Kategoriarkiv: At drikke for at glemme

Tillykke, Jens!

I dag stod solen op klokken 5.41 og den går ned igen klokken 20.35. I næste uge begynder de lyse nætter i København.  Den slags er der blevet skrevet gode sange om. Månen er tiltagende; der er fire dage til fuldmåne. (Også dét er der blevet skrevet sange om.)

Duane Eddy bliver 80 og hans danske modstykke Jørgen Ingmann kunne være blevet 93. Den tidligere forsanger fra Ballet Mécanique fylder 55. Og den tidligere guitarist fra Næste Uges TV er atter på omgangshøjde med mig. Tillykke herfra!

Dagens citat 2

I et helt nyt samtale-interview med en paranoid og ikke så lidt højreekstremistisk Morrissey (på Morrissey’s egen hjemmeside no less) kommer intervieweren, en vis John Riggers – er det mon Moz himself? – undervejs med følgende matter-of-fact-statement:

– ‘I Wish You Lonely’  and ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On The Stage’ are your best ever songs. David Bowie was not writing great songs at this period of his career.

Endvidere får Morrissey selv slået fast, at Adolf Hitler var venstreorienteret, samt at man bliver kun kaldt racist fordi ens argumenter er så sandhedsskarpe, de vinder og effektivt stopper enhver diskussion:

– And as far as racism goes, the modern Loony Left seem to forget that Hitler was Left wing! But of course, we are all called racist now, and the word is actually meaningless. It’s just a way of changing the subject. When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is ”hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it, so perhaps if I distract you by calling you a bigot we’ll both forget how enlightened your comment was.

Wow!

Stars were stars and they shone so hard

How the mighty have fallen. Engang så løfterige Echo & The Bunnymen udsender til efteråret sit nye studiealbum The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon. Ikke nok med at Liverpool-bandet, der engang var kendt for naturikoniske pladecovers, i dag har præsenteret et alarmerende kønsløst progrock-pladeomslag, nej, albummets tracklist ser heller ikke voldsomt lovende ud, med kun to nye sange og så 13 ‘Bunnymen classics with strings and things’, som det hedder sig. Har nogen virkelig brug for endnu en ny version af ‘The Killing Moon’?!

Bring on the Dancing Horses
The Somnambulist
Nothing Lasts Forever
Lips Like Sugar
Rescue
Rust
Angels & Devils
Bedbugs & Ballyhoo
Zimbo
Stars Are Stars
Seven Seas
Ocean Rain
The Cutter
How Far?
The Killing Moon

Remembering Phil Ochs

Først var han protestsanger i New York City, og vel nærmest konkurrent på den scene til Bob Dylan. Siden blev han meget mere interessant, da hans sange/albums forlod de firkantede politiske vinkler og bevægede sig ud ad langt mere frit fabulerende, symbolladede og personlige tangenter. I disse forårsdage i 1976 gjorde den da 36-årige Phil Ochs en ende på sit eget liv, idealistisk disillusioneret, svært deprimeret og kreativt udbrændt. Her en fin sang om at længes hjem, taget fra Ochs’ syvende og sidste studiealbum, den så sarkastisk betitlede Greatest Hits (1970)…

Marianne

Englands hovedstad ligger her bagved i regntågen i 1964, ventende tålmodigt på at 60’erne skal eksplodere og gøre millionbyen til det Swinging London, myterne siden gøres af. I forgrunden kigger den 18-årige folk-sangerinde Marianne Faithfull uimponeret ind i kameraet. Karrieren og livet tager fart samme år, da The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger og Keith Richards forærer hende deres nyskrevne ballade ‘As Tears Goes By’, som i sommeren 1964 bliver et betragteligt hit i England. Snart skal hun opleve mange flere udgivelser, et hurtigt overstået ægteskab, børn, skilsmisse, teater- og filmroller, en kæresteaffære med Mick Jagger, celebritystatus, societyfester, drugs, abort, politianholdelse, ja, et tumultarisk liv i slipstrømmen af The Rolling Stones på overdrive, inden Mick Jagger og hun i maj ’70 går fra hinanden. Det brud efterfølges for Faithfull’s vedkommende af et selvmordsforsøg og heroinafhængighed. 1970’erne er begyndt, the summer of love-drømmen er kørt i grøften, det er på tide at kravle ud af vraget.

