I’m having a bleak, north European moment.
Y’know, the kind of style-life moment that, ah – how do I put it? – uncamouflaged tossers enjoy. People who still buy the Guardian to leave it lying around under a casual Penguin classic, and who feign interest in the US presidential race and who wish they could more easily afford a newer Audi and who have just rediscovered the idea of department store shopping, lingering around the leather Man Bag island. Y’know. People like me.
To be fair, I rediscovered the idea of department store shopping because TJ have recently pulled some all-nighters fitting new branding to every floor of Beales. With a little glow of pride, I stroked the neat, sans serif vinyl lettering and followed their clear signposting to the men’s luggage department…
Right now it’s raining hard against the studio window and the jelly lamps are pooling low, luminous warmth on the desks while I audition some new, stylishly bleak jazz album. The very cool and also stylishly bleak album cover is sitting beside me, teasing my designer’s eye. And I’m sitting here typing a pointless string of thoughts that no one is likely to read, by way of enjoying sitting in this thinly metro atmosphere for ten minutes. And by way of putting off some homework.
I think I first heard one of these pieces on FIP. A station that I usually listen to in the rain, harking back to our last visit to the French capital when it piscened it down all weekend. Leucocyte, by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, is a kind of sparing, jazz noodle with faint echos of Boards of Canada. Faint. And the artwork on the cover is a black and white linear repeat of the title in cascading deconstructions of Helvetica. Like a neat Letraset accident.
Of course, sonic noodling about like this might create an atmosphere in which you can begin to consider yourself somehow… what’s the word? ..sophisticated, that’s it… while simultaneously numbing the thought of people in your home town having to sleep out in this shite Autumn evening. But it can all of a sudden make you throw a shoe at the CD player and want to turn on some ruddy lights. I mean, I’ll be in an insomnial stupor before tea time at this rate.
It’s good though.
The homework I’m putting off is a planning application. You heard me. For signage for a client. ..WHAT a pain in the elevations. I’m having to do drawings of the site and show how we’re fixing the lights to the wall. Like I’d have the first clue.
I may, if I get it done in a while, do some more work too. I mean, why not? We’re planning a John & Yoko-style bed-in all day tomorrow, to make the most of the gloriously lashing-shite weather with some old movies and a pre-emptive celebration of my birthday. I’ll be, they tell me, thirty-eight. ..I mean, come on… so why not get some practical stuff out of the way now? Did I have some other socially explosive plans for my Saturday night?
Tomorrow’s plan’s an appropriate one, actually. When I haven’t been stealing moments to embelish and over-work the branding for Momo’s new album – in favour of finishing any actual music, it seems – this week, I’ve been writing words to get people into bed.
Long-time design chums, Halo, periodically invite me over to politely laugh at my jokes and give me briefs to write flamboyant nonsense. This time it’s for a client of theirs that’s a bedroom furniture specialist, for whom they’re finishing a sharp new sales catalogue. I’m doing the sharp verbal intros.
Of course, I didn’t like to say that I’ve been married for a hundred Earth Years and haven’t had to concoct successful words to get people into the bedroom since before I was old enough to really manage it.
Anyway, some of the gang are in Brighton tonight, seeing one half of panto-gothic, vaudeville darlings The Dresden Dolls. I look forward to the Facebook pics. It means that much-loved, much-handed-around Harris mascot, Alice, is curled up in the cosy warmth of the evening’s low, studio lighting, in her bed, just at my feet. And she’s giving me those big, seductive eyes.
The ones that say: please turn off this bloody arthouse noise and make a fuss of me. Or get on with your homework.
Think I need a lie down.