Friday, 1 July 2011

Your Favourite Writers #3 - NICK

Who are you?
Nick Dunkeyson. Yes, that is my real name.

Where are you?
N19, init.

How are you?
Pretty good, beyond the fact I'm spending my Friday evening fiddling around with a blog.

What are you?
Public sector enemy-of-the-right-wing-press; defiantly mid-twenties; music fan; sports nerd; computer game nerd; generally a nerd; hopefully vaguely likeable; totally pretentious.

How do you listen to music?
With my ears, hahaha. Erm, I listen on my commute (and return commute), sometimes on computer at home, go to gigs. I guess most people do.

How long have you been listening to music?
I guess I properly got into music around 2002, but obviously I'd listened to (and owned) odd bits before then. But mainly 2002, A-Level days.

First album bought by yourself for yourself?
Lightning Seeds – Jolification. Which I'm not remotely ashamed of.

Who were your “gateway” band?
Turin Brakes or Doves, I guess. Certainly The Optimist and The Last Broadcast were two of the first albums I played over and over again. Actually, maybe it was Coldplay, because I did listen to Parachutes masses too. Yeah, one of those three.

Favourite moment in any music ever for sending shivers down your spine? And why?
Christ, I set these questions and I've asked still myself a super-hard one. So I'm going to pick a few: Salif Keita – Yamore feels like it transports you to a hill overlooking Bamako or something, and you get the awe of this amazing foreign sight, except in music. Erm, Gorillaz – El Manana always gets me, there's just such tremendous sandess in that song. And of course loads and loads of Sigur Ros, with probably the chorus from Starálfur just pipping that moment when Untitled 3 takes off, and the moment HoppĂ­polla kicks in a close third.

What music would it surprise people to know you like?
This is going to sound like I'm taking the piss, but I genuinely really really rate Blue by Eiffel 65. It's a bit unsophisticated, but it's catchy, it's simple and incredibly effective, and damn – it's how all that Europop should've been. It's not trying to be anything it's not, and for that reason, it's not a guilty pleasure, it's just a damn fine song.

Remember music videos? What's your favourite?
Chevy Chase and Paul Simon crack me up on You Can Call Me Al,but for music and and a visual idea coming together, I'm gonna have to for No Surprises.

Do you care about album artwork any more? You do? Great! What's your favourite, and why?
Well, I don't really. But if you press me, Clem Snide – End of Love really nails the kind of slightly sad nature of the song; it's a bunch of family polaroids, but it's presented in a way that feels like something lost.

What's guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
The Walkmen – The Rat, LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends, TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me. In the latter's case, it's also quite likely to earn me a shin injury resulting in a two-weeks-later-guess-I'd-better-visit-A&E-then moment.

What's guaranteed to get you off the dancefloor?
Depressingly, music I don't know. But I'll definitely take a step back if someone puts on Pavement or Guided by Voices or something.

Who's your favourite person as a person in music?
Everyone loves Guy Garvey, and so do I.

Best injury caused by music?
Anyone who's ever stage-dived and not been caught. Watching Jack Black hurl himself face-first on the floor was the only enjoyable moment in the super-creepy wince-fest that was School of Rock.

Best music caused by injury?
Luke Haines claims he didn't deliberately throw himself off a wall when touring Now I'm A Cowboy, but in any case the fact he was in a wheelchair for however many months probably contributed a hell of a lot to the gloriously acerbic sneer-fest that is After Murder Park. Bleak, darkly humourous and with this undercurrent of bile, it's British mid-nineties guitar music par excellence.

Most you've ever embarrassed yourself in the cause of music?
When at Uni in Nottingham, in my old band, yeah, I insisted on going on stage with a double vodka and guava juice. Guava, for those that don't know, produces a juice in a quite feminine shade of pink. In hindsight, mega-cringe.

Imagine someone you fancy, right. What band is it they say they love that tips your over the edge?
Maybe Sigur Ros. I'm a sappy old thing really and it'd be the idea of cuddling up to someone listening to Takk...

Worst band you've ever seen live?
The Magic Numbers were pony, but the worst I've ever seen was this band called Gisli, who supported the Beta Band on their farewell tour back in, what, 2004? JESUS FUCK they were rubbish. Mid-tempo, boring, overlong songs. Thankfully they were never heard of again.

Did you just fart?

You did, didn't you? God almighty. I'm trying to do a music questionnaire here.
Leave me alone.

Tell us your favourite story you've ever heard about some musician.
I was always amused by how Talking Heads – or rather, David Byrne - tried to write and record the vocal for Blind. It's one of their later, not very good songs. Apparently what they did was got him all dressed up like an office worker, sat him behind a bureau and had him improvise loads of stuff over the music. By all accounts it went on for hours, until he was sweaty, everyone was veering on the edge of sanity, and then called it quits.

After all this effort, after all this hard work, what did they get out of it? Well, not much. Most of it was ditched, and all they had was the daft “Blind blind blind blind!” chorus, for which “naff” just doesn't cover. We learn two things from this: one, bands will resort to desperate measures when they're running out of creative inspiration (like the previously brilliant Talking Heads were), and two, affectations and trying to be different just for the sake of it do not work.

Favourite soundtrack to anything – film, computer game, TV show, commercial:
Well, I wrote a whole blog on the Final Fantasy soundtracks, so yeah, those.

Whistle the theme from “Midnight Cowboy” for me.
Sod it, just listen to it for yourself.

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