Google You

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

According to some guy on the internet I am “a giant cocksucking douche” because I didn’t adore the latest Underworld album. As you’ll see if you click the link somewhere on the right of this page to my Stylus review of Oblivion With Bells, I did actually quite like it, however. “BrotherLovesDub” also accuses me of stealing a line about Karl Hyde sounding “like Mike Skinner’s dad” from the very forum he calls me a “giant cocksucking douche” on. Seeing as a; people other than myself raised the similarity, and b; I’d never come across this particular forum until I googled myself yesterday afternoon while looking for responses to the Da Capo 2007 Best Music Writing thingy, I can only conclude that, maybe, just maybe, Hyde does sound like Mike Skinner’s dad on that track. A quick perusal of Metacritic suggests that a lot of people think Oblivion With Bells is just “OK”.

(Another thing he moans about is that I reviewed the record and not the Underworld live experience; perhaps this is because it was a record review?)

(Even more amusingly, on the next page someone posts the following; “Do you know who Nick Southall is? I'm not his biggest fan, but trust me, he is not "one of those guys who think Tiesto is the coooooolest". Knock him for whatever, but dude has cred, and for better or worse, 'was there'.”, which is odd but kind of sweet.)

(I could go on forever, but parsing and responding to all one’s criticisms from online forums is insane.)

(All one tries to do in a record review, generally, is be honest and fair.)

But anyway, lots of issues. I’ll scribble them down quickly so I don’t forget, and so you know where I’m going.

• BrotherLovesDub also asks if I have “any plans for a real job?”
• Wtf is googling yourself about, anyway?
• Best Music Writing 2007
• Actually listening to music now that I have ‘retired’ (have I retired?)
• Drowned In Sound

I have a ‘real job’ and have done so for many years; it’s OK, and it helps to pay our mortgage. Writing about music, although sometimes paid, is something I do because I love music; as a result, anonymous internet hardmen calling me a douche and accusing me of either not liking music or needing a ‘real’ job piss me off. Were I not such a philosophical and reflective dude, I might swear and stuff. I’ve never really wanted a ‘career’ in music journalism anyway; bar Drowned In Sound, everyone I’ve ever written for has approached me first, which suggests I’m hardly proactive in throwing myself out there professionally. Writing about music ‘for fun’ gets me close enough to hating music and the music industry without actually having to claw a wage from it too.

Speaking of Drowned In Sound, I don’t know if that’s going to be an ongoing thing or just a one-off. Basically Eric Axelson emailed me about the new album (on the day we moved into our new house) and I promised I’d review it, but ran out of time to cover it for Stylus. So I emailed Mike Diver and asked if I could review it for them, and he said yes. Maybe, if something piques my interest, I’ll cover something else for them.

I’ve had lots of emails from various people seeing if I want to write for them actually, from established places and being-established places, both in print and online. The simple answer is that I don’t know who or what or when I’ll write again; I had so many ideas backed-up that when we knew Stylus was closing I tried to purge myself, and now I’m empty. For a while. I don’t really know what new records have come out in the last month. I don’t actually read any music journalism, really.

Saying that, I have been buying The Guardian in order to get their 1000 Records You Must Hear Before You Die supplements (normally I just check it out online, but this I wanted a copy of to peruse at my leisure while on the sofa – which I could do via the laptop, but… Kindle, yay or nay?). Despite my output of Top Tens for Stylus I’m a self-confessed list-hater, but… I used to love shit like this, you know? I guess when I hadn’t really heard of anything on any given canonical or non-canonical list, everything was a potential epiphany waiting to happen. I don’t own many of the 600 albums I’ve browsed through of the list so far, and I disagree with several of the choices, but I’ve heard of practically everything there in one capacity or another, and as such the list seems almost redundant to me.

Saying that, I haven’t properly sat down with it yet and read many entries; Andrew Purcell, former BBC6Music bod, emailed me a few weeks ago to say he was googling around looking for pieces on Michael Head’s The Magical World Of The Strands while preparing to cover it in fifty words for this very feature, and found my old piece about it for Stylus. I reread it after his email, and it’s a piece I’m definitely proud of.

Saying that, I haven’t actually listened to all that much music in the last few weeks. Moving house, getting a kitten, busy at work, Stylus’ demise… I thought I’d luxuriate in things for the sheer hell of it once I’d ‘retired’, but actually… Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Brat Camp took up last night. I’m looking forward to Boy A on Monday night. I’ve not watched so much television since I was 18. Hopefully I might buy a chair soon, specifically for sitting in and listening to music, and that will drag me back. Also, general end-of-year malaise always hits me around now.

Googling yourself is an odd activity. I do it every few weeks / coupe of months on average, and usually turn up a few new references on people’s blogs or on forums to things I’ve written. Often in Spanish or Swedish, seemingly. Yesterday I was interested in reaction to the Best Music Writing collection, which I have a piece in this year. I feel very odd about this; I’ve told a few people but haven’t really talked about it. I’m very proud of Imperfect Sound Forever being included, and hope its inclusion can spread its influence further, but I’m more proud of the influence I know its had already. Still, it’ll be nice to having something printed on paper in a book that my mum can read.

I didn’t find much reaction, by the way. Apart from a book review which described me as “curmudgeonly”. Hmph.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Blogger floodwatch - 3:37 pm

Eff the haters. If I outright bash something, I usually expect some douche to flail my critical analysis in public - couldn't care less. What annoys me is when I generally like something, have a few reservations, then said douche calls me out on it because I didn't praise the record as "perfection." Huh?

Keep doing what you're doing, Nick - I've always enjoyed your writing over at Stylus.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Recent Articles / Reviews



Nothing Here Is True
Unless You Want It To Be

Nick Southall was born in southwest England at the tail end of the 70s, and is the youngest of three brothers. He has a degree in popular culture and philosophy and has written about music for Stylus Magazine, The Guardian and Drowned In Sound, amongst others. He likes red wine, expensive headphones, spicy food, and the Hungarian national football team of the 1950s. His favourite record is the last one he listened to. You can contact him by email via sickmouthy @ gmail dot com should you so wish.

All material copyright Nick Southall 2006/2007/2008

Powered by Blogger