Exploring the Back Catalogue

Started by SueC, January 26, 2020, 02:58:00

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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on June 20, 2020, 02:23:26...and now, as promised, my three favourite B-sides from the stuff recorded for that album

Ah, those b-sides were excellent (and still are!).  :cool

I must've bought the "Catch" 12" single in 1988 and was well impressed with the quality of the b-sides. (I could tell they were songs from the same recording session and just didn't "make" the final album tracklist.)
I already knew "A Japanese Dream" because the band had played it live (I had recorded a short concert broadcast from radio on a tape), which was kinda "unusual" for a b-side!
It's never enough...

SueC

MUSIC TO SOOTHE YOUR LIFE AND MAKE THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Do you ever have a day where you're listless and all you want to do is sit around and recharge (while simultaneously worrying about where your get-up-and-go went, even though you know that it's not possible to always be active and performing and working and doing exercise and throwing in a few cartwheels in the middle of it all - you do actually have to rest)?

I'm having such a day, with a bit of pain thrown in as well - because I injured something in the base of my left thumb a couple of weeks back chopping down the oversized stems in the tagasaste hedge and it still reminds me of its existence, and this week I got a finger on my other hand pulled backwards when handling a horse.  Things like this don't heal in a day anymore and meanwhile there's still lots of physical work to do on the farm, so that tends to set back injuries periodically.

Flat batteries plus niggly pains kind of affects the mood.  Sunday morning pancakes (delicious with home-made blood plum sauce and cream) are followed by an uncharacteristic return to a doomy-gloomy outlook.  So you decide to make chocolate nut horns - it doesn't aggravate your injuries to do it, it will be nice for afternoon tea, plus you have lovely guests you can surprise with them when they get back in tonight, and tomorrow you have a full-on day where you're working with the mobile butcher to package 326.5 kg of home-grown beef currently hanging in quarters in his cool room, that he's going to cut for you, and he starts at dawn, and it will be good to have a box of these treats handy for this work.

The process of getting up from your nice soft bed, where you ensconced yourself with your husband reading - actually physically getting up in order to cut and fill the brioche pastry that's now risen and ready requires some kind of effective motivation.  So you go over to the CD player, survey the pile, and put on KMKMKM again.  Press play.


Instant mood lift.  I'm rolling out pastry on borrowed energy from this external source and bursting out in smiles until I'm laughing.  Why?  Because the music is fantastic and because I am under the growing impression that the lead guitarist is having a whale of a time playing that edgy and decidedly impish stuff.  Brett's calling from the bedroom, "This really is a fabulous intro!" and then the lyrics start and I'm laughing even more because they are completely outrageous, as is their delivery. 

You don't have to read the song like that.  It's a very dark song and you could take it at face value, as if every word and sound was meant literally.  Maybe it is, I don't know, ask the people who wrote it.  Maybe it's just my exhaustion, but I'm laughing and viewing it as completely tongue-in-cheek, as the same sort of delightful theatre as Lullaby.  And when we watched this on Trilogy, we could have sworn that Robert Smith was laughing his head off when he turned away from the audience after delivering the final missile, "I wish you were dead!"

Thoughts?  Comments?  How are you reading it?

This track was followed by the cute, gentle, wistful Catch, before spiralling back down the rabbit hole into dark Amazingland with Torture and If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, which I've written about before.  After that Why Can't I Be You? actually made perfect sense to me (while Brett claims it's a "distractor" like the deliberately wrong answers in a multiple choice test).

And with that, the pastries were in the oven, the kitchen was clean again, and I turned off the music to retreat to the bedroom to my nice soft warm bed to write this.  With my husband doing incredibly nice things with my bare feet.  (If you've never tried a foot rub before, please do yourself a favour and start living...  :heart-eyes )

Oh and the chocolate nut horns look pretty good as well.



Plus, as it's Sunday and we've worked hard all week, we no longer care about the items left unfinished and we're not going to do them today after all - they can wait, it's our recreation time.  So we'll enjoy our nut horns, do some reading and catch the second half of that Curætion gig, I think.  :)

Yes, we really are hobbits.

Happy Sunday to everyone out there.  :cool
SueC is time travelling

SueC

ODDMENTS

Currently on this thread, I'm mostly writing about KMKMKM and The Head On The Door, since those are the two studio albums we've most recently acquired on our trip through the back catalogue.  I'm thinking Wish will be the next one I will order in, in original form, as waiting for the re-issue is starting to feel like waiting for Godot.  But today, some oddments.

Firstly, a Beatles cover I'd not realised The Cure had done, which I came across by accident last night:


I really enjoyed this one.  The original is such a nonsense song, typical McCartney who surely was the Original Wiggle.  For those of you who don't know The Wiggles:


Brett, by the way, thinks Robert Smith is secretly the Dark Wiggle.

I only like silly Beatles songs when I'm in a very silly mood, and I've occasionally liked Hello Goodbye in such a mood.

But I love the cover by The Cure, not because it makes it a better song, but because it's such fun to watch them do it, especially the way Robert Smith is channelling the right kind of headspace for the song.  It makes me laugh, it's just so well done.  I'd much prefer to listen to this cover than the original track.

...but you should hear Brett:  "I prefer the original because I'm sure it's shorter.  What a ghastly preschool song.  And look at Simon Gallup, he doesn't look like he's enjoying this, he's probably thinking he'd rather be cycling, or actually doing anything else but this."  :lol:

Maybe for me it's because I was watching the first half of the Curætion gig again last night and once again being impressed afresh by the musical versatility of this outfit - these guys seem to be able to play anything - and coming across this cover just provides another example.

I don't like all the covers The Cure have done - I don't like the Doors cover chiefly because I really dislike the original song, and the Cure take on Young Americans didn't work for my ears, but their Hendrix cover - the noisy cover of Purple Haze - wow.

Which brings me to some of the commentary I saw under the clip (not YT, but I see YT has plenty of material like this too :evil:) - why can't people say, "I don't like..." instead of, "This is crap."  Ah well.  Homo un-sapiens.  Of course, in the general commentary under this cover wherever you find it is the usual moaning about how the best drummer in the universe is now lamentably absent from the line-up, to which I once again just want to say, get over yourselves and stop acting like a bunch of rural rednecks who'll never accept someone new as a local until that person's grandchildren have married theirs, and will moan, whine, complain, and say "Go back where you came from!" and be unkind and unwelcoming and unjust, but you know, it's a reflection on those people, and their lack of decency and kindness and warmth, and not on the "newcomers"... I say welcome and I will look for things to love - and there's a lot to love.

My sermon isn't over.  In the webpage where I first chanced across this song yesterday, there was a myriad of unkind commentary on Robert Smith's personal appearance from the Style & Image Police.  Apparently we all have to put our heads into paper bags after age 30.  Or stop using hair dye, or make-up, and conform to whatever these backseat drivers think is The Correct Way To Be.  I'll never cease to be amazed by how many people think someone else's personal appearance, sexual orientation etc etc is any of their business.  It's really not.

