LIKE the new Adam Green album I mentioned a couple of days ago, BDB's new-ish one was a bit of a disappointment. I tried over and over again to find the great bits in it. There are some, but after the delicious About A Boy soundtrack he made, I couldn't help but feel a little glum.
  I've not listened to it for a while, so it was a shock to wake up with it in my head, and sounding a lot better than I'd remembered. And I've just listened to the album again, and it is better than I'd remembered too. As has become obvious lately, my memory ain't what it used to be.
  This kinda brings me, with a slight sidestep, to my preconceptions. I'm someone, like all good music lovers, who's views on certain things are deeply held. Anyone who doesn't like The Beach Boys is clearly wrong, anyone who likes Jamiroquai is equally wrong. This can be annoying to other people. I find it annoying when other people are like it, so I should really have learned to be a bit more live and let live about musical preferences. But I'm not. I'm live and let die. (A great song, one of Paul's best. See? I can't stop myself. No opinion, I just speak in facts when it comes to music. Sorry.)
  Anyway, I recently had a thought: what if I was too stuck in my ways to try things I'd already decided weren't any cop? So some months ago I decided to challenge some of my own pre-conceptions. I tried three artists that I'd previously dismissed as rubbish: Bob Dylan, Talking Heads and The Clash.
  First stop: 'Blonde On Blonde'. My friend Mark loves Bob Dylan. He recommended this one as a good one to start with. I kind of enjoyed it when I bought it, but since then it has languished unlistened-to in the piles of CDs on my floor. It's proximity to the back of the piles probably has a lot to do with it, but nonetheless, I'm taking it as a sign.
  With Talking Heads, I bought the one with the scary red faces on the cover. I enjoyed it, thus emailed another friend John, who loves them, to apologise for my previous dismissals.
  Finally, I tried The Clash's "London Calling." Oh! how I tried to like it. But it just wouldn't happen. Most of the people I know who's opinion I value love this album, love The Clash and love punk in general. Me? I just can't seem to understand it all. Lots of shouting and not very good melodies. Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I'm not old enough. Either way, I just can't like it, like I can never like raisins, Manchester United and Donald Rumsfeld.
  Rock The Casbah's okay though.
Mon 30 June 2003