Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Imperfect List

Sometimes I like a list
Sometimes a list will make me explore things that I do not know
Sometimes I'm bored and rattle off a list to keep me from going F****** Insane
Sometimes other peoples lists make me feel like the sanest person in the world

I Love You (LISTen to this) Dexys Midnight Runners
LIST of demands Robyn
Let's make love and LISTen to death from above CSS
Personal JournaLIST Sage Francis
What else is new LIST His Name Is Alive
I had a LIST and I lost it The drift

"I received a lot of questions from some about why I would allow my song 'List of Demands' to be used in a Nike campaign. Ironically, half of the people now reading this post never heard of me until that commercial aired. That, indeed, was one of my reasons for allowing it. A small circle of poets and conscious do-gooders are not enough to effect the change necessary to shift our planet in peril. We must enlist people from all walks of life, people not accustomed to questioning the norm, people who may simply want to dance uninterrupted without message or slogan. I see no glory in 'preaching to the converted'. Furthermore, I believe fully in the power of music and have branded my work with it's own conscientious stamp and stomp of attitude fueled to steal the show in the face of the nonsensical. Quite simply, it was clear to me that people would not be rushing to the store to buy Nikes after seeing that commercial, but rather rushing to youtube or itunes to hear or download the song. I even imagined those who would be rushing to blogs to question how I could allow this to happen and the subsequent discussion of the ethical treatment of factory workers and how new minds would be informed and enlisted in the struggle for ethical change." -- Saul Williams


saneshane said...

Okay I'm being defensive.. I think the obsessive out there have made RR what it is..
but good writing ties up the sloppy spouting/ list making/ I know that song it's great, you should too... bliss that RR is...

Dorians List Songs,,1929442,00.html
page 139 of the book

this is the blog that has set this in motion..

(sorry about the imperfect list quality from youtube..I have it on 12" but not A to Zing anything I CAN'T BLOODY FIND IT)

maddy said...

dear heart, that steven wells blog what you posted a link to is precisely the reason i have avoided thus far getting involved in web writing. it is a weekly relief to me that readers recommends never degenerates to the level of childishness demonstrated in both blog and comments (saying that, i did enjoy jap's comment, he's being a lot of fun of late). i didn't say it over the weekend, because i didn't need to, because everyone else did, but it was both amazing and genuinely moving that Abahachi's post about willy-waving lists was responded to so calmly, thoughtfully and respectfully. RR people are good people. anyway, i'd love to listen to your (hilariously stretched interpretations of) list songs, but am still, STILL, writing reviews of shows i saw in edinburgh. a treat in store for tomorrow, surely. oh, and that saul williams quote is ace xx

saneshane said...

Thanks Maddy...
(but you are still in my bad books for not teaching me the ukulele in an hour)

joking.. look forward to the reviews.

and just doing this post has made me find Robyns cover of Saul Williams great 'list of demands' (that may be a good or a bad thing.. we shall see.. but I'm quite open minded)

steenbeck said...

Ho-lee shit. It's strange to see random bloggers dissing RR. Jealous, perhaps? I've always seen a playlist as a group of songs you'd like to listen to together. So it's not that different from an artist deciding to put certain songs on an album. Okay, it's completely different. But I don't see it as competitive or nerdy, or I can't remember what they called it. Back in the days of cassette tapes I made compilations of songs that went well together (to my ears) based on whatever random deciding factor struck my factor. I wasn't trying to prove anything to anyone. I think when people post RR-based subjects on the 'Spill it's a similar motivation.

steenbeck said...

Struck my factor could be a new catch phrase.

DarceysDad said...

Donding Maddy's comments, particularly re JAP - he does seem really up for it at the moment: good to see, and mostly an excellent read.

Frogprincess said...

I'm personally gob-smacked that no one has yet stated the blindingly obvious. It's not about lists. Not really. The choosing of a weekly theme is just a conceit - an artificial structure to get us all thinking about our favourite music that we'd like to celebrate and share with others. There are so many ways we could do it - a band a week for example. It's just that the "theme" approach seems to work very well and has proved its worth so far. The real enjoyment of RR or indeed the 'Spill is not who can make the longest list, but who makes the most impassioned argument for a song and explains lucidly why they love it. It's about sharing a passion, bickering, discourse and dialogue about a subject we all love. I've made some great discoveries thanks to RR and the 'Spill and the fact that sites like deezer make everything possible. Those who dismiss us as anorak nerds just haven't got it. And for the record I think John Cusack is incredibly sexy in that - or any - film. Last comment - am very sad that it took Isaac Hayes' death for me to read up about his life and listen to anything other than 'Shaft'. He's become the soundtrack for late summer 2008. RIP.

DaddyPig said...

I love 'High Fidelity' the book; and like the film only slightly less because you have to leave good bits out to make a book into a film, and because the change of period & setting meant less Elvis Costello. Hornby's list-making obsessive characters are rounded, human, vulnerable, clearly lovers of music and portrayed with warmth and humour. Even the really scary lines make me laugh - eg. when one of them finds a girlfriend who likes Simple Minds, "but she's starting to realise why she shouldn't".

Sadly, the book gets used as a lazy & stereotyped reference point. To anyone who occasionally expresses, in an ordered vertical format, a distillation of their love and knowledge of music .

Otherwise, I'm glad the 'listers' are getting all the flak, it takes the heat off the 'wafflers' !

DarceysDad said...

Yeah, but which one am I? I'm guilty of both!!


Agree whole-heartedly about the book of High Fidelity. After I'd read it I told my mam (who'd been complaining about how she saw so little of me she didn't really know me any more) that if she wanted an insight into the life of her eldest son she should read it and take it as near-biographical!

steenbeck said...

I love that Saul Williams List of Demands!!

ToffeeBoy said...

Good god! I've just spent the last half hour reading through the comments on the Swells article and I have to say I feel quite dirty - and not in a good way!

I think DsD got it spot on when he quietly withdrew without comment - there's really nothing you can say.

It's nice to be back amongst friends...

bethnoir said...

Indeed, there are some scary people out there commenting on things. Eek. RR is a haven in an unkind world, hope it always stays that way.

Shoegazer said...

Don't forget the Violent Femmes "(B)lister in the Sun" & highly recommend Nina Nastasia/Jim White "I Write Down Lists".

"I write down lists
and read our thoughts from week to week
and keep things in their places
and leave things leaving traces"

saneshane said...

I've just read some more comments.. why do I do it?
but the old guru made me laugh..
Comment No. 1271481

Me I don't care that much... except..
I think I disliked the idea of joining in with RR when it started because:

!) I couldn't use a computer (and didn't have one..oh.. or a home to keep it in.)

") I thought everybody would be an extreme musical know all.

£) I rant too much.. but can't on a screen as my typing wont keep up with my dyslexia that wont keep up with the spell checker.

$) The spill has made it even better as I can just post the songs that I can't list or rant about. thanks blimpy.

%) that is.. if I can get the computer to work and remember to let the songs be public.. whoops lots of times.

^) Saul Williams is so much better at lists than me

&) no wonder I like paint, inks, photos so much more than typing.

*) me and my son still need to know how to play the ukulele... (it's a lovely blue one..see 'spill' in the Tracy pictures!)

() it Struck my factor.

!)) so a big TA everyone for being good laugh.. I may have to sleep before they fail to put the new subject up!!!

is it midnight yet? no... oh PUMPKINS.