April 11th, 2005


Dreamed, reviewed

If you ask me how I know I'm real, I'll say two things. One, I feel real to myself, here in the privacy of my own body-brain. I know who I am from the direct experience of how it feels to be in here. Two, I get echoes of my existence back from other people. I know that I exist because people react to me. Seeing just how people react can be surprising, though. It's out of my control, to some extent. People are strange! Today I've interwoven two strands of published reactions to me and my work: a set of dreams about "Momus" reported on the ILX thread Recently on ILX dreams and excerpts of reviews of the new Momus album Otto Spooky. When I read these dreams and reviews, I know I am real. But I also feel completely unreal, like a fictional character being written by someone else. Are reviews and dreams really so different?

"I am so ashamed: I had a Momus dream! I dearly hope it was only a coincidence that this happened the night after I saw the nude picture of him. So in my dream I have to give a presentation in front of an auditorium full of people. But the student presenting after me brings his friends up to the podium with him, and they're all dressed in expensive-looking Teletubby-like suits. While my presentation had been more mundane, they start performing these dramatic MrWizard/Beakman/Bill Nye type demonstrations. The audience eats it up of course. In my dream I feel that the suits (for some reason) give them an unfair advantage, and the dramatic demonstrations are also kind've cheating or something, so I go into an adjacent room and sulk about thinking that I'd like to have a cigarette if I were a smoker. Then Momus, who was in the audience, comes in and asks what's wrong, and I confide in him how I feel about the other presenters. But THEN he immediately proceeds to go into the auditorium, directly to the podium, and tell everyone there what I had said. He meant well, and everyone pretended to be sympathetic, but I knew that they all were really thinking what a whiney brat I was." Dan I., May 1st, 2003

Nick Currie reminds me of a French author named Georges Bataille, whose sexual and erotic text often drew more attention than his philosophical and metaphorical overtones. Like Bataille, Nick Currie might be misunderstood, but if you look deeper into his albums, you will either see a genius or a raving lunatic. Or an equal amount of both. Delusions of Adequacy Otto Spooky review

"I dreamt I had started a society dedicated to ridiculing the worst in culture and art. We had become quite popular, ironically, and our meeting was scheduled to be on television. About 300 of us (or more) filled a beautifully designed concert hall/auditorium for the meeting. At the meeting, I met Momus (who had joined the society) who was accompanied by a rather slender, good-looking gay man named Anthony. Momus and I got along rather well and were trading lots of good ideas about art. Then the meeting started. It was totally democratic and non-hierarchical (although I was sort of considered a leader, there were no rules on member rank and no one had to wait to speak in turn). At some point, we brought out a few members of the Eagles (with the exception of Joe Walsh, who was spared because of his involvement in James Gang and his solo records) to answer for their crimes against humanity." hstencil, November 4th, 2003

Ah, Momus, you raconteur, you clever boy, you international pervert, it's been too long, hasn't it? It's been, what, three years since last you confounded me with your music, and here you are again, with a new offering and a new series of frustrations for yours truly. If you're not familiar with the man, you must stop reading this review right now, go to the bottom of this page and click on his website. It's quite possible the man is The Last Gadabout, the rare breed of intellect presumed extinct a century ago, and as he's such a character, his life is worth investigating. Mundane Sounds Otto Spooky review

"I was working for a secret branch of the Environmental Protection Agency under the cover of a Tower Records subsidiary. We were being infiltrated by strange alien children who could do things like fly up the walls and swim across the ceiling. But this song kept playing on the radio that went "Jaaa-panese Hipster Girls Scout For Momus..." It was a great song, I remember the tune and everything. I wish it were real." the river fleet, January 13th, 2004

Otto Spooky feels less jumpy and absurdist than his 2003 album Oskar Tennis Champion, but that doesn't make it less weird. This is, after all, an album that touches on everything from a paralyzed Robin Hood to an impotent feudal lord who sexually harrasses his concubines, from video-game pandas to Mel Gibson's idea of Jesus. Each song seems built around an amalgamation of unique ideas birthed from Momus' mind. For each song Momus could probably write a lengthy explanation about it, laying out all the pieces of each puzzle...yet it's better to feel confused and intrigued. This is curious music in that way; it's always keeping your curiosity piqued and getting the machines in your brain turning. Erasing Clouds Otto Spooky review

"Okay, I had a pretty weird dream this morning... I'd just moved into a new flat that looked kinda like a school classroom, and it was full of bookcases, so kinda like a school library. Then I discovered who my room-mate was, I hadn't been expecting to have to share, it was Momus. I was about to move out, as I thought there had been some sort of mistake, but I decided to stay, though by this time the room was full of Mo's pals all totally ignoring me. However, then he got a book off the shelf "Introduction to Information Management", and I was quite annoyed and asked him if he was taking the piss, then I woke up." jel, February 10th, 2004

Ultimately he has defeated or won over his critics and continues his role as agent provocateur and playful commentator of contemporary existence. In person Momus is courteous, serving green tea, answering all questions at great length and patiently signing copies of his early album Tender Pervert and his book Lusts of a Moron. Now having reached his mid forties he retains his striking looks, his articulate way of speaking and distinctively soft spoken voice making him instantly recognisable as the singer of all those deliciously satirical songs with which he brightened up so many bleak adolescent afternoons. A Scottish Post-Protestant Radical in Berlin, Tangents interview

"Last night I had lots of weird dreams, all fairly horrible (I was shot twice, both by people close to me). When they brightened up a bit I was in Marks and Spencers with an employee showing some £25 vanilla body lotion to me and Momus and Dido." Anna, March 1st, 2004

Momus is one of the few musicians who have continued to evolve over time. Most musicians become consumed by the business and lose all autonomy and independence of character. Through his music, his life and mind grows. In his references, we are privy to the books he reads, the movies he watches, the places he visits, the people he meets, and the thoughts he forms. He is not afraid to change and trusts his fans to understand, or at least try to understand, his art. CD Reviews Otto Spooky review

"This reminds me I dreamed last week I was sitting on a beanbag watching TV with momus and he was surreptitiously trying to hold hands with me. I'm not sure what to think of that one!" Trayce, January 31st, 2005

Momus est un artiste polyetrique -pour utiliser un joli mot qui veut dire à plusieurs facettes- excentrique qui fait des disques depuis 1982. Il a sorti une quinzaine d'albums, et explore sans cesse de nouvelles formes, de nouvelles idées. Il est écossais, il a vécu à Londres, à paris, à New York, au Japon. Il vit actuellement à Berlin. Selon L'Humeur Otto Spooky review

Addendum: This blog gets reviewed today by Nitsuh Abebe in Pitchfork: "My Favourite Band Writes Better Than Your Favourite Band".