And for what it's worth, good on Robert Smith.  We're all just getting photocopied over and over from the inside, that's how it works, and just like with paper photocopies, a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy gets a bit blurry and scratchy.  But, the text is still the text, and the story is still great regardless.  I send a truckload of love to all the people in this universe who are falling apart bit by bit and still living with grace and compassion.  And one of my favourite quotes:



PS:  And the best facelift is a smile - as is amply demonstrated in the clip for that Beatles cover.  Smiles can melt your heart.  So send some smiles out to others today - a little thing that's really a big thing.
SueC is time travelling

SueC

TWO "NEW" SONGS

One of the delights of watching the Curætion gig is the centre of the show, which is two "new" (comparatively) songs that sit between the one-song-per-album-in-chronological-order - forwards and then backwards - main sets.  It's like the axis on which a globe rotates.

It Can Never Be The Same is a grief song, and no matter which person the song was originally written for, the experience is so universal that it can be for anyone we've lost.  It's a beautiful song, and the stage backdrop of that flickering little candle flame pushed to and fro by the wind is such a powerful metaphor for the fragility of life and the ease of blowing it out, and the inevitability of that for all of us.  It's so good to have songs like this, because we all have to deal with losing people we love, and will all be that person one day, who has ceased to be.  To know that actually helps us to live better lives.

Step Into The Light, the other mid-section song not attached to an album release, also really appealed to me, both musically and thematically.  I was catching enough of the lyrics on the first listen last night to get the drift, and went to look them up.  Here's one version but other "takes" are around, and the second line in this one doesn't make sense to me.



STEP INTO THE LIGHT

All of your faith in simple shadows from my hope for something more
How about yourself were caught in any reason to be sure
You believe, there's nothing more to add
You believe, it's as simple as that

I don't care about the aliens, ghosts, and fairies, all the voices in your head
It's when your "I believe it's true, I know," I start to get upset

Because you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just want it all true
No, you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just have to say you do
You can't really know, you can only believe with a confidence born of deceit

The only angels you should hear are reason, honesty, equality and love
The only devils you should fear are hatred, ignorance, greed and a world full of people scared dumb

You believe, it's as simple as that
You believe, there's nothing more to add

I don't care about your sinners, saints, and saviours, acting with mysterious ways
It's when your "I believe it's true, I know!" I start to feel dismayed

Because you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just want it all true
No you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just have to say you do

You can't really know, you can only believe
It really is insane, all this crazy desperate need
For unknowable magic, strange supernatural power
You're flying through space at a million miles an hour
For 4 billion years, the sun keeps coming up
It's all too wonderful for words but for you it's not enough
You should step out of the shadows yeah and step into the light



I'll stick with this version for now, until I've got an opinion one way or the other on what's actually being sung.

I empathise with this song, because I can't tell you how often I've had to listen to people who seem to think belief and knowledge are synonymous.  Simply consulting the dictionary would tell you it's not.  I actually lived this distinction for about 25 years, because for much of my life I was essentially a Christian mystic - starting with a mind-blowing event at age 14 discussed here (in the last quarter of this long long post, look for the Turner paintings).  These days I'm agnostic, but even when I wasn't, it always rubbed me up the wrong way when religious people insisted they "knew" God existed, and even worse, that they "knew" what "he" thought and wanted (which was exactly what they wanted to think, and wanted), and even worse than that, when they started prescribing this as a universal pattern of what everyone should think and want.  Not only is all of that totally non sequitur when examined logically, it's also really dangerous and leads to a lot of intolerance and moral-high-horsemanship.

I always felt that to mistake belief for knowledge did a disservice both to spirituality, and to rationality.  From a spiritual perspective, it's pointless to believe in a God you think you know is there.  That's like believing in your saucepan, or your refrigerator, or your armchair.  The whole point of believing, to me, was similar to when you believe in a friend - when you believe in their capacity for being decent and kind, even when you're also confronted with their flaws.  And I don't mean putting on rose-tinted spectacles, but learning to love a person because you love their heart, which I know is a wishy-washy concept but bear with me here; you love the goodwill of the person, their striving to live well even as they fall short, you have compassion for their flaws and for your own.  This is far easier with acknowledged flaws you know a person is earnestly working on, than with flaws that are invisible to their owner or they are in denial over.  And because this is a difficult topic, let me just categorically state that not everyone truly cares about others, and wants to work on their flaws, and some of those people are, at best, unpleasant, and at worst, psychopathic, and I recommend not exposing yourself to people like this more than absolutely necessary, and calling out their behaviour when they mistreat others instead of standing by and saying nothing.  Some of them might be amenable to learning to do things better; others will stay toxic and destructive no matter what (because only we ourselves can decide to change, and if we don't then that's where we will stay stuck, instead of evolving).

Anyway, believing in God was a bit like believing in your friends:  Choosing to believe that there was some force for good and some kind of higher love you could be a part of.  I didn't think God was a personal slot machine that you could (or should) send your personal wishes off to like a sort of cosmic Santa, or that the reason you tried to do the right thing is because it would increase your "pointscore" for getting into higher echelons of afterlife - it was about love and respect.  Any of you who have seen the series The Good Place will be aware of the many pitfalls of "personal goodness" - fabulous series.


But even in the years I very much believed in a God of love and respect, I was aware that this was a choice I had made, to believe this in the absence of it being a concrete thing right in front of me that could be measured (not that this is necessarily proof of anything either ;)); and I never thought I knew this God existed.  In fact, to me, one of the whole points of that was making that choice, taking that leap.  It was something I could give, when I felt like so much had been given to me.  It was a way of being a part of something good that seemed to transcend the human condition.

But I always remained on the fringes, because I couldn't subscribe to dogma, nor go down the road of "I know blah blah blah."  I always accepted that I could be wrong, and it seemed to me that people who felt they knew were lacking in intellectual humility.  And later on, I ended up thinking I was wrong about the existence of some sort of personal God (I went into the why in the post I linked to above); but it doesn't mean that it didn't have value, and didn't shape me in ways that helped me to live better.  As I've heard around the progressive spiritual communities, "Dismount your donkey at the summit."  In fact, here's a quote:

QuoteYour Donkey

Dismount your donkey at the summit.

Some places in this world are very hard to climb, and people use animals. Each person can only ride one, and each animal might have a different name. The riders go up the trail in different orders, and they discuss their varying opinions about their experiences.  They may even have conflicting opinions: One traveler may think the trip thrilling, another may find it terrifying, and a third may find it banal.

At the summit all the travelers stand in the same place.  Each of them has the same chance to view the same vistas.  The donkeys are put to rest and graze; they are not needed anymore.

We all travel the path of Tao.  The donkeys are the various doctrines that each of us embraces.  What does it matter which doctrine we embrace as long as it leads us to the summit?  Your donkey might be a Zen donkey, mine might be a Tao donkey.  There are Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and even Agnostic donkeys.  All lead to the same place.  Why poke fun at others over the name of their donkey?  Aren't you riding one yourself?

We should put aside both the donkeys and our interim experiences once we arrive at the summit.  Whether we climbed in suffering or joy is immaterial; we are there.  All religions have different names for the ways of getting to the holy summit.  Once we reach the summit, we no longer need names, and we can experience all things directly.

From 365 Tao:  Daily Meditations by Den Ming-Dao

So that's the general idea.  Of course, you can argue about whether people get to the same mountaintop, whether there is a mountaintop at all, whether they see the same things when they get there, etc etc etc, and I'm generally dubious about a lot of this stuff.  But, I do know donkeys are a good thing.  :winking_tongue



Changing perspective slightly:



:angel

...and one more, because they are so adorable:



So Step Into The Light deals with a topic I've thought about a lot myself, too.  I'm going to take a closer look, and do some annotating.


