Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dad rock





Last night I went with K. to hear Glasvegas (hat-tip: Hearcanal) - as you cannot see from the photograph, they were really good. I include the picture only to prove that any mobile phone ad in which a model flirtatiously snaps the lead singer of a generic "rock band", producing a photo that looks anything like the in-ad reality, is lying to you. Unless the lead singer is actually 3 cm tall. Everyone at gigs takes pictures with their mobiles because of this lie, and also because of the smoking ban, which has killed off the lighters-in-the-air tradition.

Glasvegas sound like My Bloody Valentine and look like a gang of Glaswegians you wouldn't want to beat at pool. They have hair like Joe Strummer and wear leather jackets with trainers. They also write these strange, strange love songs, the most anthemic of which, "Daddy's gone", is a song full of pathos and regret written from the POV of a child of a one parent family to his Dad. There's something more than usually blokey about Glasvegas, and the normal predominance of middle aged men to women at gigs was severely skewed, reaching football match proportions. It was touching to see all these bald blokes singing along about how they miss their Dads.

It takes a rare kind of talent to take something as familiar as a love song and make it new just by exploring a truth that no one has dealt with before. I thought Juno and Knocked Up did the same thing for films about teenage pregnancy. In fact they weren't saying anything that was wacky, or strange, it was just certain aspects of pregnancy had never been covered in film. It had never been anything but a soap opera tragedy, because the arrival of children represents the end of one's own youth and youth is what our culture prizes more than anything. (Ask Michel Houellebecq if it ain't. He'll tell you "oui.")

For a campaign we're doing just now we need pictures of people eating. There are no realistic pictures of people eating. Surely people want to see people eating don't they? I think we're ready for it, as a culture.

PS: Yes the picture is on its side. And what of it?

2 comments:

paul said...

One of my favourite pastimes is standing behind people with camphones, at gigs. I become more and more frustrated as they take the same shitty photo over and over again, seemingly oblivious to the fact that their phone WILL NOT zoom in any further, no matter how many times they do it. Love that.

gonz said...

your 'people eating' comment makes me think of a sequence from an episode of the royle family. it was basically about 60 seconds of ralf little and his mate eating. just them, eating. furiously. egg and chips or something, when they got back from the pub. I didn't really get it at the time. but that was the royle family all over - real people, observed. but not real people, obviously. so now you have an excuse to watch all of the royle family with a view to finding this very helpful reference. but there's no need to thank me.