18 August 2005

so about that new franz ferdinand single ...

(yes, yes, it's a link to the myspace stream and not the mp3; i'm not touching it.)

[edit: first, first thing: four days later, it strikes me how beatles '64 the opening is. i half expect "i wanna hold your hand" or "twist & shout" to follow; that it doesn't, that it's followed instead by indie-disco says something about franz ferdinand. but what?]

first thing: being a literary kinda guy, i notice punctuation and its absence. so, parentheses, ellipses, dashes, colons, exclamation points, and, oh, yes, question marks. flaming lips' "do you realize??" has, as you can see, two: the listener should feel sufficiently prompted. franz ferdinand's "do you want to" has none, and i have to think this intentional. it's as much of a question as, say, "let's spend the night together," which is one of several touchstones i'm going to bring up.

admittedly, i haven't listened to franz ferdinand in some time and so the ubiquity of "take me out" has altered my perception of the band, a perception since righted by "do you want to." what i like about the band--and where the comparison to orange juice goes wrong--is their sense of menace. to be sure, they're not nick cave, but in the pantheon of creepy songs about girls, "do you want to" is closer to "deanna" than to "hello," and its guitars are sharper than sting's--the wit too. what i like more than the menace is their ability to dress it up nicely, to fine tune it for maximum commercial acceptance (even if that requires a little greasing of palms ... ) it's time that parents worried about what their children are listening to; not in a marilyn manson way, but more like the kind of concern that parents of the earlier times had about elvis, mick, and wicked pickett.

the song itself is a bit of a mess that cleans up nicely after several listens. there's the intro part, with its late-riser looking to make somebody--ooh, the indefinite pronouns--love him; there's what one would call the chorus, i guess, since it contains the title; there's a little verse about blowjobs; and finally a return to the top before shifting into a coda. as far as 2005 chart songs go, it's not as willfully arbitrary as "trapped in the closet," but the end result, of both songs, reveals minds operating at peak pop capacity, while making the radio a little less safe for all of us.

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