STEP INTO THE LIGHT

All of your faith in simple shadows from my hope for something more
How about yourself were caught in any reason to be sure
You believe, there's nothing more to add
You believe, it's as simple as that

I don't care about the aliens, ghosts, and fairies, all the voices in your head
It's when your "I believe it's true, I know," I start to get upset


As I said earlier, I'm not 100% sure this is an accurate transcription, plus the song may have evolved/been sung differently at different times.  The first two lines don't altogether make sense to me - particularly the second - and could Line 6 really have you're instead of your?  That would make slightly more sense, in a slangy way.

I'd like to draw attention to the title - since this is the kind of invitation missionaries at your door will often presumptuously make to you - and since the writer has flipped that here, to tell persons of that ilk to take a good look at their own philosophies - if you go to the last line - more on that later.

The sense I'm getting from the beginning of that song is a person who's quite tolerant of what might be going on in other people's minds coming up against the hard boundary of not accepting what they can pretty comprehensively see is pure BS - the mistaking of personal belief for rock-solid, verifiable knowledge.



Because you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just want it all true
No, you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just have to say you do
You can't really know, you can only believe with a confidence born of deceit


Interesting take, the confidence born of deceit.  Is it time for another excursion into the Dunning-Kruger Effect?


Cognitive bias affects all of us, as the clip shows.  But you can see how it definitely applies to the delusion of certainty in religion, as well.


The only angels you should hear are reason, honesty, equality and love
The only devils you should fear are hatred, ignorance, greed and a world full of people scared dumb


I love these lines; very astute.  If you had to pick four core virtues, and four core vices, which would you pick?  These very much hit the spot, and get to the centre of the mess we see.


You believe, it's as simple as that
You believe, there's nothing more to add

I don't care about your sinners, saints, and saviours, acting with mysterious ways
It's when your "I believe it's true, I know!" I start to feel dismayed

Because you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just want it all true
No you don't know, you don't know, you don't know
You just have to say you do

You can't really know, you can only believe
It really is insane, all this crazy desperate need
For unknowable magic, strange supernatural power
You're flying through space at a million miles an hour
For 4 billion years, the sun keeps coming up
It's all too wonderful for words but for you it's not enough
You should step out of the shadows yeah and step into the light


I find that last stanza especially powerful - the idea of people needing to play make-believe (and often a very banal kind of make-believe, if you've ever read a Watchtower magazine - count me out) when the whole world is so miraculous, but they can't seem to see it.  I've never read a better description of that blindness, by the way, than this:

QuoteTo summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs, where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves ever deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of them fall off, but others cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," they yell, "we are floating in space!" But none of the people down there care. "What a bunch of troublemakers!" they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princess Di is expecting again?
    ― Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World


One thing that's particularly annoyed me in my life is the attitude many of the more fundamentalist religious folk take about this planet - like it's a commodity, like it's disposable.  "God gave it to us, we can do what we want with it, and he's making a better one later anyway so who cares about this one."  Oh yeah?  So, what, Monet gives you Water Lilies and you're gonna put it on the ground and shit on it?  Very nice.  Plus, of course, we don't all agree, in this case, that there is a Monet or that Monet gave you a painting.  So you're going to shit on the painting all of us are actually living in?

And this from people who think they have a monopoly on light?  It's so deeply ironic.  Great last line in this song - reminding people to please sweep their own doorsteps first, and take a good look at themselves, and their definition of light and darkness, because hey, you might be the one who's sitting in the dark here, and the people you're used to thinking of as unenlightened just might have a thing or two they can teach you, that you actually are sadly lacking.

Of course, in another irony, Jesus already said a lot of stuff like this (or at least, it was attributed thusly).  Here's a good one:
  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

It's just so funny how a lot of people who go around trying to push the Bible on other people actually don't seem to have read this bit, or maybe it just went whoosh:angel

Happy Sunday.  Definitely time to get out of bed now.  ;)


SueC is time travelling

SueC

Fun fact about Trilogy:  It starts with the words, "It doesn't matter if we all die!" and it ends with,  "I wish you were dead!"  :lol:

That's something cheery I noticed the first time I ever watched that concert, as a new Cure fan.  I listened to the first sentence, and said to Brett, "Well, that's a good start!"  :angel  And when I heard the last line in the encore, I got acidosis from the bout of laughter this induced...


...AND A LITTLE ABOUT BLOODFLOWERS...

Meanwhile, another random thought about the back catalogue of studio CDs, as I'm delving further back.  Bloodflowers is still my personal favourite - listening to that made me into a Cure fan in the first place - and that was less than six years ago, when I discovered it on my husband's iPod, which he was encouraging me to borrow when working outdoors.  Thinking of The Cure as primarily a pop band, owing to radio programming in Australia, I was intrigued that my very noir other half would have multiple albums by this band.  So I put on the one studio album by The Cure on this iPod, and my jaw hit the ground, and kind of stayed there for the rest of the day.

It was the first time in many years I'd listened to a "new" album I loved start to finish, and I couldn't get over the difference between what I was hearing, and the stuff from this band commonly played on Australian radio.  This was an entirely different universe.  I'd had no idea this band had a serious side, and that their serious stuff was so magnificent.

I'm old enough to feature on Grumpy Old Men/Women and I certainly have a lot of material to offer that show.  :winking_tongue   One of my recurring grumps is about the demise of the album since the iPod/music streaming age.  It was fabulous to hear an actual album again, in the true sense of the word.  Something that wasn't just a few good songs and a lot of padding - something that was breathtaking start to finish, and cohesive.

I've not actually written about this album very much, because it was with me years before I joined this forum, and here I've just concentrated on "new" things as they've come in.  There's a convoluted explanation on the Music For Emotional Health thread about why this was the perfect album for a difficult six months (plus aftermath) in my life at the time, and why Where The Birds Always Sing in particular really spoke to me in the scenario I was in, simultaneously validating some very dark thoughts I was thinking at the time, and consoling me - in part because I realised I wasn't alone with those thoughts - which is one of the best things there is about art, literature, music etc.

For many of us, our favourite albums (and books, and poems, and cartoons etc) will always remain the ones which really spoke to us at crucial times - pieces of art that were a friend when we were sorely in need.  That's one reason why I think it's unlikely that I'm ever going to prefer any Cure album to Bloodflowers.  Another is that I've sampled widely from a lot of their albums not yet in our collection, and that I relate a lot more to the lyrics written by more mature versions of this band than their early incarnations - as you'd expect, since I'm 40+ myself, and life is cumulative, and so are the realisations you have as you live it.

It was a happy accident to hear Robert Smith's entering-midlife reflections when I'd just entered midlife recently myself - and not before that.  Sometimes you just get the right thing at the right time.  And by the way, it wasn't midlife I was grappling with, it was complex PTSD saying, "Hello, here I am, let me show you some footage you've only seen without sound and emotion and as if from far away before this - let me show you the real thing with surround-sound and all the horror of a little child seeing these things - the child you once were."  That stuff was a bit more in-my-face than midlife, but of course it's always nice to hear from "age contemporaries" when you've reached a certain point along the road.

