Friday, February 10, 2006
I'm so excited. I just can't hide it.
Well, I decided to give up and stop apologizing. I am extremely into everything there is to be into about the Arctic Monkeys and I want to share it with people.
It’s in my nature, right.
On Tuesday night Elizabeth and I waited outside in the freezing cold to try and squeeze tickets out of a sold-out show—the BRMC. We did not succeed. It was incredibly depressing.
But Elizabeth and I made the most of it. We ate at Annie’s. And then I played her my Two Hot New Trax from The Lads. Extra fitting and special was “From the Ritz to the Rubble”—maybe the best song of theirs I’ve heard (so far). The guitar is chugging along and then it’ll break into a riff-blitz and it ends with this “Guns of Brixton”-like white-man reggae. It’s incredible.
Of course, it's the lyrics that always do me in. Especially after facing the dark, cynical hipster brigade (“To all the smirking faces and the boys in black/Why can't they be pleasant? Why can't they have a laugh?”) and not getting into the BRMC show… Rocking out to “From the Ritz to the Rubble” really eased the pain. (The “And you realize then that it's finally the time/ To walk back past ten thousand eyes in the line” is pretty perfect antidote to hear after you actually had to do such a walk of shame, which we did).
The thing about them as a band and this song in particular (and probably the whole album, I’m assuming) is its honest and brilliant portrayal of being young, wanting to go to rock shows and out on the weekends and living a rather dull life in the week. The trouble you get into in the weekend, the post-daydreaming you do on Sunday or Monday morning. “Last night what we talked about/ It made so much sense/ But now the haze has ascended/ It don't make no sense anymore.” Simple, honest observations from a thoughtful teenager that are totally applicable to anyone, right here in MPLS, even, who still lives that kind of life—waiting for and trying to catch that excitement. It’s about rollicking good times had and the disappointment that can sometimes come instead.
Although the vacuous, Ecstasy generation of Pulp’s “Sorted for E's and Wizz”-festival-culture comes to mind, it’s much more infused with intelligence and questioning. There is criticism of hipsters, the drinking and the drugging as well as the music they can’t help but love.
Hell, the album cover speaks for itself. Well, actually reading the backstory in NME was pretty fucking great. See, it’s a high school friend of the band and Alex wrote 5 songs on the album about/for him. They got him completely loaded for the shoot—to the point of puking “everywhere.” His eyes are barely open, and it still feels like a challenge when you look at it—feels like it’s Saturday night and you’re looking at your buddy who normally doesn’t smoke and he’s so trashed that he’s fiercely sucking on that cig.
Also, the title, “'Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not” comes from the movie with Albert Finney called “Saturday Night And Sunday Morning”. The quote is, "Whatever people say I am, that's what I am not. Because they don't know a bloody thing about me. God knows what I am." Kind makes me think of Citizen Kane and the White Stripes knicking the all those lines, including, “What would I have been? Everything you hate.” The songs themselves sound like the most wild and exciting and action-packed-weekend with everything you dream about actually coming true.
Hell, it makes me feel 19 again. [snark, snark]
12. FROM THE RITZ TO THE RUBBLE
Last night these two bouncers
And one of em's alright
The other one's the scary one
His way or no way, totalitarian
He's got no time for you
Looking or breathing
How he dosen’t want you to
So step out the queue
He makes examples of you
And there's nowt you can say
Behind they go through to the bit where you pay
And you realize then that it's finally the time
To walk back past ten thousand eyes in the line
And you can swap jumpers and make another move
Instilled in your brain you've got something to prove
To all the smirking faces and the boys in black
Why can't they be pleasant?
Why can't they have a laugh?
He's got his hand in your chest
He wants to give you a duff
Well secretly I think they want it all to kick off
They want, arms flying everywhere and
Bottles as well it's just
Something to talk about
A story to tell you
Well I'm so glad they turned us all away we'll put it down to fate
I thought a thousand million things that I could never think this morning
Got too deep, but how deep is too deep?
This town's a different town today
This town's a different town to what it was last night
You couldn't have done that on a Sunday
That girl's a different girl today
That girl's a different girl to her you kissed last night
You couldn't have done that on a Sunday
Last night what we talked about
It made so much sense
But now the haze has ascended
It don't make no sense anymore