#18 At least I… will always be able to make ‘discoveries’.

November 26, 2009

Being God must be rubbish. Sure you have the power to create continents and dishwashers but that must get boring after the first couple of billion years – no matter how much you pace yourself.

Existing out of linear time (as God apparently does) he, she or it must already know what objects and ideas are about to be created or destroyed: God’s doing it after all. Walking down a darkened alley with God, you might as well find a ballerina kicking a troll’s head in, shouting “who the hell is Gloria Estefan anyway?” Even then, God would only shrug and say: “oh yeah, kinda odd I suppose”. He’d seen it coming, after all.

Imagine if you’d known from the start that Obama was going to win or that Michael Owen was going to lose his form: it would take all the fun out.

Happily, as someone who is definitely not God, I don’t have this worry. I’m to omniscience what crystal meth is to a healthy lifestyle and so am blessed with constant surprises and have a child-like attitude of wonder to even the most mundane things in life: bus stops, for example. Mad.

A lot of people try to make out they’re knowledgeable about everything. Some middle-aged men, especially, will say: “I’ve been around the block a few times” as if having been at the 1974 League Cup final makes you a fountain of powerful knowledge. The cleverest people over 30 seem all too aware that they have barely scratched the surface of Earth’s mysteries. Ask Stephen Hawking about the events of Big Brother 4 and you’ll see what I mean.

The best option is to just swim in your ignorance: lie in the unimaginable sea of facts which surround you and feel at peace that you can never fit all of them in. Obviously there’s nothing worse than being patronised so you can’t wallow in your stupidity too often but an occasional backstroke through human history, science or culture is just what the doctor ordered.

And that’s what’s so great about music. You can listen to music professionally, review and explore it for the sake of others but there’ll still be too many great songs to listen to. Tried the Sheffield scene? What about Bradford? Skegness? Tattenhoe? If all you want is white middle class young men weeping onto into your ears about being single – even with such narrow wishes – there’ll still be too much music for you to ever listen to.

There’s therefore nothing better than spending a day on Spotify, YouTube and last.fm and letting yourself roam free. Either you can pick a band you like and listen to other bands who seem similar or have worked with them: within a minute you can get from the Fugees to Motown and then you’re

The utterly brilliant Tango Negro Trio

 listening to some 60s band that’s been forgotten by history.

Alternatively, you can just pick a country and see what happens. Estonia, Ghana and Argentina are fantastically rich in great music and most of it even the greatest connoisseur will never have heard of. Amazing.

With new music available to people who’d never been able to afford it or were averse to taking risks with things they weren’t sure they’d like, we are now in a position to let everybody share in a wide, strange and beautiful spread of music outside what we are expected to be fed. 

Here are a few bands/people I’ve discovered like this…

Tango Negro Trio,

Brett Smiley,

Current 93,

Enrique Rodriguez,

She & Him,

Os Mutantes,

Question Mark & The Mysterions,

Craig Morgan

Krista Sildoja.

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7 Responses to “#18 At least I… will always be able to make ‘discoveries’.”

  1. Anna Says:

    I love Os Mutantes!

  2. Cary Curtis Says:

    Hi Tom

    Interesting approach to the job hunting you’re taking!!

    We’ve gone down a slightly more conventional route ourselves(and warmer!) but we would be delighted in trying to help you find a job that could harness your creative talents.

    If you’d like to discuss this in more detail then please get in touch

    Kind regards

    Cary Curtis
    Give A Grad A Go

  3. rosieniven Says:

    I can confirm that Anna, does indeed, love Os Mutantes (if it’s the Anna I know who loves Os Mutantes).

  4. Pip Says:

    Love the job hunt idea.

    Might want to give Skalariak and Ska-P a go, then there’s Suenos de Morfeo if the idea of a Spanish Corrs appeals (no reason why it should, but you never know).

    Good luck

  5. Sam Says:

    Tom,

    I’m planning exactly the same insurgent attack on the fashion photography industry early in the new year. You’ve given me more even more confidence.
    Would love to hear, if you can spare 5 minutes, what worked and what didn’t work? And any other advice you’ve got??
    Also, loved the Julian Casablancas review.
    Take a look at my website http://www.rockabella.org if you get a chance.

    Anyway, good work and hope it pays off.

  6. Anna Says:

    Am definately not the Anna you know :S

  7. innr Says:

    I am the Anna she knows and I can confirm that I also like Os Mutantes 🙂


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