‘Do you wanna be in the business?’ – 10 songs about the music industry

I read Mike Love’s autobiography last week, the lead singer from the Beach Boys who isn’t Brian Wilson. It’s actually a wonderful read, and a fascinating one at that for anyone supremely interested in 1960s America. In it, Love documents the sudden rise of the Beach Boys as ‘America’s Band’ after Life magazine ran a cover feature about California’s surf craze. So, writing to a brief almost, the Beach Boys signed a deal to produce seven records in something like two years, on the theme of surfing, girls and cars (Surfin’ USA, California Girls, Little Deuce Coupe respectively). While I was reading it I could help but listen to the band on repeat, which got me yearning for summer during a time in mid-March where we’ve been seeing blizzard-like snow. The interesting thing about the Beach Boys is that Pet Sounds and the re-imagined Smile Sessions aside, they have only around 15 hits that have kept resurging every 10 years or so, as another generation discovers their music and makes out with their boyfriends in the car to it. The memoir also recounts the band’s infamous lawsuits throughout the years which got me thinking about the workings of the music industry since the ’60s. So I made a PLAYLIST of songs about the curious, sneaky inner goings-on in the biz (scroll down for related lyrics*). You can listen to it here.

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Here are a list of other books that I have hugely enjoyed since the turn of the new year: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney; Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Rookie on Love by Rookie writers and contributors; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I’ve tried to get into Goodreads as a way to easily share and get recommendations on what I’ve been reading, but I JUST CAN’T RATE A BOOK OUT OF FIVE! I just rate ALL the books I’ve read out of five, mostly as a pat-on-the-back to myself: Well done you! Five stars for reading a book!


I went to Newcastle for St. Patrick’s Day to see my dear friend and Girl Chat co-host Chloe Trayford. It were a right belter. Here’s some art I saw at the Baltic Gallery that I give you full permission to use as your phone wallpaper.

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On the train home, I watched Beats Rhymes and Life, a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest available on Netflix! Watch it! It’s great! It’s so great I had no idea my train arrived 40 minutes late and I got the full price of my ticket back. All good news.


Other things that I’ve been up to: Saw the motherfucking GOAT Milo at Birthdays in Stoke Newington at both his sold-out shows in London a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have any photos. He did completely different sets both nights and it was probably the most life-affirming duo of shows I’ve ever seen (no hyperboles, trust). It was quite otherworldly to be stood at the front of the crowd and see someone be so creative so spontaneously and with such conviction. If you’ve not heard him yet, I suggest you do so wherever you listen to your music. If you want to support independent radio, here’s an appearance he did on NTS Radio. He steps up around 14m 30s, but listen from the start to hear an insanely good Busdriver track.

OK, I have a terrible cold and I’m out. I’ll be back soon having done some REAL writing.


(P.S. Here’s all the lyrics related to the music business in the linked up playlist, in case you didn’t believe me).
*1. Check the Rhime – A Tribe Called Quest
“Industry rule number four thousand and eighty
Record company people are shady
So kids watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it, look at how they act”

2. Paint a Vulgar Picture – The Smiths
“Best of! Most of!
Satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves!
Buy both, and feel deceived
Climber – new entry, re-entry”

3. Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell
“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
Nobody was calling me up for favours
And no one’s future to decide
You know I’d go back there tomorrow
But for the work I’ve taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song”

4. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar
“You shut me down, you like the control
You speak to me like I’m a child
Try to hold it down, I know the answer
I can shake it off and you feel threatened by me”

5. Re: Animist – Milo
“Showboat rappers get stood up in their studio
I heard Wal-Mart signed Jason Derulo
Then dropped him cause he couldn’t sell crew socks
And refused to adopt the umlaut”

6. W.O.E is Entertainment – Jurassic 5
“Welcome to the wonderful world of entertainment
Where life imitate art and people get famous
Welcome to the world of showbiz arrangement
Where lights, camera, action is the language”

7. We Walk – The Ting Tings
We can’t be honest
We call it off
We got the choice if it all goes wrong
We walk, we walk

8. Have a Cigar – Pink Floyd
“You’re gonna make it if you try,
They’re gonna love you.
I’ve always had a deep respect and I mean that most sincere;
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think,
Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?”

9. Country House – Blur
“City dweller, successful fella thought to himself
Oops I’ve got a lot of money
Caught in a rat race terminally
I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it
I’m payin’ the price of livin’ life at the limit”

10. Show Business – A Tribe Called Quest
“Let me tell you ’bout the snakes, the fakes, the lies
The highs at all of these industry shing-dings
Where you see the pretty girls
In the high animated world
Checkin’ for a rapper with all the dough
If you take a shit they want to know
And if you’re gonna fall, they won’t be around, y’all
So you still wanna do the show business?”