And at that point, layers of experience and decades of thinking count very, very much, and it's nice to compare notes.   :cool

If any Cure album has a shot at usurping Bloodflowers in my heart, then perhaps the one that's in the works right now - although honestly, it would probably need to coincide with another existential crisis in my life in order to have that kind of deep personal impact - and I really hope I'm not going to have to have another one like this anytime soon.  I'm quite content for Bloodflowers to remain my personal favourite.   :winking_tongue

I'm pretty sure a lot of the "old" fans (as in, the ones from way back) count some of the "old" Cure albums as their personal favourites for precisely that kind of reason - that it was a space to breathe and to find validation when they were going through difficult and/or formative things as young people.  A lot of my personal favourite albums come from my teenage years/early 20s.  But, Bloodflowers equals those for me, probably surpasses them - not that I find it necessary to rank my all-time favourites (just like we have five donkeys and honestly none of them is my favourite, they all are).  As great as it is to re-listen to albums that meant a lot to me when I was just starting out on the road, I find it even better to listen to albums that managed to speak equally to me when I was much further down that road, and in another phase of things being turned upside-down.

If you're reading and you're thinking about why some of your favourite albums mean so much to you, it's perfectly fine for you to jump in here and share - since this is thematic here just now, and it's always cool to have readers joining in.  That's if you don't find it confronting to share your innermost thoughts in public - if you do, that's OK too.  I find this a pretty safe space because it's well moderated and because, well, lots of Cure fans are actually pretty cool people.

Here's why I started writing this post:  Yesterday, I was giving Disintegration another spin.  Previously, I've said that Bloodflowers narrowly pips Disintegration for me as my personal favourite, so far - but this opinion may be revised.  Right now, I'm weighing up whether I actually don't prefer KMKMKM to Disintegration.  At the moment, I do - at the moment, the sheer energy of KMKMKM, and the beautiful playing on it, especially of those bent, Eastern scales, really has me spellbound.  Plus, I actually tend to dislike a couple of tracks on Disintegration because I'll be listening to the lyrics and finding myself going, "Oh please, this really is the wallowings of a still comparatively immature person!"

When I was in my 20s, a friend in her 70s said to me, "You know you're getting old when the newsreaders and postmen start looking too young to be out of school, to you."  ROFL  :lol:

Anyway, I decided that while Bloodflowers is definitely my favourite Cure album, for very personal reasons and because it was in the right place at the right time, I'm no longer going to even attempt to impose any kind of preference order on any of the others.  I like aspects of all of them, and what I'm drawn to depends on my mood, and what I'm thinking, and what's going on in my life.  It seems to me just as silly to try to play favourites with them, as it is to do that with our donkeys.

It's just that Bloodflowers, in my life, was like Brego coming for Aragorn, and will therefore always be extra special to me. ♥



from Lord of the Rings
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on July 14, 2020, 05:17:12One of my recurring grumps is about the demise of the album since the iPod/music streaming age.

I still buy and listen to albums. Most of mp3/streaming/yt is okay to "test" something a little bit (like "is this kind of music made for me?"), but soundwise almost everything else (cd, vinyl) is much better.

Quote from: SueC on July 14, 2020, 05:17:12...in part because I realised I wasn't alone with those thoughts - which is one of the best things there is about art, literature, music etc.

For many of us, our favourite albums (and books, and poems, and cartoons etc) will always remain the ones which really spoke to us at crucial times - pieces of art that were a friend when we were sorely in need.

Very true!

Quote from: SueC on July 14, 2020, 05:17:12Plus, I actually tend to dislike a couple of tracks on Disintegration because I'll be listening to the lyrics and finding myself going, "Oh please, this really is the wallowings of a still comparatively immature person!"

Oh. Well I guess I was/am/will be immature enough to always like this album!  :1f632:
 XD

Of course I'm well aware that musically KM KM KM is a great album and much more "varied" than "Distintegration" - however emotionally the latter is just "it".
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on July 15, 2020, 14:05:32
Quote from: SueC on July 14, 2020, 05:17:12One of my recurring grumps is about the demise of the album since the iPod/music streaming age.

I still buy and listen to albums. Most of mp3/streaming/yt is okay to "test" something a little bit (like "is this kind of music made for me?"), but soundwise almost everything else (cd, vinyl) is much better.

Yes, a lot of the people who grew up with albums still really value them - as do some from the new generations.  Which reminds me, when we last went through our local second-hand shop (their book section alone almost rivals our local library) we came across an LP section, which was not all secondhand - they actually had new copies of both Disintegration and 4:13 Dream ($55 each), as well as lots of Nick Cave, Jesus & Mary Chain and all the usual alternative suspects.  As we were remarking to each other, this bearded bloke with bloodhound eyes said to us, "Are you just looking or are you serious?" and I pinged back a, "Just looking!" - which made his face all sad, but we were rushing from A to B at the time.  The face stayed with me and my imagination started going to work, and now I feel really bad.  He may well have been the curator of that LP collection and an alternative enthusiast in our rural town which is infamous for having the highest percentage support for the white supremacist One Nation party in Australia - and here we were possibly adding to his existential disappointment.  So next time, I'm going to make a point of chatting to him.

@Ulrich, you're quite right too about the usefulness of those new media for sampling - one of the lovely things I was finding when doing music projects with high schoolers post 2000 is that many had such a breadth of interest - a far wider spread of genres and also time periods than we'd had ourselves when we were in school.  Boys were listening to and writing about Pink Floyd, and I remember a conversation with one of them:  "Wow, you're listening to Pink Floyd, and when I was at high school they'd been around seemingly forever so only a few music nerds in my class were listening to them back then."  He said, "I was sampling my Dad's collection and you know, he actually has some really good stuff we can both enjoy.  Also, I can take tours through music online etc and I like digging around!"  Which led to a class discussion on the apparent reduction in generation gap, with popular culture.  In the 80s a lot of my classmates were turning up their noses and going, "That's so old!" even with stuff released five years earlier, and nowadays a lot of young people are listening to that same stuff which is now 30 years old to them, and going even further back.  They're much more well-rounded.

I think one of the barriers when I was in school was that a lot of the "old" music sounded terrible technically - not just the snapcracklepop of vinyl records no matter how much cleaning film you put on them (so young me eventually turned most of mine into frisbees and bought CD versions), but going further back, recordings in mono and with the high end of the dynamic range missing - and of course, much of that has now been cleaned up and re-mastered, removing that barrier.  Of course, CDs before the loudness wars were so much better - it's been very sad to see the quality of music recordings take an unnecessary backward step with this ridiculous phenomenon.  :evil:


Quote from: Ulrich on July 15, 2020, 14:05:32
Quote from: SueC on July 14, 2020, 05:17:12Plus, I actually tend to dislike a couple of tracks on Disintegration because I'll be listening to the lyrics and finding myself going, "Oh please, this really is the wallowings of a still comparatively immature person!"

Oh. Well I guess I was/am/will be immature enough to always like this album!  :1f632:
 XD

:lol:  :winking_tongue

I would say that you were first listening to this album as a young person and therefore really relating to a lot of the emotions on it, since they were concerns naturally matched to that phase in life etc.

