Friday, April 14, 2006

Must... Control... Brain... Of... Thoughts

UPDATE: Grammatical mobius strip now fixed, I think. Thanks all for your suggestions!

Trains of thought this morning that could have ended up as blog posts if I had the time and dedication (be very thankful that I don't):

1. Calexico's Garden Ruin vs. Howe Gelb's 'Sno Angel Like You. If I was Joey Burns or John Convertino, I'd be feeling a mite irritated that my gravelly-voiced ex-bandmate had come up with a far better album than my own latest creation. Gelb 1, Calexico 0, frankly.

2. Giant Sand's cover of Nick Cave's Red Right Hand. When Messrs Burns and Convertino were in a band with Howe Gelb, it was called Giant Sand. They covered Red Right Hand, one of the greatest songs ever written (sorry, W), but they covered it all wrong. This is because they tried to make it sound like a spooky desertscape, while letting the lyrics go all to buggery. But the lyrics are the best thing about Red Right Hand. The thing is practically a poem, the lyrics provide the rhythm of the whole song. You can't go missing words out, or it all gets shot to pieces. So there! Cave 1, Sand 0.

3. "Womenomics". This week's Economist gets all excited - to the extent of creating a new word - about the fact that women are cleverer than men and now lots of us have jobs too! Never mind what type of job we have, or the fact that all the pictures in the entire magazine are still of men, apparently women are now driving the global economy! Go us! The Economist's conclusion? "If women are to get out and power the global economy, it is surely only fair that men should at last do more of the housework." Or alternatively, just get your own house. Rah!

4. Computer terminology in pop music lyrics. With computers and networking now a part of everyday life, you'd think there'd be more songs about MSN Messenger* and SSH tunnelling and stuff. But sadly the world of pop songcraft seems largely to overlook the massive technological advances going on around us. So I was heartened to discover Swedish alt-country chanteuse Britta Persson singing a wistful song about wishing she had a program to defrag her heart (video here). More of that, please.

* The Winter Rush by Some By Sea has a line that goes "I miss the nightly readouts/Of all the things we spewed out", which I like to think is a reference to MSN's evil Message History feature. So that's OK then.

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nibus said...

Re. 4) - fantastically uncool, but have a look at Kate Bush's Deeper Understanding (from 1989) - awful song, terrible lyrics - but you can imagine her in her Syd Barrett nutsness in front of an Amstrad 6128.

patroclus said...

*some minutes and 79p later*

Blimey, that's like the whole of Sherry Turkle's The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit summarised in one song. Bless.

Smat said...

Try "If I was" which saves worrying.

Annie said...

As the people here grow colder
I turn to my computer
And spend my evenings with it
Like a friend

*frostily* I fail to see anything terrible about these lyrics...

See what you mean about the grammar. It's like looking at a moebius strip. I think it should be 'our' but sounds better with 'their'.

Don't know much about alt-country. Will check it out if you say it's good.

patroclus said...

Annie, re. alt-country (I don't even really know what it means, incidentally), I'd get hold of the following songs and go from there:

* Giant Sand - Shiver
* Lambchop - Is A Woman
* Neko Case - Star Witness
* Calexico - Black Heart

Also, Occasional Poster of Comments posted a link to a Cambridge alt-country band the other day, The Low Country, and they have a lovely song called "Lord I Want An Exit" - you can hear that at their myspace.

Tabby Rabbit said...

..and they've been playing Calexico in Starbucks (over here). That can't be good for Calexico, surely?

frangelita said...

I would go with "one of the Calexico boys" or "in Calexico" and "my band-mates".

patroclus said...

>>...and they've been playing Calexico in Starbucks (over here). That can't be good for Calexico, surely?<<

If they're playing "Black Heart", it probably won't be much good for Starbucks, either. People will be weeping into their low-fat decaf soya lattes. Although the addition of salt water might make them taste better.

The Curve said...

Favourite Giant Sand Album is 'Swerve', brilliant. I went to see them in the Duchess of York in Leeds in the early 90's and I bought John Convertino a drink. I am sure he remembers.

patroclus said...

Curve, that's one of the best claims to fame I've heard. It's right up there with nibus's "I know the bloke who found the frog they used in filming the Wicker Man."

My blog has such quality readers, contented sigh.