Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I love the way Set The Timer opens - a quick inhale and we're off into the folk-tinged art-rock of the Talking Heads and 80s Athens, Georgia propping up a giant melodic hook that sounds remarkably similar to the theme song that Giorgio Moroder wrote for The Never Ending Story.
I remember, in high school, riding in the car with my mother, listening to the radio. Primal Scream's Rocks came on, and my Mom kept on counting out the times she could hear Bobby Gillespie doing a deep inhale. It ruined a song that already wasn't very good. That album Give Out But Don't Give Up, and that song in particular was a shrill, incessant and insistent waste of time - the sort of pineapple haired post-glam creaky hipped that somehow Robyn Black made a name for himself with and (I'm really aging myself here) the Black Halos. I think I saw Robyn Black loading a guitar into the back of a car on Queen Street West the other week. There's little more off-putting than seeing a dyed black hair rocker, like some toothless vampire, in the sunshine, which is why I imagine downtown Hollywood is a particularly ghastly place.
Give Out But Don't Give Up is even more depressing when one considers it was the follow-up to Screamadelica. That sort of recorded-inhale-as-punctuation is a near constant presence in most contemporary radio pop these days, and it baffles me as to why - it's totally obnoxious and disorienting, similar to hearing the fingers slide between chords, a side-effect of the 90s mania for too brightly recording acoustic guitars.
And speaking of Hollywood and tragedy - I wonder if the last song Jonathan Brandis listened to before he took his own life was The Never Ending Story theme? Production companies that pitch to Lifetime Movies - feel free to use this idea for the cold open of Descent Into Darkness: The Tragic Demise of Jonathan Brandis, Victim of Hollywood, but I'd like a writing credit. Get in touch - I could come up with a pretty bang-on rendering of his last cri du couer to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's Tatyana Ali. To say nothing of the tangential links to The Church of Scientology via Will Smith! As Paul Thomas Anderson will soon be releasing The Master - a film based on the origins of Scientology, and David Cronenberg is soon to be shooting Maps To the Stars - based on the moral decay of two Hollywood child actors (Haim and Feldman?), the Jonathan Brandis morto-pic will surely be a hot property, uniquely positioned to take advantage of the zeitgeist, the twin poles of predatory grooming in Hollywood: The Church of Scientology and perverts.
(Jesus, writing about Primal Scream... I'm truly entering my Mojo magazine years. I even found a couple of grey chest hairs this afternoon.)