Friday, June 09, 2006

You Left Me Behind to Remind Me of You

Michelle Collins has been on fizz-ire this week. LK and I accidentally caught a portion of Deal or No Deal the other night, and, as we'd never seen it before, we were alternately stunned and baffled by its insipidity. The You Can't Make It Up episode summary posted the next day, complete with Celine Dion screen-captures, was like so much manna from the comedy heavens, reconfirming my perception of the show as being a vile waste of time and money. But, for all that post's hilarity, her riff on Cute Overload's alpaca footballing star was just crazy-brilliant. Didn't know it was possible to improve on something that was already wiping-away-tears funny.

The Guillemots cover the Streets' "Never Went to Church."
I've been digging on the Guillemots for a little while, and I'm big-time into The Streets right now, so what could go wrong, right? But, arrrrrrg, I just can't go 100 percent of the way with this cover. As far as the music itself goes, the Guillemots' take is more interesting than it could have been, but I have a real problem with the fade-out repetition of that line at the end. Mike Skinner's slightly treacly version is definitely not one of the sonic stand-outs on his latest album, but it's nevertheless become one of my favorites simply because of that line. The reason it works so well is that it's kind of tossed off in the middle of the song. It totally caught me off guard the first time I heard it, and my heart would have 'sploded right out of my chest from the truth and brilliance of it, that is, if my heart hadn't stopped beating entirely for a few moments. But, Skinner doesn't give you any time to dwell on it. The song just matter of factly chugs along back into the sub-Kanye's "Roses" chorus (which Pitchfork brilliantly referred to at the end of last year as his "please-don't-die-grandma" song), and then on through to the end. And, well, isn't that what it's like to have an epiphany about some irreducible aspect of the human condition? Those realizations come out of nowhere, hit you hard, then drift on by, their force a mere echo, leaving it incumbent upon you to hold the memory of them and adjust your perspective accordingly or just let them disappear into the rushing, receding current of your life. I mean, this is really emotionally sophisticated stuff. But Fyfe Dangerfield totally dilutes it both through repetition and by saving it until the end of the song, like it's some kind of summary or punchline or something. No one's ever had an epiphany gift-wrapped for them at an opportune moment and then gently repeated until they catch it and really have time to process it. Here, it just plays like the most banal pop music or processed romantic comedy cheese. Unforch.

1 comment:

Greg K Nicholson said...

"No one's ever had an epiphany gift-wrapped for them at an opportune moment and then gently repeated until they catch it and really have time to process it."

They might have if they've sat and thought for a bit - reassessed their thoughts, or talked to someone else... kind of like what a remix is.