Saturday, June 14, 2008

you've gotta spend some time, love

Bre will undoubtedly roll around on the floor laughing at me, but i really really really like the new Death Cab For Cutie song - "I Will Possess Your Heart."

There are a few reasons why this song is pretty awesome.

1. It has a long introduction - it's not until about 4:33 that Ben Gibbard starts singing. This is a Good Thing. 
2. It has a nice bassline - I am a sucker for basslines*. This bassline doesn't really go anywhere, but it makes itself known. There is nothing wrong with being nice. Nice is good.
3. It has a video that is rather nifty - it's probably because I'm traveling at the moment that I like this video, because its a montage of a girl traveling. (I'd like to think I'm better dressed than her though.) 
4. It has a sinister undercurrent - this is Death Cab For Cutie we're talking about here. They don't really do sinister or songs that have the sort of sexual tension/predatory nature that is predominant in a lot of music I listen to** but if you really listen to the lyrics, there's something lurking there. The protagonist in the song insists that if the object*** of his desires hangs out with him, then she'll see things his way "you've gotta spend some time with me, i know that you'll find love"  but his idea is one of possession, as evident in the title of the song. "I Will Possess Your Heart" that's a bit presumptuous, isn't it? This guy is a stalker! "there are days when outside your window i see my reflection" and we're supposed to find this romantic??? I think DC4C are having us on here. They know this song is about obsession and that obsession breeds darkness in the blood and other nasty things. I don't know why I find that appealing. Maybe its because as nice as nice things are, sometimes the underbelly is much more fun. And in this song, there's a mellow blend of the two. A meeting point
5. It is a long song - at 8:27, this song is long enough for me to listen to from the bus stop to Finchley Road Station. Normally I like a little variety in my transport songs, but as I'm still getting used to where I am, this song is unobtrusive enough for the bus ride. By next week though, I think I'll be ready for something new.

*this is my excuse for liking Fall Out Boy - Patrick Stump knows the power of basslines. Pity about Wentz being the bassplayer and all. 
** when I say 'sexual tension/predatory nature' I'm talking about songs that have a strut to them, a swing, something that makes you feel a little defiant, a little powerful, a little dangerous. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Spread Your Love" is the best example of this. With a song like this, you could take over the world.
*** he's probably singing about a girl. but with boys like this, the girl is an object. they can't help it, it's a sort of whimpy sexism that's inbuilt. blame it on their skinny jeans or something. 


The Revenger's Tragedy @ The National Theatre
June 12

After spending the afternoon in The National Gallery & The National Portrait Gallery listening to The National, I decided to wander across Waterloo Bridge to The National Theatre and take advantage of their £10 tickets. Turned out to be a Very Very Good Decision. (Partly because it was a windy cold day and inside it was warm and snug.)

When I bought my ticket, I was informed that I could either have a seat in the front row or a seat in the back row. I went for the front row, and was a little apprehensive when I got to my seat as the stage was as about as high as me. However I had a fantastic view of what was a fantastic play. 

The Revenger's Tragedy is by Middleton, a contemporary of Shakespeare's, but I found it a little easier to grasp the language of - perhaps because it was bawdy and vicious. The play is about a man called Vindice (played by Roy Kinnear's son Rory) whose sweetheart has been poisoned by the Duke. His brother Hippolito (played by Jamie Parker who was Scripps in The History Boys!) encourages him to go to court to attempt revenge, ends up working for the Duke's son who is trying to seduce Vindice's sister. Meanwhile the Duke's stepson is on trial for rape, the Duchess is shagging the Duke's bastard and the other two stepsons are idiots and Vindice's mother is bonkers and the third courtier had a very nice bum. It's a romp, there's no denying it. Kinnear & Parker were fabulous, bounding around the stage spitting couplets everywhere. The staging was interesting, set on a revolving floor, divided into four sections. It was all very imposing and decadent. Unlike most productions that deal with texts that are 400+ years old, this production didn't attempt to drag the text into a modern context, instead it provided the context through the dress of the characters (a melange of rave and 1950s costuming) and set ( a study, an expensive strip club, a court and a courtyard) that allowed the text to breathe and be interpreted as the audience saw fit. 

Personally I thought it was wicked in every sense of the word. There's an air of decadence that fits in both with Middletons and contemporary society, which perhaps says that we haven't changed all that much in the intervening years. The play also points out that there is nothing humans love more than the concept of more.

(I enjoyed the performance more than I've enjoyed anything by the STC in the past 2 years, which is a little sad. The National Theatre is just one of the many theatres in London, and I wish that Sydney could equal it. Or surpass it. That'd be awesome.) 

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