Swagger

So many people post favorite songs from favorite albums, that I thought I might give it a try.

I saw The Blue Aeroplanes perform at the Wiltern Theater in the early '90's, shortly after their album "Swagger" was released.  I remember an usher telling me to stop dancing in the aisle and to return to my seat.

Swagger
The Blue Aeroplanes

Their lyrics are sung/spoken in a literate smirk.  But the cadence and rhythm of the words are so complicated that although these are indeed the lyrics to 'Jacket Hangs', this is not how it sounds on the album. (Tape.  CD.  Whatever.)  The rising currents of three guitars, following separate paths, carry the words and cast them to the winds.

"Pick a card, any card.
Wrong.
Pick 19th century twin-set pearls in a new clasp,
Brass neck, collar me
Right.
We need a suit, we press a suit so collar me.  Collar me.
Siamese cat drapes, roughneck honey.
Quite the test for the unused boy.
Jacket hangs just so and you're inside
I believe in what passes for a centre, collar me
In spite of dress, your boyfriend link, crooked arm.
I want to see inside
I want to see inside
I want to be inside
I want to see inside our most difficult act.
We press a suit, we swan about, from rack shop to hanger blade,
That line around your eyes means
You can see, see better than I can, than I see you.
Then I make contact.  Swing, loosen up. Let those arms rotate
Like helicopter blades, lift, little jump and skip the rest
Like coral or groves the cards are marked
Your eyes are mine, coloured anew and set in train.
I passed the test, I think I passed, I think I'm fine.
Yes, jacket hangs just so and you're inside."

Of course the perfect video clip cannot be embedded – the owner said so.  So I'm providing the link here. Please give it a look/listen.  Play it loud – so loud that the guitar chords burst through the computer screen and tattoo your skin.  Turn it up, way up – so that the neighbors start beating on the walls.  As mine did.

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8 responses to “Swagger

  1. I really think you need to return to your seat now. You're far too young to be dancin in the aisles without supervision!
    I love the Wiltern. Wish I found out about shows there sooner. That's where I saw Laurie Anderson. Also Erasure – though my friend dress semi-drag and we spent pretty much the entire show prancing around the lobby… for effect… cause an amazing percentage of the audience didn't realize the band was gay (???).
    And now that I have commented, and in honor of my art of living in reverse order, I will go listen to the link.

  2. That's really interesting. I like it, and I'm happy to have heard something new. Thanks!

  3. Leenda – I couldn't help it. As I recall, as soon as the music started, I was in the aisle…dancing was an absolute necessity.
    emily – if you get the album (Tape. CD. Whatever), I also recommend 'The Applicant': it's a mental pummeling. And I mean that in the best possible way.

  4. "Aubrey",I'm loathe to quarrel with anybody who not only loves that song (andthose opening lines! possibly the finest opening gambit in the historyof guitar-pop), but also cherishes Aubrey Beardsley. Heck, you mightwell be my Dream Gal.However, my essentially pedantic nature compels me to report that Ithink the lyrics coming out of the first verse, as you quote them, areslightly wrong.

  5. Golly.
    Actually, those are the lyrics as they appear on the 'liner notes' as we old folks say. I too noticed that the lyrics, when sung, are slightly different.
    And they don't even include the lyrics to 'The Applicant'!

  6. Golly, as in, "what a tiresome pedant"? Or as in "what a lovely compliment"?

  7. As in the fulsome compliment, of course.
    And pendants can be very pretty.
    Oh. 'pedant'.
    Sorry.

  8. The lyrics to The Applicant are not included because it is a poem by Sylvia Plath. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-applicant/I saw Blue Aeroplanes many times but I wore a suit so no one made me sit down.

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