Wednesday, 12 October 2016

People’s history of pop

Like many people my age, I often watch the music documentaries on BBC4 on a Friday night. Sometimes I enjoy these programmes. Sometimes I hate myself a bit for succumbing to cheap nostalgia. More often, I hate the presenters or the talking heads who half the time Weren’t There and most of the time are men. One of my friends even calls it “middleagedwhiteblokenight”.

The People’s History of Pop is a bit different. Not enough different, but a bit is a start. Because it’s not about presenters (although there always is a celebrity presenter) or about talking heads, but about fans.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Age Does Not Matter. Or does it?

Apparently it was International Day of Older Persons last Saturday. No-one told me. Maybe I’m not “older” enough.

In the UK, it coincided with a conference/festival thing put on by Age of No Retirement, aimed at challenging the stereotypes around ageing. It sparked off some interesting conversations.

Twitter conversation. Love your life and forget your age. - Easier said than done. - It's easy. Until you have to bend down to pick up something. And then get back up again.

It also sparked off some controversy.  They called the event Age Does Not Matter. So, obviously, a few people picked up on this, pointing out that it’s not actually true. In an ideal world, yes, but we don’t live in one.

Just to prove it, a few random items from the last few days.

1. Ofcom have done a survey of which words you shouldn’t use on TV in case they offend people.  They proudly report that people are now "less tolerant of discriminatory language". But have a look at the actual list.  According to their research, "coffin dodger" and "old bag" are "generally of little concern". So what they’re really saying is: people are less tolerant of discriminatory language, unless it’s about old people.

2. Today, somebody did a hashtag game on Twitter. I quite like hashtag games when they are clever and funny. This one wasn’t. It was #GeriatricBeatles. Cue jokes about stairlifts, falling over and not knowing what day it is. Ho bloody ho.

Twitter post: Celebrating 50 years of the Beatles' Revolver, let's play #GeriatricBeatles.

3. LinkedIn posted proudly on Twitter about their latest list of really important people: a bunch of under-35 who are transforming the world.

Twitter comment by me: Aren't over 35s allowed to transform the world any more?

Funnily enough, their tweet on the subject is no longer there. It’s been replaced by one saying “coming soon”. Which means that someone messed up.  I wonder if it was a young person on work experience?

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The depression form

Have you ever filled in the depression form? It’s the one you have to do before anyone will help you with emotional problems on the NHS.

Something happened earlier this year that made me unbearably unhappy. And before anyone would help, I had to tick boxes to prove I was depressed.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Book review: The Importance of Music to Girls

There are a lot of books about music written by men. You might have noticed. There aren’t very many written by women.

There have been a few memoirs lately by women musicians, like Viv Albertine’s excellent Clothes Music Boys, and they’ve been good. But not much by women non-musicians.

But why shouldn’t we be allowed something to say, as well? After all, the BBC series The People’s History of Pop is so much better than the usual dull documentaries. Because there are more women’s voices. And because it’s about fans, not “experts”: it’s personal.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Does the internet influence how you find music?

I love too much already.

Someone (a lot younger than me) asked me today: Has the internet had an effect on the range of music that you seek out?

I had to say no. Not because the internet hasn’t had a huge impact on the way we all relate to music. But because I don’t really seek out music any more.