Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pizzicato Five: Darlin' Of Discothéque (1999)

Something happened, and now this record is ten years old. W, as the kids say, TF?

The version in the video is the short version, from the album known in Japan as either pizzicato five or perfect world and internationally as either pizzicato five tm or the fifth release from matador. (P5's discography is nearly impossible to truly understand. Take a stab at it here or here.) A longer version was released on an ep, and it's worth seeking out.

The song - well, you have to use that term loosely when dealing with Pizzicato, because their big weakness, especially after Takanami Keitaro left, was that they were short on melodies. They disguised this (or made it work for them, depending on how you view it) by reusing the same melodies over and over, tweaking them slightly, and making their genericness part of the overall texture of their art, just another element to be endlessly recombined and reframed. All of which is by way of saying that the tune here isn't too memorable (okay, the bridge is striking, and the "darlin, darlin, darlin discotheque" part is hooky). But that it doesn't matter, because Konishi has dressed it up in such an alluring mix of '60s British psyche, frantic breakbeats, Italian spy movie theme music, heavy metal guitar, and Bollywood that you hardly notice the melody. It's the total package that matters: and in that connection let's not forget the chameleonic Nomiya Maki, without whose ability to inhabit absolutely any style or image of the last fifty years Konishi would have been lost at sea.

For me the best moment is the harpsichord break.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Somebody else's thoughts on Inglourious Basterds

My post about Inglourious Basterds the other day didn't really do the film justice, I know. If you want to read something that does, check out this, by Jim Emerson. He's had a number of really excellent posts on the film over the last few weeks. I don't agree a hundred percent, but that's not important: this is real film criticism.