Eddy Says

Eddy Says: This week I am jealous of Polly Jean Harvey

By | Published on Monday 6 April 2009

PJ Harvey

The last time I had any dealings with PJ Harvey – or more, her ‘people’ – I discovered that she doesn’t have a mobile phone, or use email (so that’s why the PJ Harvey ‘friend request’ never came).

Although it’s great, on the one hand, to have Facebook, MySpace, email, tunes all on the download, etc… how blissfully gadget free must PJ’s life be? While we have our faces buried in computers whenever we’re at home, and Blackberrys while we’re out, we could be missing out on the greatest thing of all: Life.

I walked down a strange neighbourhood today to get my hair cut, and it occurred to me, once I’d got there, that I’d had my head down writing and answering emails all the way there from the station. ‘Good use of time’, I thought… but was it? I missed all the little shops and countless pairs of eyes walking by. I could have walked past someone I knew, or wanted to know, or someone I’d lost touch with…

I was talking with a producer on MySpace last week and I asked him for a CD. He said, incredulous, “You mean an actual, old CD!?”

So, CDs are “old” now. I admit he was “a spoilt young kid who relies on technology too much” (his words) but blimey, I am officially feeling old now. The reason I asked for this ancient music carrying disc was that about a fortnight ago I had the dreaded message from my beloved Mac laptop: you have run out of memory, please delete some files. I had to delete something before I could download anything. And these days the majority of tunes come as downloads, not “old CDs”, so I had to do a lot of deleting.

That said, I’ve now gone through the stress of installing new RAM and a whole new hard drive, and I did it myself too, thanks to something PJ will probably never see: YouTube. Brilliant.

But I admire PJ’s stand. It’s tempting to join her even, but then I also admire those DJ colleagues, like Adam Freeland, who are so on the tech tip all the time. I’m going to have to find a balance between the two, I think. I do love the fact I can write to you like this, on a fucking hand held phone gizmo, at an airport in a random city in Europe, for example.

But I don’t want to miss out on my son growing up, and I want to connect with life the same way I connect with a crowd when I DJ. I’ve chosen not to go down the Ableton road for that reason alone. It’s funny how a little thing, a lesson, a creed that you work by, can be so important if you apply it to your life.

What was it Matthew Broderick said in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’? It was something like this: “Life goes by pretty fast, every now and again you gotta stop and take a good look…”

I must remind myself to do that. Now, I must join Twitter…

Eddy Says from this edition of the CMU Remix Update.