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RE: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby

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  • extra247@another.com
    please correct me if i m wrong, but it s not clear that any of you in the thread have actually read 31 Songs - though you ve all read the editorial, of
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 4, 2003
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      please correct me if i'm wrong, but it's not clear that any of you in the thread have actually read '31 Songs' - though you've all read the editorial, of course.

      all of which makes the whole discussion a bit one-dimensional ...

      i haven't read 31 Songs either, of course, so i'll stop now.

      max

      -----Original Message-----
      From : “Steeples Paul (Mr PW)“ <paul.steeples@...>
      To : “'thewire@yahoogroups.com'“ <thewire@yahoogroups.com>
      Date : 04 March 2003 17:49:43
      Subject : RE: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby
      The editorial seems to me to be one person who likes making lists
      >castigating another person who likes making lists about how his list's no
      >good.
      >
      >All of which seems a bit crap to me...
      >
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Nick Cain [mailto:npc_4@...]
      >Sent: 04 March 2003 15:59
      >To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby
      >
      >
      >I trust I'm not the only one who completely disagrees
      >with such a gross misreading of the editorial (which I
      >thought excellent, and whose sentiment I applaud
      >wholeheartedly). Can't really be bothered to refute
      >such a limply relativist line of argument - ie. '31
      >Songs' is okay, really, because Nick Hornby does what
      >he does because he's chosen to and people who like it
      >like it and people who don't don't - as though this
      >somehow validates it. The one point I would make is
      >that if - as you say - Nick Hornby is a writer who
      >“has no interest in the history of English
      >literature“, no interest “in addressing the problems
      >of literature“, and no interest in “more generally of
      >dealing with the human condition“, then exactly what
      >sort of a “writer“ is he?
      >
      >Not to prolong this too far beyond its natural
      >lifespan, but there's a fetching Nick Hornby parody in
      >the most recent issue of Private Eye - on their
      >website at:
      >
      >http://www.private-eye.co.uk/diary.htm
      >
      >Also worth checking out is the review of '31 Songs'
      >published in the Daily Telegraph (right-wing UK daily
      >broadsheet) -
      >
      >http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=%2Farts%2F2003%2F01%2F26%2Fbo
      >hor26.xml
      >
      >- which, though positive on the whole, does include
      >this amusing sentence:
      >
      >“It is a mark of what some would see as the abominable
      >trivialisation of our culture that this modest
      >undertaking has already attracted enormous publicity.“
      >
      >Nick Cain
      >
      >--- In thewire@yahoogroups.com, Keith Brown
      ><keith@j...> wrote:
      >> Hello
      >>
      >> I wonder how people on this list felt about Rob
      >Young's acidic polemic against the writer Nick Hornby
      >in this month's editorial of The Wire. The reason for
      >the attack was that Nick had published a book about 31
      >records that he likes or used to like and attempted to
      >say why he liked them or stopped liking them, and Rob
      >disagreed with some of the things Nick has said. I
      >believe Nick Hornby to be a writer who has no interest
      >in the history of English literature, or at least that
      >he has no interest in finding his place in it, or
      >addressing the problems of literature, or more
      >generally of dealing with the human condition.
      >That is his choice as a writer, he writes the sort of
      >commercially oriented, middle of the road books that
      >sell well and get made into films starring Hugh Grant.
      >There isn't anything wrong with that IMHO, its not
      >Joyce or Proust but it doesn't intend to be.
      >
      >I feel Rob's attack, while initially exhilarating for
      >me, was unwarranted and immature. The Wire is a
      >precious cultural artefact, we would all be the poorer
      >if it ceased to exist or was unable to pursue its
      >current agenda. But Nick is simply making a case for
      >the sort of music he likes, which would be typical
      >both for him and for his readers. Of course a typical
      >reader of Nick's work is unlikely to be the
      >sort of person that reads The Wire, but to refer to
      >them as 'sadsacks' sounds like the work of a man who
      >never got what he wanted out of life, and feels an
      >enormous amount of aggression as a result. Was it
      >Rob's intention to polarise culture in terms of those
      >who are for 'The Wire' and those who are not, and
      >thereby to infer that everyone who expresses an
      >opinion that might be contrary to that of 'The Wire'
      >is somehow bent on our destruction? The idea that Nick
      >has somehow ceased to exist as a human being because
      >he no longer wishes to hear music made by a group
      >called 'Suicide' strikes me as the most indefensible
      >form of solipsism.
      >His final criticism, which is slightly more measured,
      >that list building is a 'quest for perfection' may be
      >untrue. Thankfully he manages to pull himself towards
      >the end to stick up for a true 'Wire' man, David Toop,
      >but there is still time for one last dig at Nick.
      >
      >What would a new reader of 'The Wire' think of us on
      >reading Rob's editorial? I would imagine most people
      >who read a magazine read the editorial, and chances
      >are they would have heard of Nick Hornby and Nelly
      >Furtado, but not of David Toop. That's a known verses
      >an unknown folks, and I don't think they will be
      >buying our beloved mag anymore.
      >Alternative music is not a religion, it is a valid and
      >human choice, but that is all. At the end of the day
      >we are all just people trying to make our way in life.
      >Live and let live Rob.
      >
      >Regards, Keith
      >
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    • fracturedmusic@hotmail.com
      As I said in my post I actually read it and bought copies for friends. I have the US version titled Songbook that includes a CD that has 11 of the 31 tracks.
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 5, 2003
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        As I said in my post I actually read it and bought copies for friends. I have the US version titled "Songbook" that includes a CD that has 11 of the 31 tracks. As I also stated I haven't seen the editorial I just put my two cents in about Hornby.

