I’ve enjoyed Sparks for a long time. But I never got around to getting the album that this song comes from (Exotic Creatures from the Deep–which has two wonderful song titles: “Lighten Up, Morrissey” and “I Can’t Believe That You Would Fall for All The Crap In This Song.”
“Good Morning” was the first single from the album. It features a very bouncy keyboard opening which reminds me of Strangeways-era Smiths. And then Russel Mael’s crazy falsetto comes pounding in on top of the whole thing.
Visually, Sparks are fascinating because Ron Mael looks exactly the same as he has since day one: slicked back hair, thick glasses and a crazy little moustache. This band is doubly fascinating because the two guitarists and bassist all have shoulder length hair and are wearing T-shirts with the new album cover on them. In fact, the bassist and one guitarist look like they could be twins (the other guitarist is wearing a hat, so he messes with the identical-ness). It’s an amusing scene to see.
This is a strange song, it’s catchy in its repetitiveness, but it’s got a cool bridge that breaks up the song into different parts (and the backing guys hit the high falsetto notes perfectly–I think I would have assumed they were women!). This seems like a strange choice for a single and I can see wh it wasn’t a big hit. (Most Sparks songs are kind of strange, so who knows which of their songs will catch on). Of course, I don’t know the rest of the album so I don’t know if there was a more likely choice. Nevertheless, I may have to investiagate this disc a bit more.
[READ: August 31, 2011] “My Chivalric Fiasco”
This is the second Saunders piece in a couple of weeks in two different publications (this seems to happen to him a lot–do I smell a new book coming out?). This is one another of Saunders’ more corporate-mocking pieces. He plays around with name brands and has a lot of trademarked and capitalized words.
But it starts off very unlike that whole realm. It seems to be set at a Ren Faire or some such thing. On TorchLightNight the narrator sees Martha running through the woods saying, that guy is my boss. Don Murray comes out of the woods after her, and it clear that something has gone on between them. When Ted, the narrator, asks them what’s going on, they admit to a “voluntary” fling. Then Don tells Ted that he has been promoted out of Janitorial; he is now a Pacing Guard.
The next day, Ted is given some KnightLyfe, a pill that helps him with medieval improv. Until the pill kicks in, Ted is horrible in his role, but once it does, he (and the story) switch into a kind of crazy Ren Faire “Olde” English: “Quoth Don Murray with a glassome wink, Ted you know what you and me should do sometime?”
Ted can’t handle the KnightLyfe. Although he speaks in the proper tone, it also seems to remove his filter. And so he publicly says things that he (and many others) later regret. The story ends with much sadness yet in that same olde English style, which makes the result seem funnier than it is.
This is one of Saunders’ gems.