Sunday, July 26, 2009

jj no. 2. I haven't any idea what balearic is. This is balearic, allegedly. I could not say either way. I tell people it reminds me of Broadcast not, though reasonable it may be, because it sounds like Broadcast but rather because it exudes class. Broadcast is "classy" to my unsophisticated ears. Of course who exactly am I to tell this to? I told it to one person when we were on our way to see Away We Go. Now I tell you-my lonely readers. To continue an earlier meme Away We Go - Terrible. Actually "terrible" may be too kind. It so offends all of the senses all at once that stronger words of condemnation may be required in order to comply with the Geneva Accords. Do see it. There are loads of songs that want to be Badly Drawn Boy songs on the soundtrack, maybe some Cat Stevens worship happening as well. There is some caribbean flavour on this first track, a jumpy, reggae fake guitar strum, some strangely strangled disco strings and surely some steel drum hauntings that were deleted from the final mix. It's a tropical fizzy drink. It's delightful. The voice is poised. It is almost entirely affect-less. Normally I am for drama. Kate Bush. RockettotheSky. Frida Hyvonen. But I rather love this. I did watch Waterloo Bridge again last night and Vivien Leigh, sigh, a stunning beauty and the fierceness of her stare. The scene in Waterloo Station where she says her long presumed dead Captain Cronin depart the train platform, strolling jollily back into her life is just devastating and she doesn't even utter a word, it is the charge of terror, the flash of jubilation, vivid confusion that reflect in her eyes in full panorama that is an amazing treat to behold. Perhaps tomorrow I watch That Hamilton Woman. Apparently Vivien was meant to play Elizabeth Bennet instead of Greer Garson once upon a time. I love Greer Garson and that version of Pride and Prejudice is wonderful but I can't help wondering what she Vivien Leigh might have brought to the role instead of Greer Garson's wholesomeness. it might have darkened Austen into unrecognizability. Now the single. From Africa to Malaga a continuation of the breezy effervescence. Pops and taps and garbage cans for percussion, coke bottles and that black man from the Seven-Up commercials shaking some noisemakers and the exquisite voice reigning above this colourful swedish concoction. Next track is Ecstasy apparently this is some sort of take on a famour rap song. Lollipop by Lil Wayne. I don't know it. Am I clueless? Is it ubiquitous? I am not a rap fan. Skip Gates would think me a racist and offer me another of his 'teachable moments' if he ever heard anything so scandalous in his life. He could compare 2 Live Crew to Shakespeare by misquoting Robbie Burns for me. This is not a rap track, it's a dance track, hypnotic and spaced out, the looping sample might be from the rap song. I don't know. I would wager I enjoy this more than I would the original. Remember also that Joan Fontaine was chosen by Hitchcock ahead of Vivien Leigh for Rebecca. Why anyone would choose anyone above Vivien Leigh is a mystery. But history is filled with these sort of things. Fourth song, "you smoke like a young Belmondo". Was Vivien up for Breathless? I might have still chosen Jean Seberg even if she had been. All of this movie discussion. I am about to watch The Mouse That roared and it is obvious that Alec Bladwin has read the same wikipedia entry on Jean Seberg as I have. The music is filmic. Well this track isn't, it's a bit of a folky number with some twiddles underneath that come to the fore about midway through. All of the songs are very short. Nine songs, 26 minutes. Lovely canned string section at the moment. It's tender and reflective, mercy and romance. It could be a Neil Diamond number. How is it that the Velvet Underground are in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and Neil Diamond is not? What a farce. It's true that a number of my favorite bands form some sort of multi-tentacled cult around the feet of Lou Reed but I do hate the man. Really. I shouldn't use hate. I get so depressed on I Love Music from the trolls who just arrive to tell everyone how much they hate something. But I despise the fact that people hear things in Velvet Underground songs that just aren't there. Neil Diamond wrote stirring soundtracks to heartbreak, joy