Fordi det er lørdag aften

Elvis har indspillet en mørkebeige skilsmisseversion af den, Timi Yuro har givet en yderst dramatisk kvindelig udgave, men det er vel Tom Jones’ 1967-tolkning af ‘Rock Island Line’-skifflekongen Lonnie Donnegan og Jimmy Currie’s ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ som er den ultimative version af en stor, rullende 6/8-sang, der ikke ligefrem underspiller sin skamløst sentimentale grundfølelse. Her en optagelse fra 1967 med netop Tom Jones, der iøvrigt her positivt ligner Slagternes guitar-es Rune Kjeldsen, så fremragende ser han ud…

Royal Starr

The Beatles’ Ringo Starr blev i dag slået til ridder på Buckingham Palace i London. Tidligere har rockstjerner som Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Robert Plant og Ray Davies også måttet knæle på samme underdanige facon for at modtage den royale udmærkelse. Og jo, det er ret uklædeligt når rockmusik helt konkret ender så forfængeligt spidsborgerligt og titelhungrende uværdigt som det. I den forbindelse findes der dog én befriende udvej: David Bowie viste således det gode eksempel og sagde ‘nej tak’. Endda i to omgange, med tre års mellemrum. Som han så enkelt udtrykte det.

– I seriously don’t know what it’s for. I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. It’s not what I spent my life working for.

Hvorfor?

Lana Del Rey synger Andrew Lloyd Webber. Nye ‘You Must Love Me’ kommer fra musicalen Evita, og er således tidligere blevet sunget af Madonna. Her oplever vi indimellem Lana Del Rey som stående ved den klassiske ABBA-skillevej, hvor den ene rute fører mod pop-paradis, den anden ned i musical-helvede. Her er det vej nummer to Lana vælger med sikker hånd. Pænt, nydeligt, korrekt, ferniseret, ligegyldigt, sterilt. Hun kan så meget bedre.

Brev fra Nicolai

I dag er det ét år siden Nicolai Munch-Hansen pludseligt døde. Kun tre måneder tidligere udsendte han sin mesterplade Det Flimrende Lys Over Brabrand Sø,  hvor Nicolais fritvoksende og fintfølende musik blev sat op mod poet Peter Laugesens mesterlige ord. Albummet blev siden kåret som Årets Danske Jazzudgivelse. Hørt herfra er det en positiv misforståelse, for selvom Nicolai elskede sin jazz og var et markant navn indenfor genren, så er Det Flimrende Lys Over Brabrand Sø i den grad en nysgerrigt søgende rockplade. Herfra tanker til dejlige Nicolai på et lydspor af Steen Jørgensen og Kira Skov, der synger om at drikke måneskin…

En ABBA-sang om…død?!

Har netop på Vice læst nogle tankevækkende gode betragtninger om livet i almindelighed og ABBA’s popperfektionsdiamant ‘Dancing Queen’ i særdeleshed. Tror at Angus Harrison’s velskrevne ord også vil kunne få denne blogs læsere til at høre  den svenske evergreen på en ny, frisk måde…

Why Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ Is the Saddest Record Ever Made
You thought it was just a cheesy song that your great-aunt fell over to at your cousin’s wedding, didn’t you? You were wrong.

(This article originally appeared on THUMP)

Can you remember where you were when you first heard “Dancing Queen”? The chances are it was at a wedding reception, or a 40th birthday party; you were probably five. It was probably mixed in the air with the croaking voices of older relatives pouring down on you, as you ran between their fat, pink legs in a church hall. You probably had a fistful of Wotsits in your possession. You were probably wearing a waistcoat. This is where “Dancing Queen” has made its home. ITV specials, Pierce Brosnan, TOTP2, your nan, buffets, desert island discs, Alan Partridge, Peter Kay routines and karaoke machines.

This is wrong. Because “Dancing Queen” is the saddest record ever made.

