Saturday, February 14, 2004

Pick a song, any song

So I picked up Nick Hornby's 31 Songs as a gift for a friend. But decided that since I wasn't gonna give it away just yet, I'd read it first.

Hornby's somewhat famous for his hits About A Boy and High Fidelity, which were turned into pretty successful films, and many people I know are serious fans of High Fidelity, them music freaks.

Anyway, 31 songs is another book for the music freak I figure. Hornby's written an anthology of sorts about yep you guessed it, 31 songs.

There is a nice mixture, from the modern to the classic. Like he writes of how Nelly Furtado's I'm Like A Bird is ... well actually he doesn't really describe the song but rather how there are certain songs you just have to play over and over again. Which is very true. I do that too often and always wondered why. So Hornby provides an answer of sorts or at least Dave Eggers does: "we have to 'solve' them."

which i suppose is true. to understand a song better, to 'get it' and maybe even to figure out some elusive lyrics.

But it's a pretty darn good read and I love the way he drifts off onto other things. it's not a song/album review but a personal account of why these songs matter to him and that's what's fascinating. It's a little like Will Self (see below) and his restaurant reviews really. To me, that is writing but of course you'll never find that in most newspapers/magazines in Singapore.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

feeding frenzy

Will Self is a bit of controversial journalist as journalists come. He was the restaurant critic for The Observer for 2 years in the 1990s and wrote for several other British papers like The Independent. Self's also an author.

Apparently he got fired from The Observer after admitting to have taken heroin while onboard then-Prime Minister John Major's plane while covering the campaign.'

More info on Will Self and his exploits can be found Here

What I am concerned with though is his book Feeding Frenzy. While not really a proper book, it is instead a collection of his articles writing for the various magazines and dailies. It's chock-full of restaurant reviews, book reviews, art exhibition commentaries and so on. It's just bursting at the seams really.

I was a little confused at how to go about reading it cos there wasn't a listing of the various reviews and it doesn't really seem to follow any order so I decided to just flip around and read whatever caught my eye. And I like his restaurant reviews. They are delightfully irreverent, sometimes barely commenting on the food until right at the end. Although I'm sure some people will (and probably have) comment that he is terribly self-indulgent and a bit wacky. But that's what Self admits -- that he is eccentric. And that's what's important really. Admitting that you are. ha

anyway i did a quick search on but the book is not to be found there. I suppose it's seriously a Brit thing...