There's this great Q article about the Arctic Monkeys' grassroots-upcoming (from the latest issue: Punk '76--fucking great). It contains the phrases "It's All Happening" and "the new revolution is here." Almost too real for me, too eerie (almost). (Which made me think--What does Cameron Crowe think?)
It has the story (called "How This Band Changed the Music Industry") of how the boys got their music around, all innovative and naive-like (MySpace is a big part of the story! Iiiieee!). One morning, Sister Ray, a record shop in London, kept getting all these phone calls--asking for "Fake Tales of San Francisco," the "debut single by a band from Sheffield called Arctic Monkeys. None of the staff had heard of them. They thought it might be a wind up. Around lunchtime, the band themselves finally called-- they'd mentioned on an internet chat forum that they were planning to do the mail order for the single through Sister Ray. Would that be alright?"
hahhahaaha! The sheer balls! The innocence! The revolution!
"by then, we'd had 60 people ask for the single," the store's co-owner Phil Barton explains. "Sixty people in a morning? That's very alright."
Here's what I got. I have the cumulative bootleg that circulated around England since last May. Got it from fucking Germany, man. $7. You really see how the fervor was sparked when you hear how smoldering this stuff is.
Right away, it hit me. All the songs that were just GREAT that didn't make the album; they all have something in common. Most are either about sex or dugs. Seriously. Notice that on the proper album, there are really no references to either. Just drinking and the thoughts of sex. Here, we have more than that. Even if it's just a little more...raunchy (more coarse language, images). So, I ask, Domino: Didn't think it would sell so big with that kinda content? The Beatles never swore, THAT kinda thing??
I don't pretend to know. I'm just glad I have these songs in my head.
Some songs of note on the boot: (10 of the eleven non-album songs I had NEVER heard before. Nicely mind-blowing, especially nicey-nice to get into before embarking on the pilgrimage to see 'em.)
10. Bigger Boys & Stolen Sweethearts Hated this song at first(I got this one earlier), but it grew on me. Slightly annoying happy-jangle to the music, the lyrics are simple, young and honest. About yer mate breaking up with a bird, "She's not nice. She's pretty fucking far from nice." And the truth that they will always be "Somebody taller, with more of a wit." A little too emo-y for me, actually.
11. Space Invaders Hottt track!! Blistering guitar, a sexy, simpleton chorus--in part: "bab-yeh, bab-yeh, bay-bee" and a thoughroughly smashing Led Zeppelin riff and drum rip. The music leaps out at you. And then there's: "probably gonna die, getting high--mixing crazy [I have no idea what he says here] with the crack," heard that, though! Damn.
12. Knock A Door Run Super-heavy, sorta distorted guitar. Kinda funny, menacing song about being "mischiev-oos." It's all heavy and dangerous musically, but I think the song is about Ding Dong Ditch. Seriously.
13. Curtains Close This is the BEST of the lot. My current favorite. Very adolescent and "naughty." The best lines at the beginning: "I said I wanted it long, but she cut it short, and now I'm catching cold. I told you to not put crack in the doobie, but it was already rolled." Unbelievable. The chorus goes on to imply what he just might be ashamed of doing with the lights on and the curtains NOT closed ("I must be mad"). In his bedroom. At his parents home. Totally. He also uses the word "mutherfucker." Oh, and it's really fucking catchy--also implies sex, or maybe just masterbation...awww.
15. Cigarette Smoke Another raunchy one. Really rock-soloy. Featuring drugs, strip clubs, "smacking blokes" and "snorting some coke off her thighs" Wha--!!?? OK, I can see how this didn't make the record, but boy, I think it should have.
16. Wavin' Bye To The Train Or The Bus Ooooh! Here's Alex at his most sexual! It's almost off-putting, I'm just not used to it (except fer Mardy Bum, as E pointed out). The best bit: "Oh baby, I'm wanting to do you a swap. I'll give you anything in exchange for the noises you got. I can see you want to be attended to. Oh, just count till 29 and I'll attend to you. Oh, for sure. Certainly, yeah, yeah." And then it goes in to this slightly unsatisfying (just a little too much of a tempo change) chorus about waving to the train or bus ("we'll be able to be together again," etc.). But, it's really, really sexy. And it should have made the album.
And, Elizabeth, this one's for you: "Oh, spending all of your money--on trendy hair cuts that you read were cool" alternate lyrics at the beginning of the demo "Still Take You Home"