TEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT FRANZ FERDINAND AND TAKE ME OUT.
1: The intro sounds like the end of another song. Indeed I didn’t know there was an intro until someone (Carsmile?) played the song at Poptimism. So whilst I do think a degree of the success of the song is the delay of the killer riff, it isn’t the most important aspect of the song.
2: Franz Ferdinand’s robust new wave jerkiness in my mind contrasts with the Russian avant-garde imagery of their cover art-work in a way I find hard to peg. Whilst both the band sound, and the artwork is distinctive in its respective marketplaces, I find an odd disjunction in their relative strikingness. But hey that’s art school bands for you.
3: “But hey, that’s art school bands for you” is a lazy, but nevertheless thoroughly appropriate put down for them which would explain why they will never reach Arctic Monkey levels of success. If they aren’t happy with that they can always commiserate with Damon Albarn (who I daresay they met when they interviewed the Gorillaz.
4: Its one of those songs whose lyrics border on the banal, and yet bellowed in a club become almost the Tabula Rasa of the indie night out. Probably not since “go home and cry and I want to die” has a single lyric been embraced purely because it describes the ugly lives of its listeners more that “I know I won’t be leaving here/ with you”
5: Franz Ferdinand is a character in the Dutch cartoon Alfred J.Kwak. He plays the king, and is a lion. There is also a crow called Dolph who looks like this. Thinly veiled.
6: Franz Ferdinand epitomise the speedy rise of the Brit indie band, from small gigs in their stripey tops, to top five single, to Brit awards, to old statesmen of the industry writing food columns for the broadsheets. They also have employed almost all the tricks to parley their relatively limited sound into mainstream acceptance – namely a strong visual branding and willingness to play with the music press (Franz Ferdinand go bowling).
7: Franz Ferdinand (the band) come higher on a Google for Franz Ferdinanrd than Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
8: It is one of the only indie video’s I really remember from the last ten years. And as videos go, it happily sets out the look, sound and – and perhaps this word is more apt than other bands – manifesto of the band. Whilst perhaps avoid the Russian avant-garde of their main artwork, it is still a video all about art, rather than a video about what the song is about. Its a performance video via a craft shop and manages to plant the ideas of art, craft, and being not quite the finished product in the viewers mind. Which is a touch ironic as it is unlikely FF is going to make as iconic a record as Take Me Out again.
9: The video also commits the cardinal sing of displaying the words to much of the song as it goes on, which they get away with by the skin of their teeth. I should hate it, but I don’t, because its a terrific song and video.
10: Its an odd tempo-ed song for dancing to. The intro rattles along with its snare, but is all build and no bass drum, so tough to dance to. However at about 105 BPM the main body of the song feels irresistibly danceable, but all you can really get away with is a matey bounce. This is lucky because the matey bounce is one of the three acceptable indie disco dances, but is the least attractive, yet again underlying the message of the song. Whilst you sing “I know I won’t be leaving here/with you” your body is making sure of it.