52 albums – week 6

I think i ended the last missive with a cheery “see ya tomorrow” (trying to catch up as I’m a week behind schedule). Well it’s obviously not tomorrow. Not even the same month! Though in my defence it is the shortest month in the calendar year however I’m going to stop stressing about running behind time; I’ll catch up somewhere down the line.

Jarvis Cocker i know from his former band Pulp, who were just about the biggest band in England mid 1990’s. One of their albums was called This is Hardcore which i thought was one of the best Album titles of all time, nearly rivaling their fellow compatriots Blur whose album Modern Life is Rubbish is the best album title of all time. Then there was Jarvis’s famous incident at the BRIT Awards where he put one on the snout of Michael Jackson. In addition he has quite a public profile, popping up all over the UK press with comments and insights on Popular culture.

Most of this album was covered in a show i watched on an Emirates flight back from New Zealand last year. I think the programme was a musical series called The Basement and Jarvis Cocker & band were filmed in front of a small live audience.
I had a friend where i grew up in Townsville called Michael Johnson; flaming red hair, pale skin, rode a Motorbike like James Dean; flat-out or sliding on its tank through the dirt. He was just about the coolest dude in Townsville at the time. He was also incredibly clumsy. He had this awkward, dystonic walk that despite all evidence to the contrary was actually quite graceful in its trips and staggers. Jarvis Cocker on stage has a similar languid but tangled up presence.

I love Album lyrics and think sleeve notes should be compulsory on all pressings. Michael has mentioned that he doesn’t place a lot of importance on them but for this Album I’m hoping he’ll make an exception. Jarvis Cocker is a very witty writer and there’s lots of chuckles to be had in these songs. An example from I Never Said i was Deep: “… My morality is shabby, my behaviour unacceptable. No I’m not looking for a relationship, just a willing receptacle …” or from Further Complications: “… I was not born into war-time, i was not born into poverty. I need an addiction, i need an affliction, to cultivate a personality …” Or a throwaway line in Leftovers: “… He says he loves you like a sister, Well I guess that’s relative …”

My favourite song from this album is Leftovers … (“…Come and help yourself to leftovers …”) not least because our voices are similarly pitched so I can sing along in the car at the top of my voice and it’s not quite as glaringly obvious how out of tune I am.

For those who don’t know Jarvis Cocker the link below is not too a track on this album but none the less well worth 2.01 minutes of your time.

Cunts are Still Running the World

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