Whereas I first listened to this album in midlife, and though it is one of my favourite albums as well, I don't quite have the same patience for what I now consider, rightly or wrongly, to be self-inflicted misery, which is the impression I have of two songs on that album (and I'm not going to tell you which ones!  :yum:).  And I will say that often human beings are most impatient with things in others that they struggle with themselves, or have struggled with themselves in the past!  ;)

So if I'm making those comments about those lyrics, it's probably because I kicked myself up my own rear end at some stage for thinking like that.  :beaming-face

And because it was IMO a good thing that I kicked myself up my own rear end for thinking like that, and it led to measurable improvements in my own life.   :angel

Which is not to say that this can be extrapolated to other people's lives, of course...


QuoteOf course I'm well aware that musically KM KM KM is a great album and much more "varied" than "Disintegration" - however emotionally the latter is just "it".

Yes, it's very good.  But I did hear about the mountain of beer cans (never mind the cocaine budget) and I swear you can hear it in some of the songs!   :winking_tongue  :kissing_smiling_eyes:  :lol:
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27Of course, CDs before the loudness wars were so much better - it's been very sad to see the quality of music recordings take an unnecessary backward step with this ridiculous phenomenon.  :evil:

Not to mention the "compression" wars ...
As described by Mr Alan Wilder in a recently revived topic:
Quote from: undefinedSo when the already squashed CD master is then consumed via MP3, the flattening effect is enhanced further. The result - an unsatisfying, brittle, indistinct, hollow experience with no punch.
http://curefans.com/index.php?topic=4647.0

"Digital" may be perfect in theory, there is however one flaw: my ears are "analogue"...

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27I would say that you were first listening to this album as a young person and therefore really relating to a lot of the emotions on it, since they were concerns naturally matched to that phase in life etc.

Of course, the summer of 1989 was a difficult phase. School was over, a hopeless love interest (she just disappeared out of my life), lost touch with many old friends... :'(
"Disintegration" was the perfect "soundtrack" to it.

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27Yes, it's very good.  But I did hear about the mountain of beer cans

Erm, I don't think you heard right. That was around 1982 as far as I know (at a time when the Cure sometimes slept in Fiction Records' office or on studio floors).

In 1986 when the band recorded KM KM KM, they had way more "style" (and money), so they moved into a studio on a vineyard in France!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_Miraval
(Legend has it that they drank a lot of wine there... and you can hear it on the album!) :yum:
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on July 16, 2020, 17:59:55
Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27Of course, CDs before the loudness wars were so much better - it's been very sad to see the quality of music recordings take an unnecessary backward step with this ridiculous phenomenon.  :evil:

Not to mention the "compression" wars ...
As described by Mr Alan Wilder in a recently revived topic:
Quote from: undefinedSo when the already squashed CD master is then consumed via MP3, the flattening effect is enhanced further. The result - an unsatisfying, brittle, indistinct, hollow experience with no punch.

Yes! Excellent description.  When MP3s were first a thing, that's exactly how I heard it, and people were telling me, "Oh, but your ears can't hear the difference."  Yes they could...


Quote from: Ulrich on July 16, 2020, 17:59:55"Digital" may be perfect in theory, there is however one flaw: my ears are "analogue"...

Well, that's true, but it's also true for your eyes, and yet digital photography became a lot more crisp than film photography, so that you actually can't see the pixels with your naked eye anymore, with a sufficiently large file size.  I don't think it's being digital itself that's the problem, with recorded music.  It's things like people cutting down file sizes, cutting out chunks of things they hope you won't hear, and those stupid loudness wars...

Fun technical discussion here:  https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=31382.0


Quote from: Ulrich on July 16, 2020, 17:59:55
Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27I would say that you were first listening to this album as a young person and therefore really relating to a lot of the emotions on it, since they were concerns naturally matched to that phase in life etc.

Of course, the summer of 1989 was a difficult phase. School was over, a hopeless love interest (she just disappeared out of my life), lost touch with many old friends... :'(
"Disintegration" was the perfect "soundtrack" to it.

I bet it was.  And to mature-age me, Disintegration is the perfect emotional fit for reading Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything, and the like, that show the depths of corruption and resistance to positive change inherent in our political and economic systems.  Not a theme on the album, but its mood is very like the mood that puts me in, and when I'm in that kind of mood I find that music cathartic.  I don't read a lot of stuff like this because I already know we're on the Titanic, and because I need to be able to function well to make any kind of positive difference myself.  But if you're going to read just one book on the state of the modern world, this is an incredibly informative book from which I've learnt a lot, including many things I wish I hadn't - but then again, I am also glad I know that same stuff now, even though it's terribly depressing.  It's like weighing up the power of understanding why things are so rotten, so that you have the awareness to be able to see through the spin, against how many hours of that per day you can take before it starts to hamstring you.

But occasionally you find things to make you laugh, like reading somewhere that economics was invented to make astrology look respectable.  :lol:


Quote from: Ulrich on July 16, 2020, 17:59:55
Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 01:50:27Yes, it's very good.  But I did hear about the mountain of beer cans

Erm, I don't think you heard right. That was around 1982 as far as I know (at a time when the Cure sometimes slept in Fiction Records' office or on studio floors).

In 1986 when the band recorded KM KM KM, they had way more "style" (and money), so they moved into a studio on a vineyard in France!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_Miraval
(Legend has it that they drank a lot of wine there... and you can hear it on the album!) :yum:

You're correct on dating that famous beer can mountain!  :cool  My mistake.  I just remember feeling queasy after reading about it, two Christmases ago in the coffee table book Brett got me, and it was so hot we did nothing but read all Christmas.  Partly I was queasy from that kind of information, and partly I was queasy from the narrative style.  :angel

Well yeah, I'd far rather drink wine than beer.  I had a really bad experience with beer at around age four when some adult tried to convince me after I turned my nose up at the taste that beer was something that didn't taste good until you hadn't just dangled your tongue in it tentatively, but actually taken several large gulps.  I felt so sick after taking a gulp that I still feel sick at the smell of the stuff more than four decades later, and will only use it to make Welsh Rarebit, or gravy.  And besides, it smells like stinky socks.

But, even wine I much prefer in desserts or cheese fondue or Bolognese Sauce or stew, etc, than to drink - some of that stuff tastes like paint stripper.  Generally speaking, dry cider is much more palatable, to my own palate - especially pear cider.  Yet even with that, I can't go beyond half a glass before it begins to taste acrid to me.  And so was I saved from an expensive habit, and have therefore been able to invest more in books and music than I otherwise could have.  :angel

In case you didn't guess from this, I'm one of those chemically sensitive people.  Have to avoid breathing in the cleaning products alley.  Artificial fragrances make me physically ill.  I also can't walk in a straight line after half a glass of cider.  :lol:



PS:  Since we've already veered off-topic a fair bit here (but tell me you're not enjoying the scenic drive!  :angel :evil:), here's a bit of thrilling science about the detoxification of alcohol (specifically, ethanol) in the human body.  The first step of the detoxification process in the liver paradoxically turns ethanol into the even more toxic acetaldehyde, which is then (usually) rapidly degraded into less toxic substances.  However, in some people there is a mutation in the usual genes for this, so that little of the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde gets made, and/or the enzyme is ineffective at its job.  As a result, acetaldehyde quickly builds up in the bloodstream and, unless a person takes note of the resultant unpleasant feeling quickly and ceases to imbibe alcohol, they will become violently ill.  Indeed, a common drug to treat alcoholism is based on this principle, and makes the acetaldehyde-degrading enzyme so ineffective that taking a drink will cause quaking nausea and a feeling of apocalyptic doom.


