Friday, September 05, 2008

She was all over me like a cheap suit..... *

My arts reviewing duties for the Independent Weekly are conducted with scientific precision. Yep, the right side of the brain is also at play here. What tends to happen is that I'm emailed a list of books, movies and CDs that need reviewing and asked to select which ones I'd be prepared to have a go at.

With the very best of intentions and despite having a mind chock full of useless pop culture information that also proves valuable during Quiz Nights, I often find myself selecting items for review based on their titles alone.

This is how the ‘Scars of Broadway’ CD ended up in my possession. I was only after reading the lyrics sheet that my heart started to sink. This was no brand new, cutting edge musical ready to sweep the rest of the Western World, or a witty compilation of hits from the past. Oh no.

Here’s a preview from one song, enticingly called ‘Chemicals’:
“I smacked your face
You fell in love when I said f**k your Mom
Come eat some chemicals with me"

It was then rounded off with: "I p**s on your face while you suck on my c**k." To be honest, I wasn't sure that such an act was physically possible, but what does an old fuddy duddy like me know? What I did know, was that I didn't want to read any more of the liner notes or place such a disc into my stereo system, let alone attempt to write a 200 word piece on it.

To cover my (not insignificantly-sized) arse, I asked the arts editor, the following:

Would you like me to attempt either:
1) a (hopefully ‘light hearted’) review on it from a daggy nearly-40-something perspective;
2) using it as a non-absorbent coffee cup doily; or
3) returning it back to you to refer on to someone who may ‘enjoy’ or know more (not hard) about this style of music than I?

Thankfully, she was more than happy for me to use it as a cup holder. I did for a short time before discovering that one of my karate sensei's sons was a big fan of 'System of a Down' who some of these Broadway Scars chaps were a short time ago. She was going to have a wee listen to the disc before deciding if she too, might use it as a petri dish cover at the lab she works at or hand it over to her fifteen year old.

It did, however, get me thinking about lyrics that I've enjoyed, sung along to and not really even questioned that lurk in my own collection. Most I've rediscovered since learning how to use my iPOD and select 'shuffle' during my treadmill sessions. Let's be clear here: these are all songs that I love and are (sorry Franzy) from my 'era' of the eighties, mostly.

Here are but a few:
Then, suddenly
Like a fly in a cup of tea
I'm stirred and no longer free
To fly away
('Is it a Dream', the Damned, 1985)

What you see is what you get
What the hell did you expect
Pretty red roses, wet puppy noses
Men with rubber hoses is more like it
('What you see', Oingo Boingo, 1981)

We learned more from a three minute record baby
than we ever learned in school
('No Surrender', Bruce Springsteen, 1984)

The steps of the stone church
are peppered with confetti hearts
Like a million little love affairs
Waiting to fall apart
('I won't take the blame', Del Amitri, 1991)

Get that Wasp off my sandwich!
('Hey Wrap, The Saw Doctors, 1992)

...... there are so many that the topic could really be a blog all of its own. Do you have any you care to contribute?

* (an eighties KISS song, long after the heady heights of their popularity and when they finally wiped the make up off and found that no-one, apart from my metal-head, accounting student boyfriend at the time of 1986, actually cared)


Naomi said...

we 40 something fuddy duddy mothers must be alike you know! The lyrics you quoted were from the only song that we blacked out of the lyric sheet. We then burnt a back up copy of the disc, minus that song and then master 15 was allowed to have it! Thanks Kath he loves it. I have to say whilst some of the language choice isn't my ideal (I have no doubt he has heard it and/or used it in the company of his male friends!!) I have to say that some of the lyrics are actually quite political and anti the current US president and the things he has done or not done where the environment is concerned...but ay ay ay Chemical - ah nope no way nada. As a 40 year old adult it bothered me so it wasn't something master 15 was going to listen to that is for sure. Opened up a great dialogue for us though when he asked me why he couldn't have that one. I didn't share the lyrics just why they bothered me!!

River said...

My collection of eighties songs is very different. Nothing dark or political, certainly nothing sexually explicit. Only sweetness and light in River's world.

Baino said...

