Having one of those busy days, again: re-writing my Time story for tomorrow in addition to posts for SpinOff Online, Robot 6, Newsarama (seven posts for them today; thankfully, they’re short), Comics Alliance and Digital Trends means that I am keeping myself busier than the average bear, which means I am sadly ignoring this blog. More later, if I have the chance, or tomorrow if I don’t, I promise.

(Image from Uncanny X-Men Annual #14, by Chris Claremont, Art Adams and a whole host of inkers – I have no idea which one of the five listed in the credits for this issue actually did this panel – with colors by Brad Vancata.)

366 Songs 213: Love Interruption

“Love Interruption” is more a sketch than a song; it’s essentially a riff with a slight attempt at a chorus that feels as much like an afterthought as anything or everything else. Despite that, though, this is a great track. The repetition is enough to make it sound complete, especially with the arrangement it’s given with the organ and the wonderfully, almost wistful backing vocals throughout the whole thing (“I want love to…” over again, not coming to a conclusion; I kind of love that); it sounds short and a little lacking, yes, but not necessarily in a bad way. It finishes and you want to listen again, hear more. If only more songs had that going for them.

(That said, if someone wants to write a bridge for this song, I wouldn’t say no.)

The Gravity of His Position

The news that Jonah Lehrer is resigning from the New Yorker having been revealed to have made up “quotes” from (and about) Bob Dylan in his most recent book Imagine: How Creativity Works (Oh, irony of ironies, that title) is as depressing as it is surprising. This statement from Lehrer on the matter, just depressing:

The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan [Matt Moynihan, the journalist who uncovered that the quotes were fake]. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.

The thing I just don’t understand about this is… there was no way this was never going to be discovered. Even if we didn’t live in a world where the Internet has made it amazingly easy to fact-check things, Lehrer was writing about a musician who fans are obsessive about, so the discovery of “new” quotes was always going to be of interest – and looked into – for/by them. It’s one of those “I don’t understand why he’s done it” things, because he had to have known that he was going to be found out. It’s as if there’s some epic self-sabotage going on here.

I had – back when it seemed as if Lehrer was simply stealing from himself and recycling without telling anyone – a lot of sympathy for him, knowing just what it’s like to have to continually come up with new thoughts over and over again. But this… this is just sad. He’s killed his career with this. People will never take him seriously again.

Eat Hot Logo, Nort Scum!

I’ve been re-reading a lot of 2000AD recently, and something that’s caught my eye as much as the thrill-power of the individual strips is the design that’s on show. The above logo, for example, isn’t the kind of thing that necessarily works in every possible outlet, but… there’s something really great in a classic 1980s fashion about it, right…?

“A Cold Manila Fist That Closed Around My Fragile Hopes”

My art school rejection letter arrived as a cold manila fist that closed around my fragile hopes. When I closed my eyes, I saw the little animation from my TV favorite The Prisoner; Patrick McGoohan’s scowling Buddha face inflating to fill the screen before two iron gates closed across it, eternally barring his escape. I imagined the walls of my room extending to the infinite horizon.

From Grant Morrison’s Supergods.

I remember being rejected from Glasgow School of Art, a year before I got accepted to Grays School of Art in Aberdeen; I’m not sure that my mind invoked The Prisoner (Although I had just recently discovered that show, and become a fan), but the sense of frustration and hopelessness in the (melodramatic) passage above definitely seems very familiar to me.

366 Songs 212: You & Me

For everyone who’s always wished for a blend of 1970s solo John Lennon and early 2000s Super Furry Animals, may I introduce you to the beautiful solo debut of the latter’s Cian Ciaran:

I love that melancholy comedy, the opening “Whatever happened to all the people/That gave a fuck?” is one of those lines that’s both funny and hopelessly sad, especially when matched to that beautiful string line (The sadness isn’t just there for that first line; by the time you get to the chorus, the wonderfully double-tracked vocal of “You and me,” it’s almost swoon-worthy in its lush lostness). The slow, delayed drums, thudding along in the background, are the Lennon touchstone here for me, although the sparseness and emptiness in the arrangement as the song opens definitely helps. By the end, as everything’s built with the guitar, strings and harmony vocals, it’s pretty much turned into a Super Furry Animals track, but that’s nowhere near a bad thing.

My soundtrack for today, even though I’m hoping the day is more upbeat than this song. Just lovely, really.

366 Songs 211: Where Do I Begin?

This song – Something that feels so incredibly 1990s and 1960s to me at the same time, with Beth Orton’s vocals feeling like something from a random, half-remembered folk act in the New Folk movement of the latter decade, playing against the psychedelia-influenced “Big Beat” of the Chemical Brothers – reminds me of the final year of my BA degree, the fact that Dig Your Own Hole (the album this came from) was playing in all of the studios, all of us feeding our heads with the same noises and the same influences as we tried to finish our work and find inspiration to be ourselves on paper and canvas and clay and whatever. This and Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?; echoing out from different doorways at different stages as you’d walk down the corridors. One of those sense memories that you find yourself suddenly transported by, without meaning to be.

366 Songs 210: Brianstorm

I love the energy of “Brianstorm,” the way that it just doesn’t drop below “intense” on the scale at any point throughout the whole thing. It’s such a young person’s song, in the best ways; the snarkiness in lines like “Brian/Top marks for not tryin'” – and what a rhyme that is – or “We can’t take our eyes off/Your t-shirt and tie combination,” the weird sloganeering of “See you later, elevator.” Or the jitteriness of the song, the restlessness that propels it through the just-under-three minutes that it lasts. This is what it feels like to be young.