May 8, 2003


Saw Yo La Tengo at sheperds bush empire last night. very good show, a bit more rock than the D.C. show a couple of weeks ago. They opened with 'Nuclear War' and closed with 'Tom Courteney' (Georgia singing the mellow version). In between we got many of the Summer Sun songs as well as Autumn Sweater, Drug Test (!) and a cover of the Ramones 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfrind.'

Picked up the Exhibition book for Air Guitar: Art Reconsidering Rock Music, an exhibition that "explores the relationship between contemporary art and rock music from the perspective of the artist as music fan. It is a perspective that demands a timely and unapologetic glance backward to the aspirations and suburban angst of the adolescent and to the legacy of the teenage bedroom. While it is important to say that theirs is not a nostalgic revisiting of rock’s history, for many of the artists in Air Guitar their past musical interests will always remain clearly in their sights."

As part of the exhibition, Dave Allen and Ross Sinclair prepared a video (in late 1994) that shows two protagonists jamming together on guitar and drums. The narrative follows the pair as they pick up a song riff, jam together, stop, start again, take a swig of beer and so forth. Every now and again they stop what they are doing to scrawl lyrics and sentences on the walls behind them. this is the narrative created from those scrawlings:

"Two men are in a room. They want to make a video.
They want to play guitar. They want to have some fun.
They try to remember the songs that mean something to them.
They don't know why they can't act. They don't know how to look at the camera.
They are intimidated by it and it is by them. Something isn't right.
They share their knowledge of music and of life with the camera. But it doesn't look like it does on MTV.
The camera doesn't like them very much. So they work together, searching for some evidence that their lives have been worthwhile.
They don't even know if this is the end, or the beginning.
They are young and stupid. They can't sing. They look like shit. They can't play.
They are painfully honest. It could make you weep. They are amateurs -- and proud of it.
Because of this -- They are perfect. They sing songs, drink beer, write on the wall when the urge takes them.
They share a joke -- what could be better. Momentarily they have forgotten about art and remember their lives.
They are 27 years old with nothing left to say.
This is the sound of young Scotland."


off to Amsterdam.

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