This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Friday, January 05, 2007

"God makes it easy on me" - The Happy Mondays

News item the first: Yes, the rumors are true. Well, at least the ones involving me moving to Chicago, starting a folk-punk band with Aaron, and impregnating Lauren. Or something. BRENDAN KELLY WILL BE MINE YET!

News item the second: Just finished re-watching Seven for the first time in years. It really is one of my favorite movies, and a masterpiece to boot. David Fincher just might be the only post-music video director worth a damn. (I'm probably wrong.)

Speaking of movies I recently rewatched, finally got in another viewing of 24 Hour Party People, which is ridiculously entertaining despite the fact that it tries to cover too much ground in its running time. (The scene where God shows up and tells Tony Wilson he should have signed the Smiths is worth the price of the DVD.) One of the things in the film that always struck me is that Wilson declares that there are only two geniuses appearing in the movie: Martin Hannett (agreed) and Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays (huh?). This in a movie that also features Ian Curtis and Bernard Sumner.

The Mondays, I will admit, were stupidly important on the so-called Madchester scene, taking their rightful place alongside contemporaries the Stone Roses as the cutting edge of pop music. Not very many Britpop bands were taking the lessons of New Order and the burgeoning rave scene to heart. As Wilson so succinctly and brilliantly put it in the movie, it was "the beatification of the beat." As much as I dislike most electronica music and the people who produce/consume it, I have to respect people taking drugs and dancing, however grudgingly.

I guess what it comes down to is that the Mondays are the Replacements for the set that's wigged out on ecstasy more often than not. Loveable losers all around, blah blah blah. I like the Mondays almost in spite of myself. Yeah, Ryder can't sing so much as make threats like a subway mugger, and the music is repetitive (yet catchy), but there's something attractive about the whole thing. Something you just can't tear yourself away from.

Anyway, what happened to the Mondays is what happens to any band full of substance abusers given carte blanche by their record label and the buying public. What? Well, just watch the movie.

PS - Probably the best memory I have involving the Happy Mondays took place senior year of college. I had just gotten my vinyl copy of the Mondays' album Pills 'n' Thrills 'n' Bellyaches in the mail thanks to eBay. My then-girlfriend Andrea was visiting, and I put the record on. We ended up cuddling on the couch, and I didn't notice side one had a skip that cause a small portion of "Dennis and Lois" (the end of side one) to go on for quite some time - half hours? Sounds right. Call it the power of the groove, I guess.


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