28 December 2005

Drunks


Christmas Eve, North Petherton... across the road there's a splatterfest of a Karaoke competition - did I mention I went to one of the earliest? The Frank Chickens, bless their hearts, knew not what they were unleashing on the world.

This one has men with chicken fringe hair and odd marks on their elbows banging out 'classics' in the (sex) club style; a neverendingly odd-eyed line of chav Jim Morrisons (as he is now: tootling and murmuring and venting his way through the classics like a Bryan Ferry lookalike) and ratty little badger-baiters doing their own take on Bonnie Tyler's Hero by way of a Blixa Bargeld screech...

It's one in the morning and the landlord's not letting up; he wants Who volume tonight, Swans volume, he wants his public house visible from Space...

I'm getting NIMBY, hanging out the window and shaking my fist in a vaguely "why-I-oughta..." kind of way when I see what I take to be a portent of things to come in the Year of ourt Lord 2006...

There are two guys outside in the street, bad beacons of long-off ale, grubby little fireflies with pink polo shirts and snow-washed genes. One looks kinda like a young James Coburn while the other has a Ming the Merciless / Anton LaVey thing going on.

((((((BTW, conversation overheard, many moons ago: "You see that girl? She looked like Jayne Mansfield. With the head on, obviously..." ))))))

They're struggling with inner ear confections, already one toke over the line and clinging to each other for dear life as the last of the truck traffic tries to run them down. They're lurching comically though neither seems to have got the joke; their mental energy is entirely sucked into defeating gravity and allowing space to re-emerge between cranium and pavement...

They're using sound as a weapon against the world, perhaps understanding the humchatter at he heart of the universe, the great cosmic McKenna waveform or perhaps just reverting to their regular dose of Primal Scream Therapy in the moments before their latest prison day-release... it's a penetrating sound these guys are making, not unlike the sonic crowd control weapons developed in France in the 70s (those guys, always a little touchy about revolution) but when you listen closely it starts to congeal into something recognisable, something not quite remembered but chronically processed anyway...



The words actually seem to emerge, Key 23 like, from the sky. The temperature seems to rise slightly. The tunes grow from a huge orgasmic pornowail to a slurred but soft sex yelp.

And...

...it transpires...

...a tune is coming out...

...blinking...

..into...the night!

And they're singing...

Serge Gainsbourg songs!

In my head at least I do a Wacky Races like double-take. They're singing Serge Gainsbourg songs in a "Half Curry/ Half Chips" mangle of french and english... I think it's only these songs that are keeping them up, as if the vibrations alone are keeping the cochlea steady and on beat (however jazz the beat seems to be getting).

For an approximation, play all 3 of these at the same time alongside a field recording of the sounds of telegraph wires in Australia (this is what Quadrophonic soundsystems were for!) and then slow them down to approx 1/3 of their regular speed:

Mick Harvey - Lemon Incest
Serge Gainsbourg - Baudelaire
Serge Gainsbourg - Joanna


It's hard to tell what all this means but maybe North Petherton is in the first throes of a Gallic Invasion. Maybe the red birds really will come and destroy Paris and this is the beginnings of the New New Wave.

We must fight them on the leeches.

I can feel my shoulders forming into a nasty Gallic shrug, can see the M5 littered with burning trucks, full of lamb, can smell the intellectual ambiguity... I can see my previously Francophone self swept away by the UK Resistance Movement, plunging my hand into a big bucket of single-entendres and stereotypes, can feel the Racism cracking along my bones and seeping into my central nervous system, bypassing all my hard-fought liberal values and dismissing with a snot-sucked sneer all those One World CDs...



Later, on Christmas Day's only TV Event I watched the Sycorax come and invade England and, by then, I had it all worked out: I knew I'd seen those teeth somewhere before.

Last time I looked James Coburn had them.

3 comments:

the X said...

"a field recording of the sounds of telegraph wires in Australia"

...Alvin Lucier: Music On A Long Thin Wire(???)

great piece...

(didn't Jane Birkin release some albums recently btw, where she sings vaguely arabic/eastern-inspired songs? remember seeing some live footage of that but never registring the title)

kek-w said...

I would guess maybe Alan lamb...he does that sort of stuff; there was a piece about him in The, er, Wire 2 or 3 years ago.

James Coburn's teeth...good call, man.

Loki said...

Yeah I was thinking of the Allan Lamb thingies... heard of Alvin Lucier but not heard anything by him yet... and, yeah, I do know about that Jane Birkin record I heard it in some guys country manor when I was there filming with some students (not as erotic as it sounds - just meant I had to do lots of psychotic staring into the camera and getting scared by leaves and throwing people off cliffs)... sounded pretty good then because I actually asked the owner what he was playing... forgot all about it til now... cheers X

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