There’s two things about music which I refrain from: the video and the interview. For that reason I probably couldn’t tell if I ran into someone who’s music I’ve played and loved. I’ve no idea what Sigur Ros or Damien Rice look like. I only saw a picture (not on the artwork) of Scott Matthews yesterday and for years I’d only the vaguest idea of what Becker and Fagen looked like. (thank God!)
There’s a recent exception to this: Beth Ditto from The Gossip. My favourite single of the last few months has been “Standing in the way of control.” It sounds like all records you really love; a wonderful stew of familiar component parts rounded off with a vocal to die for. Do I know what The Gossip look like? Oh yeah, baby…well I certainly know what Beth looks like. She’s all over papers that have no idea what her music sounds like but know that she’s dead trendy. I know a little more than this thanks to the BBC. Someone in the music dept leaves a few-weeks-old copy of NME on their desk which feature Beth in the buff on the front cover; oh I feel I know her so well.
I suppose that’s what I’ve always loved about the radio. You, some words and music and your imagination. The video is finally dying and it’s not before time. Bruce Springsteen famously said it was like painting a moustache on the mona lisa and he was dead right. Now music channels can only survive if they make up daft youth programmes …nothing wrong with that – Jackass was one of my favourites….but 24 hour music tv is a gonner.
I like this because I’m now old enough to see trends come and go. I’m delighted that so many predictions have been proved wrong. Video didn’t kill the radio star, bingo lost to the cinema and also the most basic form of music entertainment the live gig survives stronger than it ever was and more popular than ever.
I know from your great blogs, texts and e mails that the warm glow that draws us together round the magic of the wireless still burns away. Sometimes it’s just enough to do no more than listen.