Saturday, November 23, 2013

Essay of the day

"Swinging Modern Sounds #44: And Another Day", by Rick Moody.

You read a lot of writing about music. A lot of what you read is hack work; much of it is very good, very readable, very informative, but hack work still. Somebody doing a job (not necessarily a paid job). You think you to yourself, I could do that. You give it a try. You hone your craft on your own little island for ten years. You think you might be getting somewhere. You're not going to get yourself quoted, or talked about, but maybe you have come up with one or two minor insights about the music you listen to. Maybe you have encouraged one or two people to check out something they wouldn't otherwise have investigated. Maybe they even liked what they heard. If nothing else, it has helped you collect your thoughts and impressions in a way that at least forces you to think about what you are listening to.

And then you read something like Jonathan Lethem's book on Talking Heads' "Fear of Music".

Or this stunning essay by Rick Moody on Bowie's "The Next Day".

And you wonder why you bother.