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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
I think Simon over at No Rock 'n' Roll Fun is kind of letting his fandom blind him here--or something like that. What I'm trying to say is that he has a legitimate problem with the article, which was sucky (although I'm not sure how surprising it should be that articles written about pop musicians that have lasted this long--and who, admittedly, play a lot of the right middlebrow-appropriate cards--would be fairly fawning), but he transfers this sucking problem to Mr. Albarn, who doesn't seem to be particularly complicit in the adulation. Seems to me that he was being pretty honest about the whole project under discussion. Sure, there are legitimate reasons why an old-time Blur fan--which Simon strikes me as, I could be wrong--might be mad at Damon right now, but I'm not sure this is really juicy fodder. (And anyway, Bono was never the solo-album sort.)

As regards the LP in question, I think Damon has a fairly sensible attitude about it--I certainly haven't heard about it, so I'm not sure how heavily it'll be promoted (and if there are only 5k copies being made, I doubt 2k will go to promos), but it sounds like it's being pitched just right. Sure, it's not being posted for free, but on the other hand, I'm sure that given the limited availability versus the large mass of Blur fans, it'll end up getting "posted for free" anyway. And it's nice to have a physical object in your hand for this sort of thing. I'd be annoyed if this kind of thing rose to an Andy Partridge or Bob Pollard level, but one tossed-off demo disc is nothing to get too bothered about. And hey, sometimes this sort of thing can works out fantastically well.

What I really like is the idea that these songs could be hit singles, but he's putting them out there in raw form. So why shouldn't someone cover them and get hit singles off 'em? If that happens, then the project really will be interesting, rather than a simple pleasantry-or-not that it stands as now.

It's been interesting relistening to the old Blur stuff in the context of Graham's departure. He was gleefully fellated by the critics, so maybe this is just heightened expectations being dialed back, but I do find myself listening to the mid-period stuff and hearing the lead lines and thinking, "Wow, that is kind of wanky, huh?" I'd hate to accuse a lead guitarist of being too dissonant, having had some trouble with that myself, but it does seem clear that many times there are really nice pop songs beneath all of Graham's noises that might stand up even better without them. This is to say nothing of his role in the group's arrangement and sequencing process, which I know little about.

While I disagree about 13--took a while to get going, but now pretty fantastic to my ears--it is true that I've only listened to Think Tank 5 times since purchasing it, so maybe Graham's absence is significant after all. Dunno. But I am interested to hear this new album, despite the fact that it has a title so horrendous that I refuse to reprint it...