Big up Matt Woebot, as he henceforth shall not be known, for writing about fashion. Him espectially — for it is a powerful counter weight to his uber-spotter credentials. Writing just about music is a somewhat hermetically sealed and as we all know, potentially borderline-autistic pursuit. Music writing needs to be grounded in life to avoid sterility and, above all, that wretched refusal to engage with icky emotions and perceived naffness which is the tragic fault of the fanboy persona. And writing about fashion — or rather the wearing, enjoyment, and meaning of clothes — is an excellent antitdode to music nerdery.
Matt is nothing if not an emotional writer and he glides gracefully from dusty-record-rack investigation to reflecting on his love for his wife. His piece on fashion therefore puts into perspective the demise, or rather the fulfillment, of his TWANBOC enterprise. This came as a huge surprise to me — I had it on good authoritiy that it would be around until Christmas at least. I read his blog with awe as he churned out brilliant expositions on what was, to me, almost totally unfamiliar music, reaching a shattering climax with his pieces on experimental and classical Indian music. And then, suddenly, it was gone, leaving me asking, Is that it?
And it was. That was it.
Artful and intelligent as ever, he let us have a self-photographed silhouette, thereby creating the archetypal image of the blogger, and revealed the purpose of the cascade of intensity that so many of us shared with him for the last year or more. It was a paean to his deceased father.
Now that, as a few of you know, is something I can identify with.
Matt’s sequence of epistles comprised a complete framework for musical taste in modern music which must surely match, inter-lock with, and perhaps echo that espoused by his father in classical. Or at least, it created a means for his exchange of frameworks, feelings and thought processes with his posthumous father — a way of making sense of his father and of his relationship with him, a way of re-engaging with the personality of his father after the wrenching division of death. A way of bringing him back to life in his heart, almost. Dealing with death by making emotional sense of life.
I suppose. At least, that’s what I would have been doing if I’d been writing it.
It would be a shame if the best writing that came out of TWANBOC did not find a permanent home. The big set-pieces undoubtedly deserve hosting somewhere that is easy to refer to. I don’t know if that’s going to be possible. Yet Matt made of the fragile material of the blog an artefact of some gravity. His slight little site engendered both a host of imitators and many real-world and online friendships, changing minds, hearts, and most important of all, record shopping lists. TWANBOC will be remembered. So will Matt’s father.