Monday, February 13, 2006

Literature and Bands

I'm going to get a copy of the Sexus single "The Official End of it All" (ZTT records), courtesy of eBay, the band that Manchester-based writer Paul Southern was once in. Its a strange business the crossover between fiction and music. A recent Michael Moorcock interview reminded me of his time with the acquired taste that is Hawkwind; there's Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, and Dylan's Tarantula, part of which made it into the Penguin Book of the Beats. Don Paterson's a musician as well as poet, and Rick Moody plays in a band. An ex-Belle and Sebastian member Stuart David wrote an acclaimed novel "Nalder Said" ; and then there's Sleeper's Louise Wener. Not as uncommon as one thinks, in other words. Writers have guested on records - e.g. William Burroughs - but tend to stick to it being a hobby like Moody; Moorcock's example a rare one of synergy, though Hawkwind may be one of the few bands that history will find impossible to rehabilitate. I guess the occasional article about the "poetry" or "narrative" of a singer/songwriter hides the fact that the more likely connection is none at all. Oasis's Noel Gallagher recently bragged about never having read a book; which says a lot for the Manchester education service - both good and bad - unkind non-fans might say, you can tell from his lyrics. Yet, the far more cerebral Thom Yorke writes indescribably bad lyrics.

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