It's John Robinson Week in Outsideleft. John's new book about Momus, Famous for 15 people is out now and we have all sorts of fun things happening all week long, today we're opening with excerpts from the book, hand picked by John... Here we go...
The personal story of Nicholas Currie, the man behind Momus, runs through these reviews, and is fascinating in itself. Controversy and setback have followed and dogged his career, but always informed the work of Momus accordingly. - John Robinson.
It began as a blog...
I hoped that the blog might allow me to proselytise about Momus to others as the reviews should be comprehensible to new listeners. Momus’ work is highly literate, full of comple allusions and philosophical concepts, and I explain these along with the lyrics, the cultural history of the time, musicological issues and his life story.... I think the story of Momus is fascinating and on a par with artistic tales such as those of Georges Bataille, De Sade, Dali, Captain Beefheart, Mishima or David Bowie himself. The tension between what we are allowed to reveal and forced to conceal, or the reverse, is the thread that runs through his work, the battle against self- and imposed censorship and sometimes against the musical establishment."
In this section about how censorship is treated in his song The Cabinet of Kuniyoshi Kaneko: This song is a defence by Momus against those critics who would censor works of art, pointing out the difference between images and reality, and the difference between behaviour in art (or in a virtual environment) and actions taken in reality....The darkness of the camera is a metaphor for the darkness of the creative process, in which what seem to be terrible things can happen, but really, they are not terrible things because nothing is really happening. When limbs are torn away and bodies mutilated in films like Hostel and Saw, or any of the original “video nasties”, it is imaginary. The same is true of De Sade’s work and any number of other texts attacked and vilified by those “malicious” humans. The question is then whether such texts are actually valuable as works of art. Which is a subject for debate, of course. The children described in this song who are destroyed will return, fit and well, because they are imaginary and like Tom and Jerry can be reconstituted at will. They can have sex as well, it may shock you but it can’t hurt you or them."
Or this bit about "Cibachrome Blue" which shows my making gentle fun of Momus in the last line
"The music builds towards the end with sampled female backing vocals, then fades out with the circling pattern of bells and trip-hop beats that have played throughout the song in the foreground. You are given the sense of a never-ending piece of music, travelling on through the stars forever, in transit to find a new way of seeing. Limahl’s NeverEnding Story, of course, does much the same thing."
John Robinson Week
An introduction to John Robinson Week →
John Robinson Week, The Excerpts →
Talking Momus All The Time (Interview with John) - Part 1 →
Talking Momus All The Time (Interview with John) - Part 2 →
Momus Aside, You Ask? →
John Robinson's Teethgraters and Stuff... →
John's Momus book, Famous For Fifteen People is available now here