Hey! I've got a Love Chunks birthday post in my reader but it won't work when I click. Happy b'day to the boidie.
And on another note. . .I'm a bit weird in that I am a drummy mummy and listen to triple J so I'm rather keen on the alterntive stuff. Some of the lyrics are . ..well less than savoury . . although vacuuming to "Smack My Bitch Up" certainly increases the pace of housework. At the moment, I'm particularly keen on "Get It" by The Dukes of Windsor - all about the party pash. Then what do I know, I was around when Frank Zappa had Billy The Mountain and Ethel the Tree Grew Off of his Shoulder . . . never really got that one but they said fuck a lot so it was kinda cool!

"Start singin' those blues' . .I'm leavin' today . .I gotta be a part ov it . . ."

Are we turning into Grumpy Old Women?

franzy said...

The most rock'n'roll lyric I've heard for ages is from My Robot Friend's 'Robot High School':

Everything I say about my bad education/
A million broken records have already said/
Learning how to live like I'm under sedation/
Learning how to live like I'm already dead

The video clip is quite something. All live, one shot, no cut, no CGI. Give it a look! Don't worry, it's total rock'n'roll.

Naomi - Let me get this straight: you censored the CD for your fifteen year old son? You went to all the trouble of blacking out the lyric sheet and reburning the disc? I'm troubled ...

Naomi said...

yep Franzy I censored!! I left all the rest alone and there were drug references and other stuff - there was just the one track that was completely inappopriate for him.

We talked about why I censored that one, it was a great learning opportunity and he was fine with it. He recognises I am still responsible for his care and this would be the first time I have ever censored anything he listens to and he listens to a lot of heavy metal stuff, so it was all good.

PS what you think my kids live in a democracy or something???? lol

franzy said...

Her Naomi - Well ... bloody good on you then. Sticking to your guns and all that. Do you reckon he's heard the song by now?

No - look. I'm being completely aggressive about this because I'm against censorship and I shouldn't be because individual parenting is a different matter.
When I was twelve another boy lent me a biography of a serial killer and I brought it home and was reading some truly horrifying and sick things. I knew they were sick, but they were so unique and new to me that I just kept on reading. I don't really have a turn off thresh-hold (except for stupid television shows).
Anyway, my mum found me reading the book and told me to stop reading it because it was (and I quote) "bad for the soul". We aren't a spiritual family, not in any way, but I understood what she meant and what she wanted and I still do. I stopped reading and gave the book back and today I'm more glad that I missed out on a serial killer's biography and made my mum happy than I would be if I'd just said 'Fuck it - fight the power, I'll read what I like'.

That said, what does your son think of Tool? Some of their songs are pretty risqué.
Actually, if your son's a metal fan, he's probably way beyond Tool at this point ...
Anyway, my favourite Tool censorship story is how the song 'Stinkfist' was bleeped for US radio:
The lyrics are about ... manual penetration. US radio stations decided to bleep the first word of the lines
'Finger deep within the borderline'
'Knuckle deep within the borderline'
'Elbow deep within the borderline'
because they were sexually violent and offensive.
BUT they left
'Shoulder deep within the borderline'
because it was deemed to be beyond the realms of possibility and therefore entirely inoffensive and suitable for family programming.

TOM said...

I don't know how much more of this I can take.
She's filing her nails while they're dragging the lake.

Well released in the 70's but heard right on thru the 80's Elvis Costello "Watching The Detectives" and I did horrible on the Music Quiz )-:

Miles McClagan said...

Since you should know by now the quality of my musical tastes, these are some of my favourite ever lyrics...

"If the light is off, then it isn't on" - Hilary Duff, So Yesterday (the hell can you argue with that logic?)

"You tried to videotape me, then you tried to rent me out" - Sarah Whatmore, Automatic (why she didn't kick on, god knows)

"And you draw a heart that's hooked, on the page of your pupil book...and then you've written it...yes you did!" - Jodie Foster, La Vie C'est Chouette (what a song...)

"And I don't wanna get jaded, petrified and weighted, I don't wanna get bitter like you" - Jill Sobule, Bitter (OK, that one I do like, cos it's about Alanis...)

Naomi said...

I'm a lyrics lover
"doesn't matter what side it lands on if it someone else's dime" Jewel Who is going to save your soul

"you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him enjoy the view" The Whitlams

and one of my all time favourites Eagles Hotel California
"you can check out any time you like but you can never leave"