January 15th, 2013
Good news everyone: turns out that Then Play Long, aka the best music blog you’re not reading, isn’t closing down after all!
Then Play Long is dedicated to chronicling every number one album in UK chart history, but it’s not the sort of dry historical catalog that this description might suggest. Instead its writers Marcello Carlin (The Church Of Me, The Clothed Maja, Koons Really Does Think He’s Michelangelo, The Blue in the Air) and Lena Friesen (Music Sounds Better With Two) are committed to using the most personal details to fill out the broadest canvas possible, a history of who and where we are now that threatens to add up to suggestion as to why. It’s a reclamation of sorts, a rescue mission into the past, an attempt to recover a couple of histories that have been partially obscured by the official party line, and as such I can’t recommend it highly enough.
For a minute there it looked like a combination of reader disinterest, duff spending decisions on the part of the UK public, and a shady attitude towards chart compilation from the OCC might have prematurely ended the blog, but a day later the sun rose again, and it had the face of Paul McCartney:
No, I didn’t see that sentence coming either.
I was introduced to Carlin’s writing by the inestimable Dan Emerson way back when I was only a little baby blogger, and – though it hardly seems fair to incriminate him in my ongoing assault on linguistic decency – it’s fair to say that he’s been a major influences on my bloggy output ever since.
There’s one line of Carlin’s in particular that’s haunted my writing – “I suppose that’s the difference between “real journalists” and writers like me; they write in what they think is the correct way to write, whereas I write me”.
Then Play Long is a triumph of Friesen and Carlin’s approaches to music writing over the currently accepted models. Go check the site out, and if you like what you see, keep checking it out – this time, dear readers, your attention might just save the world…