Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ambient Jean Genet Music Machine

"NNNAAAMMM" can really creep a girl out. It's what Trent was gunning for in "Closer," only he was in thrall to an industrial-techno god at the time rather than a Teutonic noise one, so some of the menace was glossed in translation. Einsty seem to corner the market on paranoid soundscaping simply by virtue of being so German.

Yesterday I came across an endearingly nonsensical song concept: Eartha Kitt's "Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell." It hinges on the highly disruptive theft of a bell from a church steeple but I won't divulge more except to report it demands repeatedly, "Who stole de ding-dong?? Who stole de bell???" in a baffling just-add-rasta microwaveable "Islands" accent. Eartha may have been Catwoman but she was not from Kingstown.

I also heard what is surely one of the more unintentionally homoerotic offerings from a genre already rippling with unintentional homoeroticism: Richard Thompson's "I'll Never Give It Up." That one I'm going to let speak for itself, as it is a glory to behold.

I can't eat, I can't sleep
Knowing that you're on
Your midnight creep
I can't jump, I can't jive
Knowing that you want me
Dead or alive
Come on, do your worst, boy
That's the way, that's the way
Hit me where it hurts, boy,
That's the way, that's the way
Puff until you burst, boy
That's the way, that's the way
But I'll never give it up
I'll never give it up

I don't run, I don't care
Some day we're going to
Meet somewhere
You and me will rock and roll
When you crawl out of
Your sick little hole
So give me what you got
Put your money in the pot
Let's see what you are and
What you're not

How is this not a sample lyric from a lost English-language musical adaptation of Querelle? Really? Then again, I was just re-reading the chapter of Between Men where Eve K. Sedgwick insists that Our Mutual Friend was all about sphincters. So who knows.

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