Friday, 9 July 2010

Learning tree

I bought a book about trees the other day. I usually know straight away if I’m going to buy a book and this one drew me in pretty quick. In the space of a few random pages I had learned that John Galbraith Graham took his nom de crossword from the Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and that that thoroughly rock and roll word Tupelo is actually a type of tree.

The decider though was a picture of a shiny conker peeping out of its spiky pod. It was just so perfect. And then there are twenty odd pages of pine cones of the type that I can't resist picking up when I go for a walk around Kew. The pictures are all painted by David More who seems to have opted for a life of internet-proof obscurity.

Anyway, while I was feasting my eyes on all the tree pictures I was tapping my foot to the music coming from the shop’s little stereo. I’ve said before that they usually play good stuff and I was absent-mindedly enjoying the track when some lyrics grabbed my attention. “Hello” I thought, “I haven’t heard this version before”. A nice campfire version of the Super Furry Animals' The Man Don’t Give A Fuck.

As I was buying the book I asked the man behind the till what album the track was from. To my momentary bafflement he handed me a Steely Dan cd. I think I probably knew that they'd sampled something. A few years back I bought Pretzel Logic (probably because of an amusing Judge Dredd story that pinched the title). I couldn’t really get into it, but Show Biz Kids: what a track.

Steely Dan: Show Biz Kids

And for comparison purposes the Super Furry Animals track.

Super Furry Animals: The Man Don't Give A Fuck


  1. I never know what any trees are - well, apart from oak, horse chestnut (conkers) and sycamore ('helicopter' seeds): ergo, I need a book like that!

    The Dan mind? Love 'em.

  2. ...Though in an appreciative, not 'slavish' way.

  3. I'm the same with waterfowl - if it's not a mallard, a moorhen or a Canadian goose then I'm stumped. Oh, and Swans of course.

    I had a scattershot spotify session on Steely Dan but nothing really grabbed me I'm afraid. I'll give them another whirl in a year or two.