Love your liver.  Recipes here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/liver

The ineffective version of the acetaldehyde-degrading enzymatic process is commonly found in a few Asian countries, which also consequently have a lower than world average rate of alcoholism in the population.  Of course, mutations like that can also pop up independently, and I've wondered whether I have it myself, since I have never in my life been able to bring myself to drink more than the equivalent of one standard drink,* just because I reach a threshold where it starts to taste rapidly bad to me and my body is going, "No, no, no, no more!" with a gigantic megaphone.  Of course, it could just be my overactive imagination - but whatever it is, it's definitely a physical thing.

*...with one exception - as a university student I had such a bad cold once I couldn't sleep for three nights running because every time I got horizontal, it felt like I was drowning in my own fluids.  By Night Four I was so desperate for sleep that I made myself a concoction consisting of half a (water) drinking glass of rum from a bottle I found in the kitchen, about eight squashed garlic cloves, with some honey added in a misguided effort to make the whole thing more palatable.  I held my nose, and down the hatch it went.  I lay down knowing I was either going to get some sleep at last, or drown obliviously in my own fluids, but had gotten to the stage I no longer cared about the latter possibility.  Alas, I woke up again after a looooong unbroken night of blessed rest, feeling much better.  Sort of like that sheep in James Herriot's All Creatures, for those old enough to know what I mean.  Technically I would have had to be well over 0.08 from that at some stage in the night, but there wasn't a morsel of consciousness of any of that.  So, does it count?

While I'm going on about biochemistry, Brett wants me to throw in the one about the ethylene glycol, so here goes.  In the 1970s there was this wine adulteration scandal where evil winemakers were adding ethylene glycol (antifreeze) to their hallowed products to make them taste sweeter.  Now if you drink actual antifreeze itself, it will kill your liver and, consequently, you.  But, if someone tries to suicide on antifreeze, there is an antidote if you can get there quickly enough with it:  Ethanol.  That's one time it can be spectacularly good for you.  You might be interested to research the science behind this further.  :angel   And so, back to the adulterated wine:  As long as there was enough alcohol in the wine compared to the ethylene glycol, nobody was actually dying from it...

A big thank-you to Dr Robert Mead of Murdoch University, who imparted these fascinating snippets on a certain group of wide-eyed students back in the early 1990s.  :cool  And yes, his name really was Mead.  We also had a lecturer called Howard Gill, who specialised in fish.  Nominative determinism is such fun...

Returning to regular programming soon.  :)
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18... digital photography became a lot more crisp than film photography, so that you actually can't see the pixels with your naked eye anymore, with a sufficiently large file size.

Yeah, strangely with photography things seem to have become much better in the digital age (except maybe that some people look at them on tiny screens of their phones).


Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18But occasionally you find things to make you laugh, like reading somewhere that economics was invented to make astrology look respectable.  :lol:

Huh?  :lol:

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18But, even wine I much prefer in desserts or cheese fondue or Bolognese Sauce or stew

Woah, now here we have some things which smell like well-used socks too (or even worse)!
(Have you ever tried smelling spaghetti bolognese when someone just sprinkled parmesan over it?)

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18PS:  Since we've already veered off-topic a fair bit here

No problem, as I remember you did start these "Exploring..." topics so that you could veer off in any direction you like.  :cool

Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18Indeed, a common drug to treat alcoholism is based on this principle, and makes the acetaldehyde-degrading enzyme so ineffective that taking a drink will cause quaking nausea and a feeling of apocalyptic doom.

Eh, makes me think Robert tried this a few times before he wrote his lyrics, huh?  :winking_tongue

Edit: I have no idea why the smileys don't work in this post. I'd saved a draft, as I was interrupted, maybe that was a problem?
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on July 17, 2020, 19:29:30Yeah, strangely with photography things seem to have become much better in the digital age (except maybe that some people look at them on tiny screens of their phones).

Yeah, and that's so ironic!  :P   All those insatiable appetites for ginormous TV screens, and then those very same people, generally, using little postage stamp screens for Internet...  :1f635:

We use a normal computer screen to do Internet stuff, and our TV isn't much bigger, and was bequeathed to us by an obligate upgrader!  :1f631:

The size of our bookcases, however... shall we just say we've run out of non-strawbale walls to put them against without causing traffic obstructions?  Brett is considering mounting some more bookcases on the ceiling and velcroing books into these...


Quote from: Ulrich on July 17, 2020, 19:29:30(...cheese fondue...) Woah, now here we have some things which smell like well-used socks too (or even worse)!
(Have you ever tried smelling spaghetti bolognese when someone just sprinkled parmesan over it?)

As regards the cheese fondue:  How are you making yours?  You're not using Andechser, are you?  ;)  Now that stuff is stinky.  So stinky, teenage boys used to use it to prank other passengers on the Munich train line, by surreptitiously sticking a used Andechser cheese wrapper to the underside of the train furnishings before leaving the carriage... :evil:

As regards the parmesan:  It depends what type you buy.  The best type smells like sweaty bare feet that have been running around on green grass.  :yum:   Most commercial packet types smell like sweaty feet that have been in nylon stockings and synthetic shoes for several days.  :1f635:

When I was a child I had the blessed experience of seeing an entire parmesan wheel getting literally wheeled down the street from the village cheese factory in northern Italy where it had been maturing.  :cool  The centre of such a wheel is relatively soft and breaks into delicious chunks which are the most fabulous eating in the universe...  :heart-eyes  The outside parts of the wheel are harder cheese and commonly used for grating.  The green-grass notes that should be there are because the dairy cows ought to be grazers, rather than cooped up in buildings fed with industrial farm produce, but good luck with that nowadays.  :1f62d:

And on that side note, the best milk I ever had in my life was from an Italian heirloom breed cow (when nobody called them that, they were just the cows) grazing alpine meadow with all sorts of herbs on it.  I got to milk it myself into a glass when I was a little girl.  That all began because I was friends with a donkey down the road, whom I used to visit in his pasture.  One day when I was sitting with him, his owners turned up to engage him in some farm work and asked if I wanted to come see what he did.  This was a small-farm couple probably in their 60s, whom I'd not met before, but Italian communities just work like this - you're all extended family just because you live there.  So I got to go up to their homestead block a little further up the mountain, which is where I found they'd just brought half a dozen cows in for milking, and hand milking was a skill I'd learnt from the dairy farmers in the German village where I lived for the rest of the year... and this couple was over the moon that a little German tourist girl could actually milk a cow (my father was a toff), so the woman brought me a glass and said I should try the milk!  :heart-eyes  So I milked one of their cows straight into that glass and that was the best milk I ever had in my life...  :heart-eyes

I'm so lucky to have had such experiences... so many people grow up urban or suburban and never even see a cow up close, let alone milk one... childhoods like caged rats, with little toys in their cages... no wonder so many people are unhappy... childhoods living like battery hens, or barn hens at best, but definitely not free range...


