17 May 2006

art brut - "emily kane" (from the bang bang rock & roll lp, available for purchase here.)

... and no band seems less poised to take a page from the jimmy webb songbook than art brut. w/ a song directed at an ex-lover, though, directly addressed to an ex-lover, art brut recall webb's late 60's cycle of songs i'd written about earlier--and no singer seems less poised to succeed in his entreaty than eddie argos. this, though, is the only similarity between the two; the oneupmanship in giving the subject a last name is more like what we've come to expect from the band.

the scale is tipped in favor of surprise once more, though, when eddie sings what to me is one of the great love lyrics of a decade half over : "i want children on schoolbuses singing your name!" the subject, if troubled by this prospect, has little to worry about since there's as good a chance of this happening as of the band singing "formed a band" or any of their tunes on top of the pops for eight weeks in a row.

if you're not familiar w/ the terrain art brut mine, yes, there is a "real" emily kane, inasmuch as anything they--and by "they" i mean "eddie argos"--say or do is real. we have to take eddie's word for it, that this is neither irony nor rock & roll. (oh, there is irony : while emily kane is her real name, eddie argos isn't his.) as "emily kane" careers to a close, a guitar riff enters and sees the record off, a riff that sounds exactly like andrew w.k.'s "party hard." a transatlantic nod to spiritual kin, maybe? it occurs to me that art brut are like an english andrew w.k. in several regards : 1) the love it or hate it factor; 2) their albums are exhausting, in a good way (well, not the wolf) 3) you want to believe like you want to believe in santa claus, like you want to believe there's an emily kane.

AND THERE IS!! from the nme :
'New Year's Eve Party 1995 was the night I was wooed by Eddie's drunken ranting charms,' said the real life Kane. 'It was the start of a 6 month joy ride of ambling through record stores, strumming guitars, falling through bushes, running from the police, going to weddings and fumbling, most of the time boozed up on strong lager and cheap cider.'

Unfortunately all was not smooth for the young lovers. 'Sadly I grew up and left him in his world of music and cider and actually had no idea he was still there, did I forget to tell him the break was off?'admitted Kane. 'Ten years on I'm afraid I do have another boyfriend, sorry Eddie - I thought after the first 5 years you'd presume I moved on. But now you want kids on buses singing my name, boy do I feel guilty now.'
so guilt and not trouble is the feeling--which is probably a small victory to his mind, and besides i thought he was linked to one of the chalets? also, i thought i remembered reading somewhere that he was going to record a b-side that said he never really meant what he said on the record, a sentiment that definitely has its basis in reality.

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