14 March 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 60

So, there's a wicked large lump of pompous assery two posts below about the whole "Cool Britannia" movement of the 1990's, and in particular, Britpop. I only mentioned Oasis and Blur in that post in an attempt to keep some sort of clarity and focus in my argument (as if), but as I was clacking away on my keyboard, I kept thinking about Pulp, and how I was really giving 'em the shaft, cuz an argument can and has been made by many tasteful and knowledgable people that Pulp's 1995 album, Different Class, is the pinnacle of Britpop, the single greatest album of that movement, that era..

I don't know that I have an opinion on any of this. I take great pleasure in being 95% ambivalent about Oasis, and as far as Blur goes, I like each of their albums more than the previous one, which means I liked 'em more when they went "anti-Britpop" by seemingly cashing in with their take on American Grunge ala "Song 2", and I liked their last album, Think Tank, best of all, an album released in 2003 when Britpop was long dead and irrelevant...

So yeah, I gave Pulp the shaft in that previous post about a dead and irrelevant musical trend, and here we are...I also gave The Auteurs the shaft, but we won't get into that...
Clarity and focus...Clarity and focus...

Is Different Class the Sgt. Pepper of 90's Britpop? Like I said, I dunno. There's no denying the quality of the songwriting throughout, and the nimble genre-hopping Pulp nails time and again, although their basic maneuver tends towards dance/disco flavored pop-rock...There's no mistake that Jarvis Cocker has a fairly informed understanding of British life in all it's classes and flavors, and his lyrics are smart and funny and caustic. Is he better than Damon Albarn in these respects? You tell me. In the mid-90's I was listening to alot of Jazz, alt.country, and Pavement.
"Sorted For E's & Wizz" is a piss-take on the British rave culture of that era, when the kids were trudging off to muddy fields in unknown rural locales, their heads full of assorted substances. On the surface Cocker is really saying nothing more than drugs make you stupid, and therefore drugs are stupid. But if I'm reading correctly between Cocker's lines, (pompous assery here) he's also saying that ravers don't give two shits about their beloved music as long as they've got their pharmaceuticals in pocket.
But I suppose that sentiment could be applied to most musical scenes...The fans AND the artists themselves...
[deep breath]
Jazz and smack and cheap wine.
'60's Rock and LSD and weed and shrooms and wines made out of dandelions and rhubarb.
Reggae and weed.
Jam Bands and LSD and shrooms and wine and expensive hydro weed with silly names that you gotta buy from college kids with names like Trevor and Justin.
Disco and cocaine.
Rap and crack and west coast gin'n'juice and east coast Cristal and lowriding trunks full of weed rolling coast to coast like a motherfucker.
Trad Country and beer and hard liquor and plenty of speed.
Modern Pop Country and oxycontin and lite beers in cans.
Punk and smack and speed and more beer with Fear, except for the straight edgers, natch.
Heavy Metal and weed and beer and speed and stuff like Jaegermeister and blackberry brandy.
Hair metal and cocaine and Jack Daniels.
Gospel and angel dust.
Bluegrass and opium.
Grunge and smack and coffee and weed and microbrews.
Nu-Metal and Ritalin.
Techno and Ecstacy and speed (E and Wizz) and LSD and Red Bull'n'Vodka and candy pacifiers.
Classical and wine and soft cheeses. Sometimes a scotch with a splash of soda and an understated cigar.
Indie rock and Pabst.
Polka and Viagra (miss you, grampa Frank!)
Teen pop and chocolate and soda pop.
Juggalos and 2 liter bottles of Faygo soda. And probably crystal meth.
Goth and wine and absinthe and the menstrual blood of virgin wiccans.
Well, that was kinda fun...Gospel and angel dust, I shit you not...
Maybe Cocker isn't quite as clever as you or me or other tasteful and knowledgable people think he is. Maybe he's taking easy shots at big targets that others have already slain.
Maybe The Auteurs' Now I'm A Cowboy LP is the pinnacle of Britpop. Maybe Luke Haines truly is the most brilliant of 'em all.
What do I know?
I know that the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album is tasty. I should, because I'm drinking Ethiopian coffee and smoking some primo kind that my guy calls "Trinity". I think I'm supposed to be falling into "bullet time", but it just ain't happening. It's all good.
Hotcha! Hank

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell yeah, it's all good.

March 16, 2008 10:15 PM  

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