Notes On Music By Lloyd Cole: The Over/Under

Lloyd Cole first made a name for himself in 1984 with the Commotions, the British band he founded in Scotland before relocating to New York City four years later. Since, he has released records both as a solo artist and with the Negatives. Now based in western Massachusetts, Cole recently formed the Small Ensemble. The trio is joined by the likes of Fred Maher, Joan Wasser and Kendall Meade for new album Broken Record (Tapete), Cole’s first “rock” LP in almost a decade. Cole will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new Q&A with him. Says Cole as an introduction/disclaimer for his guest-editing posts, “I am 50 years old. More than twice the age I was when I began making music. I have developed opinions, certainly, and these opinions have evolved, but I can only speak for myself. I am still astonished by music. I am still perplexed by it. I am still moved by it. I am still revulsed by it. And I am more and more confused by how others make use of music in their lives. Music seems to be everywhere. Here are some of my thoughts on it.”

Cole: When you’re 10, you don’t like coffee. You would live on cereal and milk if your parents let you. When you’re 16, you don’t like beer. You only drink it to get drunk and to impress your peers. When you first try oysters, you hate them. You have to force them down and hope the waiter doesn’t notice.

It’s normal for tastes to evolve. Moreover, it is freakish when they don’t. We naturally treasure our firsts. It makes perfect sense that I never stopped loving T.Rex but that I absolutely tired of Pere Ubu. I still take milk with hamburgers, but I no longer favour burgundies. “Complete Control” is still the greatest 45, and I never even gave Sandinista! a chance.

One of the more wonderful aspects of parenthood is the opportunity presented to revisit childhood loves and introduce your children to them. Remove the child from the equation and it would make no sense at all to re-read The Hobbit or listen to Echo & The Bunnymen, aged 45.

It is always a sad moment when you find that your time enjoying a particular artist, or genre, is over. My wife recently mentioned something about Tom Petty, and I realized that I no longer even like the idea of Tom Petty, let alone the reality. Worse is the feeling that maybe you weren’t so discerning in the first place. But you need to just get over that and move on. New doors open.

I’m having a great time, right now, listening to country music that I would most certainly have turned my nose up at 10, 15 years ago. I’m enjoying Clarets, and I think the Bunnymen make music for kids and young men, which is in no way a put down. They were a great band that gave me hours of joy. I just have no place for them in my life now.

Video after the jump.