Posts from 20th February 2005

Feb 05

THE BEATLES – “Ticket To Ride”

Popular18 comments • 4,639 views

#193, 24th April 1965

Like almost any break-up, “Ticket To Ride” flickers between sadness and anger. The sadness is tentative, the anger mixed with denial, and you could read the perky coda as acceptance if you like. It sounds to me, though, like a tacked-on “Beatley bit” – even unto the handclaps – appeasing anyone put off by the startling drone and drag of the song proper. Which is thankfully great enough to shrug off such crassness.

It’s an acute lyric with a coy drug reference or two if you’re squinting right – but “Ticket To Ride” works because the music fits that lyric so well. The lead-weighted, hesitant rhythms match our not-quite-hero’s reluctance to meet the inevitable: he thinks it’s today, affecting vagueness when the matter is out of his hands. He doesn’t deny the rightness of his girl’s diagnosis – he hardly needs to, when his resentment at her newfound decisiveness seeps through every bar.

Popworld and The Grand Unification of Popular Music

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 292 views

Last week I was slightly concerned that Channel 4’s lovely Popworld* was “on the turn” (as Simon’s parents might have put it). They started out by apologising for their title sequence containing Busted, Mystiq and S-Club, before announcing that the show would have The Killers, The Kaiser Chiefs and a performance from Doves. Now Simon was doing a great job of winding up the drummer of the Killers, but still it troubled me so.

This Sunday morning as I assumed the Popworld position on the sofa, I found myself preoccupied with the design possibilities for FT’s new club Poptimism**, a club dedicated to playing chart pop in an attempt to atone for the resident DJs’ miserable indie pasts***. A club who’s patron saints could well be presenters Simon and Miquita, and who’s likeness rights I was then considering. Trouble was that though the show’s title sequence hadn’t changed, this week’s show promised us: The Kaiser Chiefs (again), The Futureheads, The Bravery, Bez reviewing new releases, New Order and (gasp) The NME Awards. Fo’ shizzle.

This got me into only more of an indie/pop tizz because I have always been a HYOWG fan of New Order (MY BAND), but find the new album underwhelming, and though unimpressed by the young people’s newer-wave of new-wave bands, I really like The Futureheads a lot. Yay, even the Kate Bush cover.

Imagine my relief, if you will, when Simon threw all these same concerns into pop-relief in their NME Awards slot. I relaxed further when he carried out his usual silliness with the likes of Noel Gallagher, Peter Hook and a load of NME totty and it was accepted with relatively good humour. Maybe the self-parodying, never serious world of Pop and the student-angst world of Indie are no longer so far apart – and POP HAS WON.

It’s been 15 years since the great indie-dance wars were ended by pop’s top scientists colliding manchester wasters together with tremendous amounts of high energy, and in the euphoria of unification some started to wonder if the ultimate reunification, into the motherlode of pop, was going to happen in their lifetime. Maybe we are starting to see the first signs that this dream is about to be realised.

* Note the website is also out of date, and those web wizards have rechristened the site “Chanel” 4 in the <TITLE> tag
** Starting NEXT month
*** That’s the way I see it – apologies to FT colleagues who might protest otherwise

Batman in Love

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 445 views

Batman in Love

So, I’m reading Pop Out: Queer Warhol, edited by Jennifer Doyle e al, –is a mostly useless academic wank job about Andy loving other men–there was a line here or a line there that might be useful, but I was disappointed until the last essay–that was about Batman and not Warhol, didn’t even really mention Warhol.

It said something really interesting and something I never really thought of before–there was a homoerotic subtext to the comics, and later the movies–but it didn’t feature Robin–using Lacan and the mirror stage as an example, the argument was that its impossible for him to be in love with his ward b/c s impossible, because Batman is in a permanent self completing loop W. Himself–Batman the butch god of dark alleys, of midnite cruising, and the effete Bruce Wayne of the manor, the night clubs and the butler.

It might also explain why any attempt to get Batman into a heterosexual relationship fails (cf Catwoman or Batwoman) and also explains why Batman will never be resolved, any attempt to hypermasculinize r camp him up will hide but not eliminate the other half–look at Frank Miller’s Dark Night and you see the hardness and sadness of the mansion, and see the Batman television series and see a manic frugging, in an attempt to ignore the murderers in the living room.)

I wish Sasha Torres spoke more about this–because its brilliant.