Sunday, 19 October 2008

Holding Back Will Be Forgotten


Like Matthew Perpetua says in the introduction to his Marnie Stern interview, despite the baroque nature of Stern's guitar-work and composition 'the appeal of her music is rather simple: She writes awesome rock songs about making yourself even more awesome.'

More than any other musician out there at the moment, Stern has given me a huge jolt in my creative life. Her songs are constantly set to overload, with ever single track being full of odd sounds and lyrics, and the sense of intense work paying off is just ridiculously contagious.

Deep in the middle of that interview, Stern discusses her status as a relatively late bloomer, and she comes out with the following statement:
The only things I like to listen to are things where risks are being taken. I think that's the only thing that pushes you to the next place, when you do things that are out of your comfort zone. When you're like, "This is not cool, I don't think I should be doing this!" But you do it anyway, and sometimes it's the most embarrassing stuff, your ego sensor goes up immediately, like, "No no no no no, I'm not doing that," and then you do it. And that ends up being the best stuff.
Which... a big part of the reason I started writing on this blog was to get over myself and actually write something that might actually embarrass me. Sometimes I've hedged my never-more-cliched bets, but I'm really happy with the longer pieces I've put up here, and I think I'm going to focus on them a bit more in future. This probably means that my posts are going to stay sporadic, but... I'd rather post two good essays a month than thirty short, pointless ones. Which isn't to say that I won't post the occasional link or video, but my eyes and ears aren't as wide open as, say, Sean Witzke's so that's never going to be my main thing. I'm also going to work on finishing off some of my long-running creative endeavors, because... well, I'm sick of quadruple-guessing myself and shitting out on perfectly decent projects and ideas.

If this all sounds pretentious or goofy then that's fine, cos it sort of is, but those of you who enjoy my writing on this blog -- please stick with me, cos I'm going to keep posting here, albeit at a slightly wonky pace.

Thanks to everyone who reads this, and thanks to Marnie Stern for inspiring me to make a complete tit out of myself in public again.

Related: Stern has posted the lyrics to her new album, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is it and He is it and She Is It and It Is it and That Is That on her myspace. They're definitely worth looking at, if you're a fan, as the density of Stern's work makes it easy to mishear even her more straightforward turns of phrase.

7 comments:

sean witzke said...

Eyes and ears open, you must be high out your damn mind.

I think you've been kicking ass lately. I'll stick with ya even if you post quarterly.

David said...

Dude, I am out of my mind right now.

Zombie Nabokov! Evil, alternate universe Keira Knightley with a beard! I may need professional help, is what I'm saying.

Still -- thanks!

David said...

(God I hope that doesn't come across as me saying "look how craaaazy I am". Cos I know that guy, hell I've probably been that guy, and I don't want to be him again!)

David said...

Also: on a serious note, your blog's a great source of pics-news-links-music etc, so I'll stand by my comment.

Right. Time to re-bury zombie Nabokov.

Hopefully he'll stay dead this time. I've chopped off his head, burned it, and replaced it with a rotting pumpkin. The pumpkin has Dennis the Menace's face carved into it -- that oughta show him!

Next stop: Mogwai! In Edinburgh, of all places. On the night of a Celtic/Man U game? Hope they're not too drunk to play!

plok said...

David, when you talk about getting a blog in order to do something positive that's a little out of your comfort zone...yeah, that's why I started doing it too, so that makes a lot of sense to me. But, have you seen the Internet lately? You've got a long way to go if you want to hit pretentious or goofy.

These longer-form essays of yours: I'm into them. Keep 'em coming, and I'll keep reading.

David said...

Plok -- Oh, I'll get there eventually. Give me time, and I'll be the goofiest, most pretentious man on the Internet!

People sometimes have to remind me that I don't live in a utopian world of culture, since unless something really bugs me I just tune it out (culture-wise).

Like, there were bad comics published this year? And lots of rotten music? Really?

So it goes with blogs and the Internet, I guess -- I only read the good stuff, mostly, so... maybe I need to open myself up, to get some context for what real pretention/real trash is?

Or maybe not.

Anyway -- thanks for reading Plok! And keep them comments coming!

That Mogwai though, I tell you. The Hawk Is Howling is a pretty average late-Mogwai album, but live those tracks just kill.

The way the made the white noise freakout at the end of 'Like Herod' lurch straight into 'Batcat' -- that was some trick! How did they manage to make that noise dynamic? To make it rise and fall like that?

Good stuff -- my ears are still hissing along today!

plok said...

"Give me time, and I'll be the goofiest, most pretentious man on the Internet!"

Well, you'll have to get through me, first.