Sep 10, 2009

Ode to joy: The return of Paddy McAloon

“Have you ever seen those documentaries about people who stockpile newspapers and bread and bicycles? I’m a bit like that. I have this massive creative urge, which I struggle with. The desire to write is much stronger than the desire to turn any of them into records. At a certain point it went from being a sort of sensible strategy of laying things away for a long winter and now I’ve got a mountain of junk and music. I feel like someone in an Edgar Allan Poe story, buried under my boxes of albums.

“I have a good family life, I do the school pick up, I have friends. But I am reclusive in a lot of things. I don’t really care for the brave new world. You’re talking to a guy who doesn’t drive. I’m not on the internet. But I don’t think it’s as mad as it looks. If you decide to devote your life to something as an artistic endeavour, you’re doing it cause you think it’s worth doing. Its not some act of grandeur for myself, its more that I can get away with it, and concentrate on the exciting bit, the flowery bit. I feel like when I talk about it, I’m coming from a sensible place. But I know how it makes me sound. Maybe it’s the beard.” — The Daily Telegraph
I've always thought Paddy McAloon had a little Brian Wilson in him. Green Gartside certainly does. I do love my eighties pop perfectionists turned bearded recluses. I tried being a recluse once, living in the middle of the forest outside Woodstock, while I finished a book. But I couldn't hack it. I finished the book, and came to find my trash overflowing with empties. Where was everybody? You can't be a recluse if you're asking yourself that kind of question. So I moved back to the city. It was fun while it lasted.

So. A new Prefab Sprout album.
The US open on the TV. A new novel from Lorrie Moore on my bedside table, and new books from Nicholson Baker and Nick Hornby on the way. The memory godawful Norwegian receding in the summer haze. Things are looking up. More than looking up. If one godawful Norwegian trilogy is all I have to pay for a Prefab/Hornby/Nadal happiness trifecta then count me one of God's contented customers.

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