I love America.
I love to travel around the byways and back streets of forgotten industrial cities, grab a 99c Taco Bell with a travelling band, jump on the back of a moped and speed off to a Not Too Shabby outlet store, race the neon and city lights through a confusion of rain-splattered streets and closing bars, argue the toss at 4am over The Rolling Stones’ lack of credibility with a belligerent Pacific Northwest punk band, steal the show in Vegas and ‘frisco with my lack of scruples and willingness to do whatever it takes to get a reaction, catch plane after plane in the thunderstorm after thunderstorm never letting go of my beer, fist fight band managers in sun-streaked New York City bars, go chasing the autumn through uptown states, roll down hillsides in Louisville with hipster skronk bands, go 10-pin bowling and rooting for bargains in shopping malls bigger than most British cities, wake up dissolute and naked in unfamiliar rooms. I would still love to do all that, catch a random plane straight to the middle of nowhere and make a treasure map of it all, go carolling through icy winter streets in Minneapolis and Olympia, WA, sing until my heart fucking bursts with happiness.
Anything to escape this life.
Sure, I love America. But right now my love for America is nothing next to my anticipated love for the new album from Tracyanne & Danny.
I love cats. I may have mentioned this already, but fuck it. You know?
I love cats. Every weekend since I moved to this half-mast hair salon town called Haywards Heath I have driven out to the National Cat Sanctuary – 15 minutes through the most rain-drenched, fog-covered countryside this side of Manchester – with my three kids, on the look out for a kitten, maybe two. Isaac favours black and white. Daniel, with a prescient touch that often bedevils his antagonism, mourned Rosie after we stroked her, lamenting that this would be the last time we met. (He was right.) Lauren melts, and goes “aaaaaaah” whenever something small or medium or large and furry paws at the glass in front of us. We’ve filled out the forms, bought tickets for the tombola, read all the booklets. My elder sister has volunteered to donate a used litter tray (not so sure about that). Neighbour Steve is primed to fit a cat flap.
We even have a garden.
Yes, I love cats and I am so looking forward to getting my first cat since the death of Carla, couple of years after Isaac was born. But right now my love for cats is nothing next to my anticipated love for the new Tracyanne & Danny album.
I love Jonathan Richman. I love Go Violets. I love Nadia Rose. You think you understand, but you really don’t. There is nothing else. Nothing. Not when I slip into this somnambulist dream world and for a few precious moments can tear myself away from the grey mundane and chase stars in my head. During times like this – and with no reflection on my kids who I would right now step in front of a lorry for – music is more important than eating, breathing… my reason for existing and loving and failing. This is why I am still able to fall and laugh and fall again, even through the grey, unbearably lonely, single existence. This is the stuff that haunts my dreams and whirls round my head on meaningless train journeys and endless car rides. Nina Simone, Dexys, Beyoncé… FILL IN YOUR OWN NAME
I miss Camera Obscura. Please don’t get me started.
And I am so excited to hear Tracyanne singing again that right now all that other stuff – ALL THAT OTHER STUFF – pales into nothingness next to my anticipation of her new album.