Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Record for a Dreary Day

We don't get much of a winter here in Southern California. Usually, we have to wait until mid November for the temperature to drop below 60 degrees and that usually only lasts for about three months. (I know, I know, bitching about the near perfect weather to people who could very well find themselves is a Noah level rainstorm or a wall of snow the size of the Great Wall of China is probably a bit insensitive, but I digress)

Anyway, when the weather does actually start to turn I start to drift to records that I normally don't during the summer months. This leads to heavy doses of RIDE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE and other shoegaze type bands. One of the curiouser choices is TEENAGE FANCLUB's excellent "Bandwagonesque". On the surface this would seem to be a summer kind of record, given the Byrds-like harmonies and pop hooks and big guitars, but I've always sensed the melancholy bubbling just underneath the surface that makes it more of a dreary day sort of record. Whether it's the lost soul quality of the female protagonist of "The Concept" or the superstition debunking of "Star Sign", the record seems to try to be happy when it really wants to wallow in misery. (or maybe I'm just reading into it since I want it to match the weather...). The best example of this odd sort of dichotomy is in the album closer, "Alcoholiday", which sets these lyrics to a big pop hook and "oooh, oooh"choruses

"Went to bed but I'm not ready
Went to go but it's all hazy
Falling into line but I'm doing nothing
We've got nothing worth discussing"

Anyway, if you don't have this record then get it...right now. Don't worry I'll wait. Drive in the rain or the snow or whatever meteorological challenge awaits you. It's an absolute must for your collection.

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