Sunday, November 05, 2006

Songs To Learn And Sing #5

For your listening pleasure, an actual volunteered reader! Let's have him stuffed and mounted. Ryan O'Grady:

The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno

I'm a sucker for flat out pop songs. I would cut my right arm off to have been involved at any point in the writing process that led to the creation of How Bizarre by OMC, I would. Because it seems like I could have written that - I could definitely have sung it! It's an absurdly simple song. The great ones always are. There's an everyman charm to them because you can aspire to have written them. Anyone could, given enough time, an El Camino and enough cheap whisky. It's the musical equivalent of seeing Billy Joel married to Christie Brinkley. There's a small part of you that hates him, the lucky dwarf, but there's a part of you delighted because he's ugly. You're ugly. You could be him.

The New Pornographers do not give you this opportunity. They are not simple. I could neither have written or performed this song (hell, if we're being honest with each other, I couldn't even have written the title) Partly because it has at least three distinct choruses. One of which could only be sung by a drunk man spinning round and round as fast as possible in an effort to restore some misplaced equilibrium. Partly because it relentlessly lays on syrupy vocals harmonies with all the care of Brian Wilson on his most obsessive compulsive day, a day when the remaining Beach Boys would have to refer to him as 'Anal McAnal'. And yes, partly because I don't know any outrageously sexy broad with a voice like heaven to back me up.

But still I dig this song like no other. It fills me with self loathing - these Canadians, who aren't even a real band (don't even get me started on Broken Social Scene), writing a perfect pop song I could never have conceived of and performing it to perfection. If you can listen to the bridge, get carried away by the soaring confluence of four thousand separate melodies, and not instantly rush out and buy everything of theirs it is possible to own (including that cover from some eighties throwback film that blew) then you, my friend, are a bigger man than I. Or woman.


Anonymous said...

Yes, this song is fantastic. Almost as great as The Bleeding Heart Show in fact.

Anonymous said...

I heartily agree. The bridge on Spanish Techno and the coda to Bleeding Heart Show are two of the greatest pop moments of the decade so far. And both on the same album. Blimey.

James said...

While I agree that the coda to The Bleeding Heart Show is a bit special, The New Pornos had already set the bar for extraordinary codas on their previous album with Testament To Youth In Verse. Then again, that's Dan Bejar and that guy can write the fuck out of a song.

P.S. Who do I have to screw to get asked to contribute to Songs To Learn & Sing?!

Ben said...

At last! I get to hear some New Pornographers stuff! And it's great - well worth the wait. Cheers Ryan!

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