Lily Allen Would Hate Me
[After his highly successful stint Toadsitting while we were away on holiday, Euan returns to write what is going to become a monthly column in our new Sunday Supplement section. You can find more of his stuff on his blog, at his gigs or with his band, so please go and have a sniff.]
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”
This quote is taken from the film Almost Famous about a young music fan who, by accident, ends up on the road with a rock band, documenting their every move for Rolling Stone magazine and living out his wildest dreams. It’s still one of my favourite films, if for nothing else, the legendary Tiny Dancer moment, possibly more to do with Kate Hudson though. Anyways, the quote above is at a point in the movie when Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character Lester Bangs is giving advice to a naïve and young William Miller about music, musicians, journalism and ultimately life. It became quite an important statement in my life, firstly because I am highly uncool. And secondly because sharing music and wanting to involve everyone in the music I love has, over the years, become the currency in which I deal most. Mix tapes for the ladies that I had a fancy for. Mix CDs for friends, force-feeding them the music they didn’t know, or love, but in my head should. Sharing a love of music. It was important when I was 15 and is as important today as it was back then. Fuck, lets be honest, we’re all using this site ultimately because we share a love of music and not for the witty remarks of the likes of Matthew and Dylan! It’s one of the best feelings when you share music and people get it. It’s what makes it great being a musician and also writing about music which you love.
Recently Mr Toad (another highly uncool individual I should add) reviewed a gig by Willard Grant Conspiracy. I made a comment on his site that I had never heard anything by this artist, though I knew of them and felt that he was an artist which I would love and should know more about. As a result, Matthew made me a cd of what he considers to the finest moments of Willard Grant Conspiracy or, if you prefer, an introduction the music of the artist. Whilst I was babysitting songbytoad during Matthew’s holiday to Italy I did an “introducing” piece on Elliott Smith as Mr Toad had little knowledge of the man. I guess the Willard Grant Conspiracy cd was his way of returning the favour. And I’m glad he did. There’s a bit of Richmond Fontaine in there, a large chunk of Nick Cave and a nice little touch of Sparklehorse. All mixed together to produce Willard Grant Conspiracy.
But ultimately, this is not a review of Willard Grant Conspiracy or the mix cd Matthew made me. No, this is more about the brilliance that is sharing music. Sharing musicians you love. Just sharing. So, I’m going to encourage you all to write a piece about your favourite artists. How you came to love them. What it is that makes them so special to you. Anything you want, about anyone you want. And I’m going to ask you to send them to me at email@example.com Whilst I don’t write full time for Matthew, I do have my own blog over at The Steinberg Principle and I would like to publish the pieces sent to me as a series of “Introducing” pieces. So yeah, if you find a spare 5 or 10 minutes in your day, if you’re bored at work, or if you actually just like this idea, send me your thoughts and I will post them on my site from time to time.More: steinberg principle, willard grant conspiracy