and love than most anyone else alive and he's stuck recording with Rick Rubin in order to appear relevant, a reinvention along the lines of Paul Mccartney seeking credibility in the shadow of Elvis Costello. Guh. Melanie Lynskey is in Away We Go, she's just as awful as everyone else is. Perhaps Sam Mendes has some strange sort of fixaion with the cast of Heavenly Creatures. Wil he cast Mrs Reaper in his next dud? Intermezzo! We're pretentiously learning opera terms. This must be what makes this balearic. Why a 26 minute record should require an intermezzo is a bit of a puzzle. Sam Mendes probably has a fish named Murray O'Lanza. Actually he probably doesn't, that would be clever and cute and he's neither. What does Kate Winslet see in him? Who knows. Next track, following the intermezzo, My Hopes and Dreams, a stalking rush of momentum builds from the initial fog and it's marvelous. Slinky canned strings and whirling atmospherics and dreamism. I had my own HEavenly Creatures fixation of course. when I was in Christchuch I asked several people for directions to the cottage where Mrs Reaper was murdered. It was still too early, it was 1996. In New Zealand in 1996 people were wearing trousers under their skirts, they were driving three on the tree transmission and Ansett served these deviously delicious croissant chicken salad sandwiches on short haul flights. This is more Broadcast-esque than the first few songs. So is the next one Masterplan. This is a beautiful record. I was going to see 500 Days of Summer tonight but I am tired and we love Zooey Deschanel but cut hr open and she's a Death Cab for Cutie fan, she reads Dave Eggers and buys expensive handbags, that's it. I promised to write an entry for my unread website. It may be unread from neglect. I could write an entry on the new Clean record. It is so comically awful. I've come to realize that when record labels are especially vigilant about preventing leaks it is because the album they are covetously keeping all to themselves is dreadful beyond recognition. The Clean are simple boys. I don't think they see themselves this way. Why else would David Kilgour claim credit for the album artwork? I would make the claim that their best work has been done outside of the band. Robert Scott is obviously a god for the Bats and the Magick Heads and for Thumbs Off too, David Kilgour's first solo record is one of the greatest things ever and Hamish was part of the Great Unwashed with David on the ride too. The Mad Scene? Eh. I still recall a review in Option where someone dismissed the entire Antipodes based on one listen to the first Mad Scene album which isn't dreadful but it's not really great either. The new Celan album is a disaster. Look at how dedicated Seeland's label was in depriving us a sneak peek into their album and now we know why--it's an abomination filled with monuments to blandness, a dullard's delight. Last song, another folkie one, it is not a Taylor Dayne cover. I looked up the lyrics to Taylor Dayne's Tell it to my Heart and the words are not the same. Whew. My brother went to see Cathy Dennis and Taylor Dayne in concert long ago Remember Cathy Dennis' digitally enhanced green eyes? It made us swoon, we were innocent and naive. Now she would have digitally enhanced mammaries and we would laugh. I was only just informed of 12:34:56-8-9. I don't recall doing anything memorable at that moment. Did you?


David said...

At 6:41 into Heroin I sometimes think I hear all the universe's miseries being resolved into a joyful pang of quiet majesty. It's probably just me.

victor noir said...

"...shared visions of heaven are so hard to come by"

thanks for the comment!

David said...

I was searching for Monica Queen a few weeks ago and got here that way. I'm not literally searching for MQ, I'm not a stalker or anything. JJ no.2 isn't on Spotify, but No.1 is. Sexist pig that I am, the second track has the kind of vocals that make me want to get intimate with the lady responsible for them. Neko Case has the same effect, as does that Monica Q. I saw Heavenly Creatures on TV about ten years ago. School-girls? Let's not even go there. Like A Hurricane - I'd say the best version is on Weld. Though you were talking about Neil Diamond, not Young.

(I give myself 5 out of 10 for copying your review style. "The boy simply must try harder.")