Friday, April 30, 2010

Getting crazy on the waltzers but it's the life that I choose (Dire Straits)

Confession is good for the soul I'm told. So here goes. I am a rock snob. I'm not proud of it but there we are.

If you read these posts this will be old news - I've managed other true confessions about my dark side - Peter Frampton, Carpenters, and John Denver, but I've never admitted to rock snobbery before.

My friend Greg is not, nor has he ever been a rock snob which is something I've always liked about him. He happily listens to, collects and has lent me non cool items along with the cool. He never seems to discriminate between - say - Dylan and Denver or Mark Knopfler for instance.

Me - I've had a problem with Mark and his band Dire Straits for years.

I loved the single Sultans of Swing when it came out but I could not really move beyond that (an exception was the Making Movies album which I love and, back in the day, used with students in English classes). I'm not really sure why. The only thing I can point to is rock snobbery. When they became mega with Brothers in Arms I turned away. Too slick, too embarrassing, too commercial, too broad in it's appeal.

That's something we rock snobs hate - when a little known band (or low level one) makes it huge. Don't wanna know anymore. Daft innit?

I bought a live Dire Straits at the BBC CD recently and I'm proud to say it has not left the car stereo system yet.

Speaking of little known bands - I can't see Black Sheep Boy pulling off a Brothers in Arms but you never know do you. My cuz sent me a copy and it's been the soundtrack for a few days now. And is further proof that Tom Waits and the Velvet Underground have forged an alternative career path for musicians. This is fractured deconstructionist-put-together-with-glue-and-scissors -a-la-Swordfishtrombones type of music.

Dr Dog is another of my favourite exponents of this genre where The Beatles sensibility is put through a blender, roughed up and held in front of circus mirrors.

I can tell why Black Sheep Boy appeal so much - there is a Killers vibe at work here but rather than chiming rock anthems we have vignettes and the guitars are replaced by pump organs. Interesting and it definitely burrows under the skin.

No comments:

Post a Comment