The Wake, “O Pamela” from their classic album Here Comes Everybody. How did I not know about this before???? As my co-worker blithely put it, “What?! This is so good, it’s like better versions of every song in The Breakfast Club.
Really diggin’ on these boys from Cali. Of their new record Remembrance of Things to Come.
For the 1st time in my life, I got through TMV’s Frances the Mute in one sitting. (albeit it was soundtracking a writing session).
I didn’t learn much, but I can see why a future generation of audiophiles might discover it, and that reason is…
The editing. Post-production must have cost a fortune on this record! That word “cinematic” gets thrown around a lot in pop music, but Frances is one of the more literal interpretations. Every frame (sec) is filled w/ content. It’s essentially one song w/ distinct passages and recurring motifs.
As we do w/ films, we assume that the content we’re consuming was created in logical sequence, when in reality it’s culled from hours upon hours of footage. This is especially beguiling w/ Frances , which oscillates b/t passages of ambient sound collages, tango-tinted acid jazz jam sessions you can imagine lasting as long as a dirt nap, and in the instance of “The Widow,” a power ballad ala Zeppelin. The fact that it all gets condensed into a 79:00 document is a miracle.
I spend an unusual amount of time thinking about why New Order are brilliant, and I while I still can’t quite work it out, I’m getting closer, maybe.
See, most bands w/ pop aspirations have to build up to it. Craft hooks. Write riffs. Flaunt frontmen. The equation adds up to pop. Or at least it’s supposed to.
Not so in New Order. New Order is pop through subtraction, deconstruction.
It’s as though New Order arrived at the idea of pop and then immediately began stripping the hallmark elements away. A barely-there frontman who couldn’t sing and never met a verse that didn’t rhyme, no matter the cost. No bass in any traditional sense of the word (Hook’s “bass” lines really guitar lines masquerading as bass lines) and drums half real, half-synthesized.
And yet its some of the most “musical” dance pop ever made. A mystery. Or, as graphic designer Tony Saville put it, “a mass-produced secret of sorts.”
#Draping in Gotham City
“Draper? Who knows anything about that guy? No one’s ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know.”—Harry Crane, Marriage of Figaro (Season 1)
My new flavors
The wizardry behind this record is still astonishing.
Björk by Warren du Preez + Nick Thornton-Jones / Vespertine Promo Shoot | 2001
I tried to find and buy a smaller model of this beast for a birthday present for someone — then I realized Porter customized it for Bjork, which is to say… it’s not exactly for sale.