        ----Varjak
        ----- Original Message -----
        Wrom: HVIBGDADRZFSQHYUCDDJBLV
        To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 6:02 PM
        Subject: RE: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby


        please correct me if i'm wrong, but it's not clear that any of you in the thread have actually read '31 Songs' - though you've all read the editorial, of course.

        all of which makes the whole discussion a bit one-dimensional ...

        i haven't read 31 Songs either, of course, so i'll stop now.

        max


        ________________________________________________________________________________________

        Being a long time Wire reader I wonder with anticipation what Rob's piece is all about. I have yet to get my latest issue but now I can't wait for it so I can actually read Rob's point of view. Reason being I've worked in record stores most of my life. Mostly stores like "Championship Vinyl" the store that as most folks know was the shop Rob, the main character, owned in "High Fidelity". Before that book came out I read several essays Nick wrote for British Esquire. One piece titled "Collecting Records is nothing to do with our sense of ourselves, but to do with the ageing process" (or at least this was a quote from the piece) particularly grabbed my attention since at the time I was years into a very deep obsession with Factory records. This essay pretty much hit home with me and the collector mentality. When I heard he was writing a story that revolves around a record store I was excited. Most of the stuff from that original essay went into the book in one way or another. It became my duty to hunt down copies of the book, only available in Britain at the time, to give to friends. They immediately saw me in the book as I saw some of the obsessed folks that came into our shop looking for those "original Zappa albums and not the re-issues". Collectors from all over the world I still see to this day in the small shop I manage now.
        Reading that his new book "Songbook (The US title with a bonus 11 track CD) was only available through mail-order I immediate ordered up a few to give to friends as holiday gifts. I found it an enjoyable read and there was allot that reminded me of the first time I read his essay on collecting records. Lots of stuff I was totally on board with. But then there were a few things I thought what the hell are you on? To me though that's what it's about anyway. You're always going disagree with certain things and agree with some as well as hopefully learn something new in the process. Kind of like when I read the Wire some stuff I feel like someone's reading my mind. Other times I think what the hell are they on. But I'm always learning something and feel like I'm part of that special club. Much like the record collector who thinks he's found the ideal shop nobody knows about. They always know they'll find something they didn't have before.
        Since I haven't read Rob's editorial yet I will not comment since I made that mistake, unintentionally of course, before and heard from Rob. I will only state my opinion that Nick's book is basically his recollection of songs that he loves or loved IE:Suicide. Something I would love to read from most of the Wire writers. Seems like a good idea Rob how about essays by some of the writers about their favorite tracks? I found it more interesting as a reflection on what was in Nick's head when he wrote some of the words I so highly endorsed to all my friends. Sure there is some stuff I just think ???? The Bible? I mean who likes the Bible? Well he does because his connection with someone in the band. That doesn't mean I'm going to run out and pick up their albums, though it would be tough since they're all out of print in the US anyway. Though I may say to myself some time let me see what Nick Hornbys on about with these Bible folks. But I should talk as I'm typing I'm listening to It's Immaterial's "Life's Hard and Then You Die" album I just found in a shop for $1.00. It was either pop songs that would bring me back to the late 80's or listen to the Elaine Radigue "Adnos" box I bought because of the review in the Wire. I chose the pop songs for Saturday night. I'll do my Table of the Elements day tomorrow and add my Tony Conrad "Early Minimalism" box set.

        Lastly I will say that the only thing that sticks out in my head is how happy I was when I first saw the film High Fidelity. In one of the first scenes in the record store we see the magazine rack next to the cash register and displayed prominently on the top row was the Wire. I felt I was part of such an exclusive club the writer who so captured my record store life had a copy of my musical bible in his fictional record store. And yes I know there are such things as "Set Decorators" but I believe if it's good enough for Rob Gordon's record store and myself then I was right about Nick Hornby all along.
        I wonder how the Wire felt about appearing in a Hollywood film? Any sales spike from the wanna be hipsters? Should we say sell out? I think not we'll save that for the Godspeed folks who even though they rail against the corporate world Danny Boyle got them to let him use a track in his 20th Century Fox film 28 Days Later. Now what war mongers does that align them with. Check your Yanqui albums boys and girls that would be part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. All I know is I don't care and I'll keep on being obsessed with the Constellation world and all thing Godspeed. I don't believe in the sell out it's the quality and getting the message/music out there.


        ---Varjak



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