The Church Of Me
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Kissing in the churchyard, I know a righteous woman

Friday, January 04, 2002
And here are some thoughts from a hero and contemporary of mine. Does the quiet lamenting of the lack of "new movements" mean a cessation of the ability to be moved by music? Do we all move on to cinema/jazz/classical after the age of 35? Do we keep up because we love music or is it out of desperation or even routine - a job to be done? See what you think.


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faves2001


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Or one above, one below, as it turned out. I'll get the hang of this eventually.


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The Canon


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Below are two threads from the renowned I Love Music discussion board which indicate the immense gulf which divides the thought from the felt, the black from the white, the life from the existence.

Most of the posts on the Jay-Z/Nas thread are done by posters who otherwise never appear on the board and who appear to have strayed over from another one via a link. There is more fire, passion, sexiness, mischief and downright joy to be had from this thread than virtually anything else on ILM.

Contrast with "the Canon" (crass answer: "well I've always preferred Epson"), without doubt the deadest, dullest, whitest weary willy of a thread ever to appear on the bored board. The pointless point-scoring, the standard orchard of vacuous verbiage disguising the fact that they're saying the same thing (for Jay-Z/Nas read Beatles/Pixies). It illustrates quite perfectly how white will never cross over to black, how "Blue Monday" and "Rockerfeller Skank" will remain the sole dance records in Gavin and Emma's collection, and really makes me want to be stupid - in the sense of being decisive, having firm beliefs which cannot be shaken, in summary having less to worry about, without taking all sides of the argument into account and vacillating in a vacuum as "intelligent" people tend to do.

The parallel downside is, of course, that, having given The Blueprint and Stillmatic plenty of spins to prove their worth, I wish that their fans could find something really worth getting passionate about. I increasingly feel like the proverbial butt-kickee in the Charles Addams cartoon: "The man who didn't like The Blueprint." I don't dislike it - simply find it a perfectly serviceable but deeply average mainstream pop-rap record with nothing that Mr Hova hasn't already told us 96 times over on his previous 48 albums. But I don't understand why everyone else, even Reynolds, even Carmody, even The Wire, are hailing it as though it were Pet Sounds reincarnate. Haven't felt this alienated from general opinion since, oh, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.

So we either learn to think less, or to think differently. Does eclecticism kill heart and love? Does Tim Westwood, who apparently owns every hip-hop record ever made but no records in any other genres, understand more about the pounding heart of music, than the Robert Sandalls of this world who hear everything and listen to nothing?

Should I simply post a list of 20 albums here and say, I shall write about these and only these and/or base any judgments, as far as there can be any, upon the standards which these albums set? I'm certainly tempted.


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Jay-Z / Nas hip-hop throw down? & other throw-downs?


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Marcello & Laura threads in I Love Everything

This tells you everything you need to know.


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PRELUDE/EPILOGUE

It was an extremely hot night, the last Saturday before the August Bank Holiday. The heat finished her off just as it had done her mother five summers previously. The cancer, invisible for four months and incurable when visible, did its work swiftly. I knew her for almost half my life.

A waste of a good brain. Not, however, a wasted life.

That is how I am what I now am. Hopefully wiser than I was before I knew her, but frequently I wonder whether I have learned anything. The challenge is to keep her - as I knew her - alive, through wonder, mischief, love and - hopefully - wisdom.


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