In order for this exercise to work, I’m going to have to ask you to forget everything you think you know about ABBA. Forget the cheese and the chintz. Forget the Eurovision song contest. Sit back in as close to silent as you can achieve in your current surroundings, and luxuriate on this:

First things first: what a record. In a conversation with THUMP that we stupidly didn’t record, the ever-enlightened DJ Harvey once told us he believes “Dancing Queen” is the greatest disco record ever made, and it’s hard to disagree. It’s a song of such high-quality, a song so beloved, it’s been nearly entirely ruined by the weight of it legacy. But even then it triumphs. That initial glissando, the endless, breathless, pirouettes in your ears. The tepid beat – barely faster than your heartbeat – the choral whirls and clambering strings. It’s perfect. But you already knew that.

The basic point – the important point – here is this: you have spent your entire life believing “Dancing Queen” is a song about a 17-year-old girl, dancing. And to a point, it is. Yet, have you ever thought about the song’s vantage point?

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen

Make no mistake. This song is about the dancing queen, but it is most definitely not sung by her. Herein lies the tragedy. Our narrator has realised that she is no longer the Dancing Queen. She is no longer young, no longer sweet, no longer 17. Now, instead, she watches from the bar; the dancefloor a maelstrom of lost faith, memories and missed opportunities. She was once 17, and as such was totally oblivious that the moment would ever end.

“Dancing Queen” is a song about this end. Or at least, edging ever closer towards it. It is a song that respects the truth that the passing of time only moves in one direction. That the second after the greatest moment of your life, it is as far behind you as it will be forever. Fuck your inner child, fuck “you’re only as young as the woman you feel”. You are young once, it happens, and then the rest is a slow slide towards something both inevitable and unknown. Of course, that’s not to say that the slide into adulthood can’t be a rich and bountiful experience. For many, youth is an uncomfortable project, full of Muse albums and matted pubes, and as such something they are glad to watch turn to ash over their shoulder. That’s fine, I get that. There are, however, a large percentage of people who only make sense when they are young. People who find a home away from home in the shimmering reaches of nightclubs.

A lot of cynics would have you believe that nightclubs are only good for trying to get off with people, or that those who purport to love them are merely extending some juvenile urge to deny “the real world”. Sadly, for all their wisdom, the truth is they don’t understand the confidence, the place, many people find when they go out – and just how out of place they can feel once those halcyon days are over. As soon as that moment passes – that moment when they were walking on air through the thick, black promise of the night – as soon as the sun starts to come up on the rest of their lives, they are destined to spend forever stewing on what has ended, or simply pretending it hasn’t.

To every wrong-side of 30 year-old still stubbing cigarettes out on coffee tables at 6 the next morning, everyone who has ever spent entire evenings listening to their terrible teenage CD collection, every aching back on a premature night-bus home: this one’s for you. This is what it’s all about. Watching the Dancing Queen flood the floor with light, a floor you used to own but now creaks under other feet. It’s a beautiful scene, sure, but also an inescapably sad one. Yes, it sounds happy, but that’s the point. The thick melancholy in every piano chord, the unmistakable, immediately singable nature of the chorus are all part of its power. Sometimes when I listen to “Dancing Queen”, around the 2:57 mark, I’m sure I can even hear someone scream. This isn’t joy. This is agony.

ABBA have been fucking depressing on many other occasions. They basically live-blogged their respective divorces via disco ballads. “Slipping Through My Fingers” captures, with devastating effect, the slow trickle of child ageing away from their parent. “The Day Before You Came” details the oblivious mundane existence that precedes a life-changing encounter. And “S.O.S.” –your Aunty Mary’s favourite – horrifically masters the point of total disembodiment from somebody you thought you’d spend forever with. Pretty much everything they have ever recorded is imbued with a wistfulness. A constant interplay between pop sensibility and twisted mentality.

Yet, for my money, none of their hits come anywhere close to “Dancing Queen” in the longing stakes. It is a song that says the best has been. The best now belongs to somebody else. The best you can now do is watch the best and remember when you were the best. It’s a song for the moment when the value of your memories outweigh the value of your ambitions. “Dancing Queen”, a song now most commonly preceded by a function DJ slurring the words “get yer dancing shoes on” into a low quality microphone or belted at West End audiences, is in fact a song about watching the party from the other side of the glass, knowing you’ll never be on the list again.

“Dancing Queen” is a song about death.

© Angus Harrison