The ouvreblog is such a great idea that it's a wonder there weren't more of them sooner. The idea is simple. Write about an artists whole career, song by song, usually one a day or something approaching. There's an excellent summary of the phenomenom here, and you can check out the list of links to the right to find more. I'll add any others that I come across in future. They often make for some great reading, whether through offering insight into catalogues I already know, or being superbly written about ones I don't. With a little more time on my hands and getting back in to writing more, this seemed like a great idea.
Given my own recent thoughts about where I am in music writing/listening terms, and how I've been finding things going a bit stale, you might wonder about making the commitment of listening to a loved band's entire works again. But, at least since a time when I had only 17 CDs, I've never really been one to listen to the same things again. It's a cycle of 'buy vaguely promising new stuff>listen a little bit>go meh>repeat' that's more the problem. Going back to think and write about what it is that meant so much to me in the first place is actually a refreshing change.
So, the band to do. My first thought was to take up Belle & Sebastian as Ian nearly did, but there's a small problem there. The first two (or even three) albums, the ones that have the real cult following, they just aren't my band. I like those too, but there's no way I have any kind of handle on them compared to the current Belle & Sebastian. So that one's still open to anyone else. Partly it's because I wasn't there at the time, but that isn't all, because I eventually decided on a band that started around the same time. Difference is in how long I've followed them for, and how I've come back and back to them through the years as others have fallen away.
They're also a band that slightly differs from any other choices for ouvreblog subjects so far. Everyone else has been more or less canonised, in critical or commercial terms or both. The Bluetones, well, haven't. They're not at Menswe@r or Ocean Colour Scene levels of existing as a punchline, but not far off. I have some hopes of piquing the interest of those unfamiliar with them but I'm realistic about my limited potential audience. I can't think of anyone that I'd be happier to write about, though.
So, in other words, writing for my own enjoyment and if anyone else likes it, it's a bonus. Could there possibly be a more appropriate sentiment to begin a Bluetones ouvreblog with?
(thanks to Sweeping The Nation for alerting me to the quote from which I got the title for this blog - it's sixth from top here)