I'm trying to avoid the World Cup. (Curse you, Freeview, for denying us our live Big Brother feed on the weekend the damn thing starts!) As I write this, there's apparently a match on, so the streets are lovely and deserted. Wasn't even a queue at the cashpoint. Sheena's loving the emptiness of the local parkland. It's great. For the first time in weeks, I've managed to leave the house without being collared by someone who expects me to actually give a shit about how well "we" may or may not do. Newsflash- I'M NOT FUCKING PLAYING. And neither, I'm fairly sure, are you, strange drunk man in the park. I can't really see you having made the team.
Look, it's like this. If you're gonna insist on taking the credit for something someone else did as a representative of your country, it should be all-encompassing. And I mean all-encompassing (which, I guess, is why I said it in the first place). Next time someone expects me to be impressed because "we" are doing well, I think I'll respond "well, congratulations for that... but I believe I still owe you a kick in the bollocks for invading Iraq". Look at it this way- at least with the government you can claim to have had a say in the selection process.
Anyway, in my atempts to avoid the football, I've been downloading tons of stuff from eMusic. And I've rediscovered the wonderful album "Teenage Snuff Film" by Rowland S Howard. And it's really rather ace. I've also been listening to a lot of 60s girl bands- The Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, and all manner of people I'd never previously heard of who appear on the album "Music For Pussycats", strangely selected by industrial Nazi and Satanist Boyd Rice.
And in a wonderful piece of synchronicity, Mr Howard covers The Shangri-Las' "He Cried", though he does a little bit of gender reassignment. And it's when sung in his wonderfully sneering voice that the true nastiness of the song is revealed.
I mean, part of the appeal of the genre has always been the sinister aspect, the constant threat of fiery motorcycle-related death, or suicide, or being shipped off to Vietnam... but this is just mean.
The narrator doesn't dump her boyfriend for any better reason than that another boy has "caught my eye". Caught her eye! Not some hard-to-resist fumbling after the school dance, or a gradual blossoming of friendship into something more- it's not like he even bought her a fucking pint! He was probably just wearing a funny hat or something! No wonder "he cried". I imagine he used a certain amount of harsh language as well.
And it gets worse! I don't know where she lives, but it's far enough away from Kansas City that some other dude has to get a train there. And, in the song about said vehicle, she makes it clear that she's done nothing to hint that when he gets there she's gonna drop the "dumped" bomb on him- she's not even planning to do it slowly and tactfully. She'll be back "in the time it takes to break a heart"!!! If I was the guy she's singing to, I think I'd be feeling a little insecure myself.
And don't even get me started on the "support our boys" stuff.
Of course, when Ronnie Spector sings on her new album about her ex-husband's cell/hell (depending on which verse) being filled with pictures saying how well she's doing, it's slightly different, as the ex-husband in question is Phil Spector, who quite frankly deserves it.
But as I said, it's the nasty undercurrents that really make it for me. Even the really nice songs sound like they should be used ironically in a Rob Zombie movie to add some counterpoint to scenes of hideous carnage. Or maybe that's just me...
Anyway, I'm going to go and try to find a shop that still has cold beer. These football fans are so selfish. Those of us who need cold beer EVERY DAY, and have loyally supported the brewers no matter what the season, have to put up with shortages caused by fairweather drinkers. They should run some sort of loyalty system, they really should.