“I love you, Internet- but I just don’t like you anymore” & “my old friend, the scrapbook”

Hey! In this post I’m writing about the Internet! All users of the Internet definitely will find this interesting. Oh, wait- that’s you, isn’t it?

I wrote here before about the headaches of the Internet, which you can read about  here.  In the post, I started to tap (har har tap, as in tapping on the keyboard) about my agg with this beast, which I said I’d write about soon. Today is soon! Before you get all righteous and suspicious…like, “Hey, this chick SAYS she has itchings with the Web, yet she’s writing a blog!! She’s using the internet! She’s a hypocrite!” I’m not I swear, I love the Internet!

I love the internet as a thing, without the internet I wouldn’t know about half of the books I’ve purchased cheaply for pennies on Amazon, I wouldn’t have been bothered to learn the guitar, only being able to learn old stuffy songs in dusty books on the top of Dad’s wardrobe, (like, I can maybe see why people like Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence, but please can I learn the chords to this instead? Oh wow, I can?! Gee, thanks Internet!)

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Just to prove it’s all I do

Ugh, I love it so much. But I deleted my Facebook this week. I was sitting on my bed, listening to Horses, (again, all I ever do is listen to Horses) and I remembered what I said once, I must have been about 12. I said, “Oh, yeah I’ll delete Facebook when I’m 18, so I can live without having to document everything on line, and actually start to live.” So I just did. Now, my friends would laugh at this, my best friend once saying that I used to delete my Facebook more than I had a period, but now, we have so many other cool ways to utilise the Internet (hey WordPress! Hey Twitter!) I thought, why should I feel obliged to have it? It’s not creative, it’s no longer for me. Sure, I used to get my thrills from sending potential crushes pictures of baby seals, but this technique didn’t ever work- apart from one who replied with “is this a virus”

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. There are other ways of documenting your life, on PAPER form. (HEy you’re writing a blog you’re jfsiahfakk…)

I found my old scrapbook earlier! I think I started this around 3 years ago, and I have about 7 free pages left. They’re just scrappings of old magazine pages that I thought too precious to chuck away, but they’ve brought back a hella memories of my different tastes, and how my likes have changed. Lookee here:

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This is from the first page. As with all first pages, one always feels obliged to make A HUGE EFFORT so I even went 3D with it, by terrifyingly taping worry dolls down to the pages. I love the first few pages, because they showed that although I didn’t know what I wanted to do whilst scrapbooking, I was enthusiastic, and now when I look at everything altogether, those first pages seem so different, but still sweet.

Next, is this page about SUBCULTURE, which probably came hand in hand with my discovery of riot grrl and No Doubt. So, I’d fallen for Courtney- and these ‘Pamflet Commandments’ were my life mantra for a while. Pamflet, a former zine and now a website, was my first real education into feminism and how it’s the best lifestyle choice.

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“WWCD?”

And then comes the frantic scrapping, going out buying old poetry books, ripping and sticking. DH Lawrence remains a favourite poet, which I no doubt would have forgotten about if I hadn’t pasted him in my book.

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Also: fashion I liked, once. And still do. Hey, it’s in the book- I’ll always have a thing for everything in the book.

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Documented here is the first time I used COCKTAIL sticks for nail art. I’d badly and neatly scrapped a page full of Jean Seberg, after watching ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ so fucked it up with gross old nail art sticks. Better.

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Sometimes just for newspaper articles I’ve enjoyed:

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And now for the greatest thing of all. By this time, I’d pretty much got the hang of old magazine cut outs, I wanted something else that would feel a bit more personal to me. You know those pictures that you’d never post to the internet because you’re not in the right angle, you have too much sunburn, your smile is a bit too teethy? They’d make it into the book.

Prom photos that didn’t make the cut:

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And when I went to Barcelona with my friends. I have so many great photos, but these ones were too dark, or blurred- but now I prefer them for their imperfections. I think we try so hard to forget that some things aren’t completely perfect, everythings photoshopped, drunk status updates deleted. They still happened, moron.

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On a really drunk shopping spree through a souvenir shop, I tore this “100 euro” note off a toilet paper roll….id won the lottery

 

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And that’s that. I still have my seven or so pages to fill. It’s nice, because most of it is essentially rubbish, but when things are all collated together that you really like, you end up really really liking your scrapbook.

I’d love to hear about your guilty memories stashes.

Keep reading, and thanks for doing so.

Tara X