There’s a fantastic long-form essay on The Triffids over at Popular Demand. I wasn’t really aware of the band prior to reading it, and I suspect from the essay (and from tracking them down on youtube) that they might be too specific to the experience of living in exile and of longing for Australia for me to really get it, but I love this kind of writing more than anything. The way art and artists get tangled up in your life, altering your world in all sorts of unexpected ways. That’s what I want to read about. I’ve never understood it when your hear musicians claim (along the lines of) “of course I don’t believe that music can change the world, I’m not stupid“, when it’s blatantly obvious that music does change the world, continually. How could it not?
Anyway, Raining Pleasure is the only Triffids song I’ve fallen in love with, probably as much for its Nico-isms as for anything. But it is gorgeous.
Also, along the lines of writing about art tangling up with life, Rock Paper Shotgun have just finished a similarly fantastic diary of a game of Neptune’s Pride. It starts off fascinating, with each player manoeuvring to screw each other over and grab as much of the galaxy as possible, veers off on a hilarious tangent when Tom Francis forgets to log on (resulting in the computer taking over and going on an insane killing spree), and ends on an unexpectedly moving note as the grind and constant back-stabbing takes its toll on the remaining players. Definitely worth reading. It’s a perfect example of why games matter; it’s not about high scores or increasingly realistic graphics (and it’s not – despite the daily mail’s assurances otherwise – about killing hookers); it’s about stories. Games create stories. I don’t mean they tell you stories (though many do), I mean the way stories arise out of your interactions with the game, the AI, the other players. For me it’s probably the original Stalker that does this best, but everyone’s got their own examples.
You can see the diary here (start with part 1, obv.).