Posts from 23rd November 2004

23
Nov 04

S’NDOR WE’RES: Antithin

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 263 views

S’NDOR WE’RES: Antithin

At last it has leaked out – thin men are the cause of everything.
They wait in ambush on street corners and if an old woman comes by
they don’t even greet her. They are more concerned with exchanging their
straw hats for lottery tickets, and with naturalising crocodiles in
the waters of Europe, so that even there there should be no safety.

They always begin their fishy deals in their beds at dawn, and
afterwards go to the street. Some work in offices, others ostensibly
are waiters or locksmiths – they all disguise themselves but their
true trade is thinness. At last it has leaked out – thin men are, etc.

(This poem, translated by Richard Lourie, can be found in Leopard V: An
Island of Sound – Hungarian Poetry and Fiction before and beyond the Iron
Curtain
. It is included here as The Brown Wedge’s contribution to the
Pumpkin Publog’s campaign to save the Ayingerbrau Fat Man. You can add your name to the petition here.)

Cat Power and The Handsome Boy Modeling School?Be My Boy.

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,293 views

Cat Power and The Handsome Boy Modeling School?Be My Boy.

I?ve been about thinking about Cat Power, and I’m thinking of her cover of Wild is the Wind, that grand Peyton place chantey about lost opportunity, and about how much more sad she made it by making it simple?Cat Power, the indie darling, is not an indie singer, she isn?t angry or torn apart or ironically cute enough.

She is dangerous, and she is so lonely, that listening to her will make you lonely too?you could see it in the isolation of the above track, how her voice worked like turpentine on an old thrift store table.

The beats lay supine, and smoke?watching a pretty girl sing about the most heart breaking codependency imaginable?be my boy, not as a command, or a beg or an option, just a sort of free form uncoiling of desire. (That desire, as it negotiates a matrix of absence and presence?what he made her do, what she made him do, his ?hunger from the start?? and then she starts singing about diamonds, candy, pills and million dollar bills, and you realize the real currency is the currency of the soul singer, of the torch balladeer?it is not about money, pleasure, sex or candy?it is about power. )

When she says she will never be on her knees, that she will ?Slide, Slide, Slippery, Slide? over those keyboards, and the noise of piano and drums, she is avoiding a python grip, she views this relationship as a drama, losing him is losing her soul.

It?s a song that stays with you, the chorus almost sing song?like Rosemary Clooney singing a tisket a tasket, like Billie Holliday singing about a child who has his own, like kitty wells asking how far heaven is, and Nancy Sinatra bang banging her way thorough lee Hazelwood?s more cheesy proclamations.

But its more then that, its got a certain hip hop edge and its got a certain grit, its got the exhaustion of cities, the low key 3 am sadness that comes when you are still awake and the city is settling down to sleep. In this way, it manages to wrestle away the irony and kitsch of Prince Paul and Dan the Automater.

She makes them as real as she can