Sunday, July 25, 2010

Middle o' the Road

I am a fangirl.

Those of you who grew up with me may know some of my, er, stranger obsessions with bands (yeah, I knew every word and note of every America song, when it was produced, who wrote it, which band members were recorded... not that that's weird or anything. I still remember a shocking amount of this stuff. Please don't remind me I'm using brain cells for this.) Or with books (there are numerous "young adult" books I reread every year, and so forth.)

One abiding and intense love is the groundbreaking music of David Bowie. Now, I know he has his performance-art moments and that sometimes they are of questionable taste, but always interesting. But that voice! From throaty growls to ethereal howls, always with a sly wink and an infusion of emotion -- how can you not fall in love with it? And his songs, almost always surreal, cutting-edge, and ... sometimes ... timeless.

So let me confess, I've never been a huge fan of "Boys Keep Swinging." I use the fast-forward on it half the time: its relentless march and zombie choruses really don't do it for me. No biggie.

Well, there are other bands I feel the same way about that I do about Bowie. Muse, absolutely. Blur, yes. And I've got a mix of Muse and Blur and some other stuff in the car.

Blur has this song called "M.O.R." (an acronym for Middle of the Road, which occurs in their lyrics). It's awful. For one thing, it's just awful. And for another thing, IT IS 90% "BOYS KEEP SWINGING."

Wikipedia says it's an intentional tribute to the chord progression that Bowie and Brian Eno devised for "Boys Keep Swinging" AND "Fantastic Voyage" (which is actually one of my favorites). Mmmmmaybe, but I say it's similar enough to the former song to be maddening. If I were Bowie, I'd have sued Blur for sure.

You be the judge!

Here's a decidedly strange video for "Boys Keep Swinging" -- the Thin White Duke is at his most manic and lunatic, complete with intolerable mugging at the camera, but it's worth hanging in there for the wackadoodle ending...

Here's an entertaining video of "M.O.R." -- which, although it does pass in... a Blur (Dr. Evil pinky finger to corner of mouth) ... is probably better than the A-TEAM movie. But their song is still a giant rip-off and still leaves me looking for the FF button.

And as a palate cleanser, a very nice live performance video of "Fantastic Voyage." Ahhhh, that's better.

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