Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look For America

A hard rain is currently falling over London, like a Wagnerian prelude to autumn. 'As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus etc etc.' I'm posting this because it cheered me up on this dreary day:

David Bowie's version of Simon & Garfunkel's America, a perennial in my Top Ten favourite songs, from the Concert For New York City late in September 2001. Love the Kurt Weill vibe. (I think I've already mentioned, somewhere or other here, that Cowboy Angels' original title was Look For America, but hell, I'll mention it again.) (Thanks to Jack Womack for the link.)

Upcoming: I'll be appearing, along with Jaine Fenne, Tom Hunter, Paul Raven, and Alastair Reynolds at Sci-Fi London's Oktoberfest, on a panel about whether it's worthwhile, these days, writing about space travel. At, get this, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, on October 23rd. And I'll also be part of a group signing at Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Saturday November 14th, 12.30 - 2pm. Other victims include David Devereux, Adam Roberts, Justina Robson, and Chris Wooding.

Currently reading: Bldgblog Book: Architectural Conjecture, Urban Speculation, Landscape Futures. Currently listening to: 'We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River', Richmond Fontaine.


Blogger George Berger said...

Nice link! I never heard that number before. Some of the shots brought back old memories. If you like that sort of song, try the mysaterious but melodic AMERICAN PIE. I'm sure you know it but perhaps you've forgotten the song. Don MacLean is now chairman of an important music department at McGill University. I called that dept. last year, looking for someone else, and got him. He seemed friendly. A nice experience. The song's on You Tube in several versions.

September 16, 2009 8:43 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

The big mystery for me, when I first heard American Pie way back when, was why the narrator took his Chevy to the levee. America has always been highly evocative, as far as I'm concerned; reinforced one night when I was trying to find my way out of Washington DC in a hire car at night, a couple of hours after deplaning, and it came up on the radio. And then there's that lovely line about the Moon rising over an empty field...

September 16, 2009 9:30 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

The chevy to the levee struck me too. I have no idea what it meant. There was a version on YouTube last year that had shots and, I think, some written comments. A German woman claimed that this apparatus helped her understand such lines. they did not help me. Still, having lived in the USA from 42-72, the lines resonate with me tremendously. I can't explain it.
You tube is quite wonderful. But it's seductive. I have spent hours browsing around in it.

September 16, 2009 10:32 pm  

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