“it was great to meet you, i’m sorry it was in a place where one could not really conduct a conversation @ normal talking volume” says duane of the Windmill in Brixton

Which it wasn’t, it’s true: the odd thing is that you couldn’t hear the music they were playing over the pub PA either – or rather, I couldn’t make it what it was, mostly. I misidentified Can’s “Yoo Doo Right” as Zep’s “Immigrant Song”, thought the Fall”s “New Face In Hell” was a cover version of same (!) by some cut-glass Oxbridge d00d (!!), and didn’t recognise Faust’s inimitable “It’s A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl” at all!!! I know all these records as well as I know *any* records, but I just couldn’t hear what they were in this sound-context. It’s not age and deafness, I don’t think: I’ve never been able to do this, to say quickly what a popsong is when it plays in a pub. It’s as if the acoustic stuff I use for recognition is exactly the stuff which is masked when people are talking.

I’m far more intrigued by the social dimension of music than I am in all that march-of-art-and-aesthetics guff – but the strange fact is, I don’t particularly interract with music socially. Almost exclusively, I listen to it on my own. I would know these three songs instantly in a blindfold test in an otherwise silent room: my antennae for guessing them as they manifest in a public, populated noisy place are vestigial at best. I think that I believe that this proves I don’t really understand music. I imagine that’s why I like talking and writing about it so much.