Thursday, 15 April 2010

First Warning.

The first time I heard this I'd been in a funk for about 10 days. Ordering McDonalds delivery so that the brown paper bags were piling up on my bed and I was tipping the delivery guy to go and buy me some fags because when I don't want to see anybody the most taxing thing is polite chit chat. I'm neither polite, and I'm not interested, and so by that I mean  I don't want to speak to the maid, the security guard, reception and I especially don't want to deal with stuff like friends and if you really want to see a grown man cry get my family to call up to see if I'm OK.


Have you noticed I like to say anyway?

Well anyway, Inland Knights say "anyway" better than any mother fucker on the planet. It's like a precursor to bringing out a pistol. I say a Glock, but it could just as easy be a Beretta or a Mauser (when they made pistols). It's like 'anyway, now I shoot you' without actually saying anything, but if you want to verify the validity of that statement you need to check the tune out. It's called Back Chat.

Anyway. The first time I heard this I'd been horizontal for a while and I guess I must have fallen asleep listening to Doug Rushkoffs podcasts, but by the time I awoke I had no idea what the fuck was going on. I recognised the track but it was also really alien. The last time I had a track play games with me like that, was waking up to ELO's Strange Magic which comes close as a description but not close enough because I thought I was having a religious experience on that occasion.

This time I didn't need any epiphany. I wasn't debating whether this was the Good Lord speaking to me so I just leaned over to iTunes and reset it back a few minutes while I adjusted to the rude but welcome musical intrusion into my life. I realised it was special and got out of the 'pit' as I like to call my crib on these occasions and went to or Youtube to see if I could track it down.

Somebody once wrote that ABBA were the last band to sing optimistic pop songs. Of course there are exceptions but in general they were our last gasp before we consumed ourselves. Now you may choose to propagate that machine unthinking or otherwise but that's not what makes me tick, so when I listen to ABBA I actually hear the dwindling voice of an age. You can call it the seventies or whatever but no group will ever have the audacity to sing  like ABBA ever again or at least until the Long Now Foundation  start to make an impact on this smear of mathematics we call culture (One for Steak in Kidney).

So when I heard RIng in Swedish by Abba I tumbled out of the pit to find it so that I could always play it when I needed it and on demand. I needed it in the cloud under a book mark. Ring Ring in Swedish is a culture remix that always existed. Who knows how the song was originally written. It's probably in Wikipedia but the point is that it sounds more authentic than ABBA in English. For all their preternatural and superlative laden, hippy white bread drippy pop aspirations, when ABBA sing why don't you give me a call in Swedish, it's unpretentious and feels more exposed than making a buck in English and somehow taps into what we all felt as young people (before SMS and email) waiting for a phone to ring so that we could know we exist.

As opposed to the brass patina and distressed leather cynicism of middle age when one knows you will eventually call and we extract the quid pro quo of doo lallying in the first place.