Crouch End, sunny or snow-locked: an excellent location.
Archive for July, 2009
It’s breakfast, and four of us sit quietly in Veselka’s, appreciating a moment in thought of those who brought us into this world. Morley looks sad, but through fond memory, while Johnson looks physically pained. Thompson is drunk.
“Matt, do you want to find somewhere to live?” My Dad’s own rescue mission.
When I threw up the last of it there was blood and yellow bile. The chorus to “White Collar Boy” by Belle and Sebastian had been repeating in my head for a torturous five hours.
Dwell for a moment on the ghost of TV on the Radio: A vision in the shape of nu-soul nerds, relaying the hope and doomed futures of the Jackson 5. A ghost with pace and jet-black cool, a ghost with emptiness, reaching into your stomach and pulling from it energy and rhythm and every ounce of guarded experience.
Auteur theory is so easy to grasp. Never less than compelling, it offers the suggestion – the image – of career development and hope, of futures and of being taken, in part, as a whole, or as a whole taken apart.
Alone in Angel, haunted by the ghostlike sound of TV on the Radio, my stomach is ruined.
The wallowing howl of Tunde Adebimpe stalks me.
Cables stretch from under the futon, snaking around piles of books and music, tracking under the tiny table the computer sits on and slipping between the chest of drawers and wardrobe. They seemingly swamp what dead space the boxy trap offers, powering sound and fury.
Ever tried, and failed, to trap mice in your bedroom?
Life alone in Angel is far from fun.
“Gotta slow it down, baby, gotta have some fun!”
Fucking Lou Reed. Why wait for anyone?
Hangdog face, slumped, wretched, waiting for The Idea of Kate Jackson to freeze my heart and strike a pose.
Hangdog face, slumped, wretched, waiting for the arrival of The Auteur to stoke a fire.
He says “I’m leaving London”.
Winter broke, and Angel was the very pitch of desperation.
Would you believe she said that? Would you?
I am, now, a bit allergic to Vodka and to Paracetamol, but I wasn’t always.
Don’t you find some art just arrives at the wrong time? Like, maybe a year or three late? Being able to scream “I’ve got a fist on fire!” in late 2005 would have shifted gears on a lot of stuff. But, hey, I got lost in a well of Factory classics and echoes, shaped as much by the tall, sad man as his manic enabler, who actually recorded silence.
For the longest part of my life my eyes misread a reproduced painting at the home of my Grandparents. Instead of an avenue in the French countryside lined with autumnal trees I would see the upright spines of a skeletal Stegosaurus.
Johnson sits in silence for a moment, his borscht gently cooling as we breakfast at Veselka’s.
E- asked me not to leave. I forget that, from time to time, and when I do remember I feel something close to hate.
On Wednesdays the local take out drops off free cheese pizzas at the Chelsea International Hostel.
Of course, New York catalysed Boston. Liz let me run around a radio station and a mini-mall and I left with two defining documents: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.
Schulze & Webb’s map transforms the idea of a city, changes the shape and trajectory of motion.
Maybe she was stranded, looking for something to do, the girl at the crossroads of Bleeker and Broadway.
I am not scared of Manhattan.
Plane lands, I get The Fear. Somewhere in Brooklyn I disembark, confused. Kids lob bottles onto the tracks and an attendant rushes me onto the next train to Manhattan.
“You really put a lot of yourself into this don’t you?”
I am to think of New York now, but I find this difficult. Under shade of trees in mid-day sun I write at the top of a hill. I had hoped clouds might cool this walk above Menton, but they have blown quickly over the Alpes Maritimes and instead I gently melt. The mountains dwarf me, and are bisected by the concrete highways that roar along the French Riviera and into Italy. I am on holiday, and for the first time in a long time I mean that. There is no chase, my mind does not race with considerations, my heartbeat is slower and I am not in much pain. There is, of course, a distance here between the conception and the realisation: I am to think of New York while in France; I am to type this while in New York; This will be published while in Montreal; You will read this whenever. I am to think of New York. The first time.