Cue gasping and convulsions. Here is definitive proof of my ossifying into something crusty and old-maidish. There was a point of time when I took pleasure in “The Velocity...” and it’s quiet, reflective acoustic guitar, and lines like “Little needles of sodium unstitched the sky.” No longer – the very thought of needles of sodium unstitching the sky makes my fingers twitch and my headphones draw back a little in shock at the virulent hatred emanating from my ears. I am becoming one of those people who, were they forty and American, would not think twice before voting for Bush. Twice. I can see my future stretching before me: I will enter into a marriage of convenience, laugh away all attempts at converting any future leisure time into a period for education rather than entertainment, view excessive displays of sentiment from a state of grace beyond pity, cultivate a Humbert Humbertian attachment to an unattainable teenager when I am forty-five, and never have a change of opinion in my life again. But I couldn’t bear it – the haplessness of these young males [why is it always young males?] with their untrained nasal whines, unsurprising guitars and lyrics that attempt to back life into a corner in an attempt to be the first to articulate something too mundane for the rest of history to take note of. It’s a whole musical generation of Nick Hornbys. Unengagable with. But death is approaching with every breath; music should not be of a time-wasting nature.
On a point of genuine curiosity, which do you think is more hardass [by which I mean more likely to strike fear into the hearts of a distant army]: ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ or the opening of Led Zeppelin’s ‘