Miss America sits in the shower
She’s plucking hours from the sky
Picks up the telephone into another home
Don’t ask me why
When you think it’s over, it has just begun. I have become addicted to post music on a daily base. I started a little more than a year ago with My Bloody Valentine’s 5’34 song I Only Said – which is still online btw – and counted down until 0’00. What now? The most obvious thing to do would be to count up from where I started. And that is what I am going to do. The whole thing will stop when I have no more tracks on the hard disk with the demanded length.
In the beginning I wanted to choose Yo La Tengo’s beautiful ballad Today Is the Day which immediately gave me the heebie-jeebies but then I went for this Blur track from their second album Modern Life Is Rubbish which is actually my favourite of theirs. Today’s song is not typical for that rather uptempo and rocking album. It would have fit better on Thirteen, the more sophisticated and varied later release.
It begins with someone shouting „Michael“. Apparently it is Graham Coxon, the guitar player, who calls the producer. Then someone else laughs. Immediately we are in a lively setting, the studio is not the clean, perfect place you’d imagine, no the studio is alive. The whole recording seems rather imperfect, the music starts with some seemingly disconnected tones, they just hang there in the room. And then the melody slowly unfolds. The piece is dominated by the warm sound of the acoustic guitar strings, the chord changes can be heard, the atmosphere is intimate. The melody is sweet and tender, to me the track is like the foreplay, it never really explodes, until the end it stays in slow-motion. And of course that is the charm of it, I recently listened to it when waiting to board an airplane on Frankfurt airport on Monday morning and I was immediately hooked and could not refrain from smiling while moving my feet very slowly. The rhythm had caught me and I closed the eyes to retreat into the music; my brain did not want to share it with the visual perceptions of my eyes. There is also a dozy and somnambulant quality to this song which is underlined by Damon Albarn’s gentle singing. And at the same time the guitar strings vibrate as if they were slightly drunk. In the good old cassette days I would have said the tape wows and flutters.
Concerning the lyrics the interpretation that he does not care about Miss America as he loves his (probably) British girl-friend, seems most likely. The words are occasionally cryptic and surreal, could that have to do with the inability of the narrator to understand American girls and especially the apotheosis of them, Miss America? In any case this is an uplifting love song and that makes it even more attractive and powerful. Magic music if there is any. Great to fall asleep to or wake up to.
(The list of all 335 selections since 1st February 2010 is here.)