The Stench of Honolulu
When I lived in Detroit I watched a lot of television but mostly Judge Judy/People’s Court/Judge Mathis and then because one woman can only deal with so much justice I watched SNL.
Anyway my favourite bits of SNL were always Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey and now, Jack Handey has written his first novel. Which is just brilliant, a reminder of how important tone of voice can be. Also a willingness to be quite goofy.
In other (unrelated) news I have decided to stop worrying about wearing cycling shorts underneath dresses when I am on my bike because I live in a world where half the people are walking around with half their bum out. I don’t have a problem with bums or anything because I think if you need or want to give your bum an airing I think that is okay. It’s still kind of amazing though, how many bums you see.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAA (Jamal Edwards Edition)
Hannah Knowles (@sunshinesdaily, my favourite and best Editor) championed Jamal Edwards’ Self Belief: The Vision book and hired me as writer for the project. She is an absolute fucking marvel. Then I met Jamal and he was just brilliantly enlivening and canny and charming. Then I did some writing involving a ludicrously complicated flow-chart-type-thing (which I am never going to throw away because it taught me a valuable lesson about how books are a joy to write when you do A LOT of planning).
Then my sister proof-edited it and then the lovely Crystal Mahey-Morgan publicised the living isht out of it and now, NOW - the first level is out and I am stupidly, embarrassingly over-excited about these books. They are designed to help young people at least begin to feel that the world is there for the having - especially if you believe you have a right to a place on a pedestal and work smartly and without fear. This is a lesson I could have done with learning when I was busy placing writers carefully into turrets, and not imagining for one tiny second that someone who went to St Stabs in a shit new town, had any right to write for a living herself [mumface].
You can buy it on Amazon (here: http://amzn.to/13STvBC) if you have a Kindle and iTunes (here: http://bit.ly/18Hs0w2) if you use iBooks. As someone who believes that every pound you make as a self-employed person is worth a hundred doled out by The Man (man); and as someone who thinks the young people of this country deserve to feel excited about their future, I’m really, really proud of it.
For those of us who miss your DiS feature, have any fav tunes of 2013 thus far?
hello dippydooda and thank you for missing my column, that was a nice thing to find out when i was putting my phone in front of my bleary face first thing this morning.
you are asking me if i have any ‘fav tunes’ so far this year and i am racking my brains, trying to think about what i have been listening to. the thing is that i have been actively enjoying a wilderness break where i have deliberately been listening to a lot less music. this has been a forced exercise because i think you feel more after a drought, like when someone touches you down there after you have been single for ages or say alternatively, when you have been with someone for ages who is not very good at touching you down there. suddenly then you are all like OH MY LOINS. i wanted to feel like that about music.
i have stopped / am trying to stop listening to music on the way to the corner shop, in the supermarket, when out on my bike, when doing the washing up, when working etc etc etc and a funny thing started to happen. because the other day i was having a lie down after a particularly pleasing lunch and want two came on the stereo and it was so interesting to my ears i felt like i was high. but i was not high dippydooda, because i had only had a modest glass of wine and honestly no drugs which as i am sure you know are well bad.
what does this mean? it means that starvation and drought can sometimes be good if you want music to have that face-punching impact it should have. and that context (as i had always thought) is all, because you need to remember how exciting silence can be, before you fill it full of noise.
but speaking of noises two weekends ago someone i love played me 2562’s ‘Kameleon’ through some mad decent speakers and i thought i was going to faint, it was so exciting. however in the interests of clarity i should let the record show that i was a tiny bit on drugs at that point, having fallen in love with a human man. love is wasted on the young dippydooda, especially if you are thirty-seven, haven’t fallen in love for about 9 years and thought you were dead inside.
what i am saying to you dippydooda is that you should try to fall in love because then all music sounds like the number forty-two although as we all know you cannot ‘try’ to fall in love, it just happens, if you are very very lucky.
It makes me giddy when you pull something out of the rack and it is every bit as mzn as you remembered. This has happened twice this week. Once with the whole of ‘Orange’ - and another time with ‘I Don’t Want To Know’ by The Donnas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDW_nCb_AO0). YES.
Quite apart from the fact that I listened to Mama Cass’ ‘Mama’s Big Ones’ all weekend - belting them out and marveling at the inappropriateness of the title - can we just take a moment to consider how ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ is basically To Thine Own Self Be True, but in song form. And that means it is the ne plus ultra of Humanist Pop Songs. So sing it and think of Conway Hall.
(It’s called Mama’s Big Ones because Mama Cass WAS FAT doyousee?).
I have been writing about MOTORBIKES
Luckily my favourite regulars from the pub have been helping me with reference materials:
It was nice of them to give that lady some presents.
Hello, was curious on some music journo advice. I have begun writing album reviews on a blog and find myself following a similar pattern each time. On one hand, I find this perhaps something I can make "my style" but on the other hand, am I not being varied enough? What is your opinion? I'd be happy to send a link to my blog if you'd like - didn't want to push that unsolicited on you. Thanks!
Here’s something to try. Find ten, completely different reviews of albums - wildly different writers, and you’re not allowed to only pick ones you like. Now look at them purely in terms of structure - not what they say, or which band it is, and look at how the review is plotted.
For example: do they start with some biographical detail? Do they then examine a couple of the tracks? Do they start with an obscure allusion to something? A personal anecdote?
For the next ten album reviews you do, put each of those writers’ hats on. Be them. Not stylistically (you have to supply that yourself) - just follow the path they took within their wordcount. Don’t worry about whether you agree with their structure, just follow it and see what happens.
Having a ‘voice’ (as I’m sure you know) is not something you can be taught. It comes with pathological reading habits, years of practice - and most of all - a looseness in your brain that allows you to turn off your inner critical monkey.
Once you’ve done that, you can then experiment with form in more nutty ways - writing reviews as blank verse, as illustrations, on a 5 minute stopwatch - until you find the form of expression that best pays respect to what music makes you think or feel.
I have no idea if that is helpful. But the marvellous thing is that you’re never, EVER going to run out of words. And that’s pretty boss.
WenbY is not a LAb IN Hre
My nephew thinks a funny joke would be if he did a post it note and then stuck it to my office door. This one is to tell me that I am not allowed in my own office which is in my own house.
Now every time I sit at my desk it feels like a rebellion.