Nick Hornby Learns The Art Of Songwriting From Ben Folds

Michaelangelo Matos | October 29, 2008 3:30 am

I liked High Fidelity and About a Boy plenty, but like a lot of people, I have my reservations about Nick Hornby as a music commentator. Those reservations are still present after reading his rather grouchy playlist for the New York Times‘s online “Living with Music” series: “If you have ever wanted to hear Pee-Wee Ellis playing with Cheikh Lo, and I see no reason why you wouldn’t, then tough. You missed it,” he mentions of a memorable London show. So there, You Who Weren’t As Lucky As He Was (And It’s Your Fault)! The newsy bits: Hornby’s long-in-the-works screenplay will be on screens soon, titled An Education; and he discusses an unfinished, unpublished song he worked on with schtickmeister Ben Folds, from whom Hornby has “learned more about the craft of songwriting from the e-mails I’ve been getting than from just about anything I’ve ever read.” I don’t doubt this at all, but it also makes me wonder how much has been written about the craft of songwriting, outside of how-to-write-hit-song manuals. I haven’t read Jonathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love Me Yet, but I’m guessing that has some. What else does? Comments welcome as always. [pic via McSweeney’s]