Quote from: Ulrich on July 17, 2020, 19:29:30
Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18PS:  Since we've already veered off-topic a fair bit here

No problem, as I remember you did start these "Exploring..." topics so that you could veer off in any direction you like.  :cool

Well, this is true, but you know, I still feel obliged to return to the main topic one day soon!   :angel


Quote from: Ulrich on July 17, 2020, 19:29:30
Quote from: SueC on July 16, 2020, 20:54:18Indeed, a common drug to treat alcoholism is based on this principle, and makes the acetaldehyde-degrading enzyme so ineffective that taking a drink will cause quaking nausea and a feeling of apocalyptic doom.

Eh, makes me think Robert tried this a few times before he wrote his lyrics, huh?  :winking_tongue

I understand there are quite a few techniques one can use for inducing moods of apocalyptic doom in the self, should one desire such a state.   :angel

And especially reading about how this band made Pornography, it seems to me that the doom and gloom was deliberately manufactured, rather than naturally occurring... or leastways, if any of it was naturally occurring, then a determined attempt was made to amplify this mood, in order to become "deep and meaningful"...  :angel

Which makes people who grew up in metaphorical broom cupboards with metaphorical wicked stepmothers and snarly wolves and howling emotional voids and hunger and dejection and real doom and gloom kind of giggle, that people would do such a thing...  :angel


Quote from: Ulrich on July 17, 2020, 19:29:30Edit: I have no idea why the smileys don't work in this post. I'd saved a draft, as I was interrupted, maybe that was a problem?

Yes, it's a software bug - none of the smileys will work once you work from a saved draft.  So to get around that, just copy and paste your text into a fresh window in the thread you're posting to.  :cool

@Ulrich, do you like The Cure's early albums?  We don't have any of those yet (The Top is the furthest back we've gotten so far, and that one we like), but of course people go on about them.  We heard all of Pornography live on Trilogy, and that wasn't a bad experience, but then we only very rarely don't like something the Cure perform live - even stuff I will turn off if I hear it on the radio.  (Every Monday like clockwork, radio stations will play Bob Geldof's I Don't Like Mondays, and every Friday there's Friday I'm In Love, and I want to scream and jump up and down, and not in a complimentary manner, because this is so unbelievably annoying...  :smth011)

I'm asking because we were so unimpressed by Disc 1 of Join The Dots.  I think so much is about context, and it's the context that may not be there 30-40 years later.

@MAtT, likewise... I do get the impression that to have grown up with that early music is a vastly different proposition to coming at it as an adult.  Which is why I'm interested in hearing these stories.  Because to be honest, I tend not to like the early studio stuff I've heard - but when they perform early material live, that dislike drops away for me.
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on July 18, 2020, 00:37:03So stinky, teenage boys used to use it to prank other passengers on the Munich train line, by surreptitiously sticking a used Andechser cheese wrapper to the underside of the train furnishings before leaving the carriage... :evil:

Sounds horrible. Dangerous noawadays - could be viewed as a "terrorist attack".  :winking_tongue

Quote from: SueC on July 18, 2020, 00:37:03As regards the parmesan:  It depends what type you buy.  The best type smells like sweaty bare feet that have been running around on green grass.  :yum:  Most commercial packet types smell like sweaty feet that have been in nylon stockings and synthetic shoes for several days. 

Mmmm. Yummy.  :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
For me when I put parmesan on warm spaghetti bolognese, it mostly smells like fresh vomit. (But it tastes good, you just need to close off your nose.)

Quote from: SueC on July 18, 2020, 00:37:03do you like The Cure's early albums?  We don't have any of those yet (The Top is the furthest back we've gotten so far, and that one we like), but of course people go on about them.  We heard all of Pornography live on Trilogy, and that wasn't a bad experience...

Well, at first I didn't have all the old albums, it went "step by step". After "The Head On The Door" which I bought in 1985, I got myself "Boys don't cry" (vinyl - now of course I know this was originally a US release of the debut "TIB" with a few changes) and "Japanese Whispers" (now I know this wasn't really an "album" but a collection of singles + b-sides).

Then came the singles collection "Standing on a beach", which I borrowed from a friend. Thus I knew a few songs from the old albums, but still not all of them.
Then came KM KM KM (great album), which I got for my 18th birthday (at my own wish).

Only later, in 1988-'89 I got me the old albums (on vinyl): Pornography, The Top and finally Seventeen Seconds + Faith (this was around the time "Disintegration" had come out and I could tell how this new album was a bit of a return to the melancholy feel of the older albums!).


Quote from: SueC on July 18, 2020, 00:37:03I'm asking because we were so unimpressed by Disc 1 of Join The Dots.  I think so much is about context, and it's the context that may not be there 30-40 years later.

As I knew most of the songs, I bought "Three Imaginary Boys" much later (in fact when the remastered version w/ bonus was released, circa 2005?)!
This is a document of the band trying to find its own style and it's not a bad album, but it just doesn't "click" with me as the other old albums do.
The b-sides on JTD disc1 can't really "represent" the band as it was (imho). (This might be the case with later phases from '85-'96, when the b-sides were basically "album outtakes", but earlier some b-sides were specifically recorded to be b-sides, e.g. "Descent" which is clearly a b-side to complement the a-side "Primary".)

When I listen to "17 Seconds" now, I can't help thinking "this sounds rather minimalistic, naive and simple", but I still like the songs - and they don't remind me of 1980 (as they would for those who got it when it was new), but rather of 1989 and early 1990, when I listened to them a lot!  :cool
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on July 18, 2020, 16:03:44For me when I put parmesan on warm spaghetti bolognese, it mostly smells like fresh vomit. (But it tastes good, you just need to close off your nose.)

...and now I have to tell you a terrible joke.  :1f635:

It was a cold winter's day, and this man was freezing and hungry, and popped into a restaurant near a railway station.  The special of the day was lentil soup, so he ordered some.  There wasn't much seating, so he sat opposite a guy reading a newspaper.  He couldn't see that guy's face, because the newspaper was held up in front of it, but he saw that he too had ordered lentil soup, and the steaming bowl was just sitting there in the middle of the table, while its owner was reading the paper.  And our man was very hungry, so that after five minutes of his own soup not arriving, he couldn't stand it anymore, and he pulled the bowl towards himself and started to eat, thinking, "Well, this guy clearly isn't hungry, and when my soup gets there, I will give it to him."

He ate and ate, and when he got to the bottom of the bowl, he saw that there was a worm in it, and promptly vomited everything back up into the bowl.

