Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Lieutenants & Air Travel

Bad Lieutenants Keitel, Sumner & Herzog

At a certain point in time, Bernard Sumner turned the corner as a songwriter and started writing the sort of uplifting songs that sound like they'd sync perfectly with time-lapsed images of planes landing, people streaming through night markets, and bold new companies offering us exciting advancements in consumer technology. Maybe it started with Electronic, his collaboration with Johnny Marr - I can't really pinpoint it. Certainly the non plus ultra of the Sumnerian ouevre in this regard is New Order's Jetstream, with breathy stewardess spoken bits and swooshing jet engine sounds. Or could there be nothing beyond? Now we have a new offering - Sink or Swim from his new group Bad Lieutenant's debut Never Cry Another Tear. (That jangly guitar lead sounds a bit like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, no? - Okay, fine, The Byrds).

Bad Lieutenant, is Sumner's most recent post-New Order group (they broke up in 2008). The group also features Stephen Morris & Phil Cunningham (both of New Order) and Alex James (of Blur & BBC shockumentary The Cocaine Dairies). No Peter Hook, but still, hooks. Because Mr. Sumner is English, is the band pronounced "Bad Left-enant?"

Bernard Sumner and Werner Herzog are both riding a real zeitgeist wave here, that is, people caring about the (err) classic(?) film Bad Lieutenant, a consequence of life after Grand Theft Auto, or maybe both of them finding a VHS copy in a Goodwill.

And on that note, thanks to some generous folks at the Playlist blog & the Montreal Mirror, I'll be attending the sneak preview of Mr. Herzog's film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans tomorrow. I'll report back with details on the status of Nicolas Cage's mental health (hopefully better than his financial) and whether the iguanas are all they've been made out to be.

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