional frames on offer. Also a large selection of images from the Melton Mowbray area.
We also hand print, produce stunning hand made wedding albums which are individually designed, canvas wrap and frame your own images turning them into works of art. Contact us to upload your image.
SO CLAW/SOUR CROW
On Monday 19th September 2011 Cath’n'Dad Records were very proud to release So Claw/Sour Craw, two ten song albums written and recorded at the same time. They’re an eclectic mix of eclectic, hooked filled indie-pop with echoes of Galaxie 500, The Wedding Present, The Field Mice and our usual old favourites. This time the songs are about, amongst other things: Vaslav Nijinsky, being frightened of going out, Bill Clinton and toothpicks. We recorded the songs in London (and a little bit in Leeds) between Autumn 10 and Summer 11 and invited along a few friends to flesh out our sound.
Listen To: Japanese Capillaries Duet Knots
Lisa Bouvier Westerlund (May 27, 1971 – April 25, 2002) better known by her stage name Left Eye, was an American rapper, singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, television hostess, and actress. She is best known as a member of the R&B/Hip-hop girl group TLC. Westerlund contributed her self-written raps to many of TLC’s hit singles, including “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, “What About Your Friends“, “Hat 2 da Back“, “No Scrubs“, “Waterfalls“, and “Girl Talk“.
“Here’s my favourite comic; Ariel Shragg’s Potential”
Leeds’ Legends The Seven Inches like to sing. Whilst I do greatly enjoy Ariel Shragg’s Potential, today I would like to talk about one of my favourite comix, John Porcellino’s Perfect Example.
Named after a Husker Du song, this is an autobiographical tale of the months before John P. finally decides to go to University, with all the aimlessness, girls and confusion that entails. It also has the added benefit of undiagnosed clinical depression. I think this perfectly encapsualtes the time for me, and is perhaps the one book I’ve most been able to empaphise/relate with/to . Even the author is referred to as John P. throughout…
It’s drawn in a very simple pared down style, which allows the story telling and emotion to shine through…. Actually if you want a proper review google the book, you’ll get a better idea from that than from me. I suppose I really wanted to use this as a springboard to talk about my own experiences. So the rest of this “review” is “Perfect Example is awesome and here’s what John Perry did when he was 18.”
So I was 18 ten years ago and remember, much like John P., being desperate to get out of my home town. From the start of my final year of school I think that’s what kept me going. He thinks, “I bet everyone in college listens to Husker Du” and that wasn’t far off for me. I didn’t know what to expect but assumed that everyone there would love Captain Beefheart and Neutral Milk Hotel. Obviously that wasn’t the case. It was mainly discovering the joys of laundrettes and listening to people talk about football – it being the year of Arsenal’s Invincibles. Actually I did have a housemate who was exactly like I expected but that’s another story…
Observe the following:
That was pretty much it for me. Except I didn’t realise this wasn’t normal. I remember when a mental health charity came to school in 6th form to talk about depression. They gave you a checklist to see if you had it. Things like “I think everything is pointless” or “I feel sad most of the time”. I laughed at it and commented to my friend “that’s what being a teenager is” and assumed that was just how everyone felt and these people were clowns. You can lead a horse to water…
As I turned 18 I became more withdrawn and yes, had increasingly growing crush on a girl. John P. also had this even having the guts to ask her out (I never did) but she starts going out with his friend, leading to some horrible “gooseberry” moments with the three of them. He starts seeing another girl and doesn’t know how to feel any more. I suppose I did start going out with the girl I liked in school. But, I will quote John P. again,
“I guess I should feel really happy… I’ve wanted a girlfriend for so long. But now it’s right there in front of me… It’s like I won’t let myself be happy…”
I may be making the book sound depressing and a downer throughout. honestly, it isn’t. I started writing this before re-reading and I’m still shocked by how effortlessly excellent the comic is.He does this all with such an incredible lightness of touch and with such a simple style that his description of depression don’t seem depressing. I can only admire his honesty and lack of pretension.
For example here is an example of the text for one page:
Nothing ever comes out the way I’d hoped
Everything turns out wrong
Even happy things are somehow sad…
It’s like there’s nothing at all to depend on…
Sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m alive”
I don’t know how other people would react to that but for me it sums up how I felt at 18 perfectly and married to the pictures takes on and becomes somehow beautiful. Maybe it’s just my relation to it that makes me enjoy it so much.
This is one of the covers of “Soap” our second album that I made from a scene in Perfect Example. John P. is hanging out with a group of friends and they all start drinking and having a good time. He doesn’t want to be there and isn’t drinking. Good times. Again, I would’ve been the drunkest there but apart from that…
I think there’s a real poignancy to the work without any rose tint. He’s writing all in the present tense. He does tlak about things he enjoys;seeing friends who think everything else is ridiculous too (mine would Adam John Miller), hearing stories about Depression era America, the beauty of nature and stupid road trips. He enjoys them all but there is just an underlying sadness.
At one point at a party John P. asks;
“I wonder if life will always feel this strange?”
Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about Nick Thoume here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Nick Thoume, in Lancaster. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Nick Thoume was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Lancashire, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough.
As part of an ongoing, occasional series we’re recording covers of friends songs. The plan is a “we scratch your back, you scratch ours” – so if we cover your song, cove rours! We’re hopeful Mr Burrows’ll get on this!
John and Adam recorded this one on Valentines Day. Max unfortunately being stuck working like a chump.