And the man opposite him lowered his newspaper and said, "Yeah, that's how far I got before, too."   :-D
SueC is time travelling

SueC

It's been a while; we're reminiscing elsewhere on this forum, plus things have been busy.  I'm trying to explain some of my enthusiasm for The Cure on my "other forum" and half expecting to get censored and reprimanded because I put The Kiss in the playlist there (I couldn't post And God Said there the other day because that would surely get me banned :evil:), and the people officiating at that place (Brett says "miserable puritans" would be a better choice of words) probably wouldn't like the lyrics to that (although they may not get through the gloriously noisy four minutes or so that precede them)  - it's funny what offends Americans, and what doesn't when it so totally should... You can spew hate speech about women and minorities and gibber idiocies all day long and be elected president there, but you can never ever say "fvck" because man, that's morally bad.  (I am disinclined to its use myself, and when people use it for punctuation or to genuinely offend I want to vomit, but I'm not opposed to the use of that word when it's truly appropriate.)  You can't sing, "I wish you were dead!" but you can blow up Japanese civilians with a nuclear bomb, or take out hundreds of non-American civilians to avenge one American death - yeah hey, that makes total sense.  :evil:

(By the way, the person I was responding to there has the coolest Welsh first name in the universe in real life, and was walking with MLK in the 1960s - she's a hero of mine for a number of reasons, not the least of which is her constant kindness and fabulous attitude - people like this are shining beacons who can elevate all of us just by being who they are. ♥)

@Ulrich, thank you for being a great moderator.  Here, I can always bat straight and not worry about who will take offense over banalities, and this is incredibly liberating, and makes me love writing here.  And when I do slip up and am less kind or thoughtful than I could be, you let me know in a kind way.  :cool

Anyway, I got back to this thread this morning because I was bubbling over with enthusiasm about the tracks off Kiss Me I stuck on that list, and here's the best place in the world to bubble over with enthusiasm about this music.  :)  We've been listening to both albums (KM and The Head On The Door) in the couple of months since they arrived in the mailbox, and KM, to which our initial response was already overwhelmingly positive, has just continued to grow on us, so that it's now firmly in my own top three personal favourite Cure albums so far.

Meanwhile, we're both finding The Head On The Door is not our cup of tea - unlike KM, it sounds very distinctly 80s, and we've never been general fans of distinctly 80s music ourselves.  In a way it's listening to these albums as a pair which is driving down our patience for KM's predecessor.  The brilliance of one of them makes the other one pedestrian by comparison.  The Head On The Door is not a bad album, it's just not one I'm dying to listen to.

The other day, we put on one of those "100 songs from the 80s" (about ten seconds of each song, or it would have killed us) compilations on YT, and it made us cringe and produce exclamations of woe, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  :1f631:  :1f629:  :1f62d:  :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:  :1f635:  After that, I can appreciate The Head On The Door better, because OMG, there was some dreadful music in the 80s.  :1f635:

Now as we figured out with Howard Jones (over here), I can look past that to a degree when there is something useful being said in the lyrics, but I honestly don't feel that way about anything I'm hearing on The Head On The Door either.  I'll keep looking and listening - sometimes something will grow on me, we'll see how that goes.  But to be honest, I'm running into very similar problems here as I was with CD-1 of Join The Dots.  I became a Cure fan because of Bloodflowers, not because of their 80s music or their radio hits.  That album has a maturity and a sense of perspective which The Cure's early albums just don't have - even when the music is wonderful.  If I was 20 now, perhaps I'd feel differently, but I'm not and life is a journey, and OMG I would never want to be 20 again.  (35, 40, OK, but not 20...  :1f635:)

Honestly, I also feel that the lyrics on KMKMKM are a vast leap from what's on offer on its predecessor.  I know some of you will be very fond of The Head On The Door because you grew up with it and were the right age for it etc, and if you wish to educate me on any of the lyrics, and why you personally love this album, you will find me a willing listener.

Personally, I was a bit surprised to be reacting with underwhelm, since both of us rather like The Top from a couple of years before that.  Lyrically, The Head On The Door seems to be a backwards step from that, and earlier Cure material like Letter to Elise and a whole bunch of other stuff.  It seemed to me like you could write a lyrics algorithm which specifies the inclusion of various suggestively poetic words and phrases, and instructions to mix them in with obscure padding and mumbo-jumbo, and prohibit any daylight from reaching any of that, and you'd have a fair approximation of the lyrics on that album.  But as I said, educate me if you think I'm in need remedial lessons.

The opener of that album, In-Between Days, was the first Cure song I remember having a distinctly warm response to as a teenager - it was constantly played during our middle school summer camp in 1985, along with Bryan Adams' Heaven, and both songs take me back to that memorable summer in the Darling Ranges (end of middle school, hooray), and the Jarrah forest, and the swimming holes, and the golden sun that suffused everything, and the awful sugary packet cereals we all had for breakfast, and the rumours that one of our teachers had had a serious wardrobe failure with his bathers when swimming with a group of students (the one that always blushed like a beetroot when he was supposed to be giving us sex education lessons as part of the Health curriculum).

Musically I still really like that song, but the lyrics actually annoy me more often than not, and I would prefer it in Swahili I think.  The studio version of Push I also like musically, but bleh about the lyrics.  I actually love the saxophone part on A Night Like This but I don't want to think too much about the lyrics in case it's going to be another This Is A Lie (is it?).

On a positive note, I've decided that for all the kudos David Bowie gets, and despite of my academic appreciation of how important he was in influencing other artists etc, I actually get less interested in his music the more I explore it, and have never bought an album by him for that reason (the best-of was a present and I actually like it better than his revered obscure stuff, in which I've been getting an education on this forum), while the opposite is true for The Cure.  Personally, I think The Cure are way more versatile than Bowie ever was, and are much more cohesive musically as players, and unlike him, actually have a lot of musical warmth (ed. - to me - and not every track of theirs, just in general).  Even the Bowie tracks I really like are anything but warm (ed. - to me) - they're like something off a distant planet, being beamed back to Earth.  The Cure, on the other hand, you just know they are flesh and blood, and that they're on the same planet as the rest of us, and that they (or at least some of them) have hearts without teflon coatings over the top of them.  :smth023

PS:  I have received some information backstage to say that people can experience Bowie's music as warm.  :cool  I'm looking forward to hearing more, and it also has me thinking about brain settings all over again - and I've put bracketed edits in above that counters the implied presumption that what's warm or not to me is warm or not, so thank you for the feedback!  :)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

Hey Sue, I know where you're coming from with The Head on The Door. I tend to think of it as their most poppy and accessible album, though like you, I didn't come to it on release, but (for me) a few years later (Kiss Me was their latest LP when I discovered them, and Disintegration their first release post discovery).

It was certainly instrumental in their rise as a popular band here in the UK; the kind of band that got them pieces in poppy teen mags like Smash Hits, as well as in the more serious music press like the NME and Melody Maker, which they'd already had for a while. And the Inbetween Days and Close To Me singles both did well in the charts. The latter's video was especially popular, so much so that people I knew who didn't know them well would sometimes later call them 'that video in the wardrobe band'!

The album itself reflects that shift I think. Unlike The Top before it with Shake Dog and Give Me It, and Kiss Me after with the opening statement of The Kiss and more to follow, there's nothing I'd really call 'heavy' on it. The deepest it gets for me is Sinking, which is its only song I'd really put up there as classic (non-pop) Cure.

The other songs I do like quite a lot are Kyoto Song (something about its sparseness and simplicity gets me, a bit like the later B-Side Sugar Girl), Push (jangly, whimsical) and Six Different Ways (innovative - I like that it's a 3/4 waltz). But The Baby Screams and Screw I've never been fond of, The Blood and A Night Like This are only 'when-in-the-mood' pieces for me, and the singles are - well - singles: better than so much else in the charts of course, but nothing special by Cure standards.

For me, in the grand scheme of things for me, HOTD is a lower tier Cure album. It's better than the post 2000 offerings and (maybe) WMS, it's up there with Three Imaginary Boys & Wish, but (just) below The Top. And it's nowhere near the fantastic, mature diversity of Kiss Me, the mature class of Disintegration and Bloodflowers, or the ultimate raw genius of Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography.

(All subjective I know!)



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