• Scottish artist Momus – the performing alias for Nick Currie – has curated a fascinating body of work over the course of the last 30 years for labels such as Creation, Cherry Red, Analog Baroque and él.
• For thirty years, he has been releasing albums to critical success. In his lyrics and his other writing, he makes novel use of decontextualized pieces of continental (mostly French) philosophy, and has built up a personal world he says is “dominated by values like diversity, orientalism, and a respect for otherness.” He seems fascinated by identity, Japan, Rome, the avant-garde, time travel and sex.
• Celebrating his 30th anniversary, PUBIC INTELLECTUAL is the first Anthology to document Momus’ entire recorded output. Carefully compiled and annotated by the artist, with artwork by his chosen designer, this is a very personal statement.
• Included are many of Momus’ most acclaimed songs – such as ‘The Hairstyle Of The Devil’, ‘Lucky Like St. Sebastian’ and ‘Murderers, The Hope of Women’.
• Pubic Intellectual also draws on Momus’ most recent albums from the noughties, such as Bibliotek, Bambi, Turpsycore and Glyptothek.
• Momus’ sleeve-notes are hilarious. Here’s the first entry for ‘Lucky Like St. Sebastian’:
“Arriving in London in 1984, I painted my Streatham room olive and lemon and put up reproductions from the National Gallery, where — along with the British Museum — I spent a lot of time. On the 159 bus up to central London, I mused on Kierkegaard’s essay (in Either/Or) The Rotation of Crops: boredom, says A. the aesthete, is the root of all evil. And he quotes Juvenal’s line that the masses just want ‘Panis et Circenses’, bread and circuses, diversion. I liked how ‘panis’ sounded like ‘penis’. I started devising an album about bread and circuses, or the way popular entertainment is used to pacify and placate the masses.”