Monday, June 05, 2006

My new favourite music book

Someone lent me Joe Boyd's White Bicyles last week and I have come to agree with the Brian Eno quote on the front – "the best book about music I have read in years". What a joy! As well as brilliant tell-your-mates anecdotes about running UFO in '60s London and recording with Nick Drake, he's the master of insightful comment: he's got any number of interesting asides on why English people don't like English folk music (it's to do with the Norman Conquest). There's something special about listening to music once you've found out new stuff about the recording, even if you know the song back to front, and that's exactly how 'River Man' sounds now. Ah. Bliss.

My favourite pop cultural read since Fuzz One's Bronx Childhood.


Chris said...

I interviewed Billy Bragg about English folk music recently. He said: "It took two Jews from Queens (Simon & Garfunkel) to turn me on to my own folk music."

The English disenfranchisment from their musical roots: discuss...

I'd love to hear Toby's thoughts on this.

Emma said...

Dunno what Toby thinks, but Joe Boyd reckons that ever since 1066 Norman culture has been dominant – and folk music is the remnant of pre-Norman anglo-saxon culture. "England remains a colonial society... the upwardly mobile take on Norman characteristics while the lower orders are taught to be ashamed of their roots." He's a smart guy.

The Cambridge Folk Festival. It's the new Ibiza, innit. Oh, and on a similar tip, I can't get the new Espers record out of my head. Lush.