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Scritti Politti: March 4, 2009

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Look at the letter I received today!

Hello Jason,

As an erstwhile member of the band Scritti Politti, just wanted to advise you that the number of Google Alerts I'm receiving for the words "Scritti Politti" have gone through the roof in the past few weeks. Few of these are related to the swoonsome melodies of Green Gartside. It's all US political intrigue penned by yourself.

You'll be relieved to hear that I shan't be sending you a bill for all the extra data that my ISP is pushing through the intertubes as a result :)

best regards,

Rhodri Marsden

I think that since I've managed to have this effect on the Google Alert efforts of innocent third parties, it seems only fair that I take a minute to praise the band whose name inspired this column. Scritti Politti, who have always featured the "swoonsome melodies of Green Gartside" blazed a varied and eclectic path through pop music, consistently marrying a distinctive effervescence to the prevailing musical zeitgeist of the times. They're best known in the United States for the 1985 hit "The Perfect Way," but their most recent effort, White Bread, Black Beer is a fantastic, stripped-down, return-to-form work that deservedly garnered a 2006 Mercury Award nomination. I am personally a huge, huge fan of their 1999 record, Anomie and Bonhomie. I am also a fan of blending anomie and bonhomie in general.

Mr. Marsden's work also deserves mention. In addition to being a musician, he writes a weekly tech column called Cyberclinic for the Independent, is a blogger, and has done feature writing for the Guardian, the Observer, and the Radio Times. He's just generally positioned at the fascinating nexus of art, technology and letters, so any Huffington Post reader should put him on their radar.

In a related confession, as my editor is named Nico Pitney, I also flirted with the idea of calling this column "The Velvet Underground and Nico." One should never underestimate the benefit of tangentially linking your project to fashionable heroin users. Indeed, can it not be said that fashionable heroin users have been the difference-maker in just about all fields of endeavor? Let's just assume this is true. All the same, "The Velvet Underground and Nico" seemed an awful stretch, and unlike the personnel of Scritti Politti, Lou Reed is just a rotten dick. There, I said it.

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