12 October 2009

Obscurity Ends

So years and years ago when I was taking my junior year at Westfield College, in West Hampstead, I discovered a new young band called the Trashcan Sinatras. I have no idea what made me buy their album (as it then was), but I do know that when I played it I loved the music, and the lyrics, and that when, that year, I saw the video for the song I liked best, called "Obscurity Knocks," it was so unusual that it stayed with me (in fact, it stayed with me for so long that when youtube came into existence, the video was one of the first things I looked up).

That song title will give you some indication of why I liked the band, and their lyrics will just confirm it. Given that they had lines like, "So typical: a battle of wits, and I've come half prepared," and, "I know she doesn't play the field, / But she likes to know the strength of the team," we were destined to be. But although I loved them for a long while, as is sometimes the way I lost track of the Trashcan Sinatras. They became progressivel
y more and more obscure (they answered the door, apparently) - although they never broke up - and although the internet brought them quite a large cult following and some measure of success, that success never seemed to bring them a touring schedule that included a stop near me. So gradually I just lost them.

Until, that is, I was cruising round youtube yesterday and thought I'd type them in, and I found this wondrous song. Jangly guitar music, plaintive voice, "Come and make a meal of me /....And I must say, miss, this dish is delicious": what's not to love? And that lead singer! Oh, my. There's a particular variety of attractiveness - not good looks (although it can come with good looks, there's no reason why not), but a kind of floppy-haired angularity - that simply reduces me to delighted, but embarrassed because I'm afraid my delight is written on my face, smirking. ¡Joder!, as one of LC would say. And this guy has it. Frank Reader, you devil! And you just know he'd be a good kisser. I don't know how, but you just kno
w it. Of course, the song is a kissing song - one of those songs that is itself so pleasurable, so unmitigatedly delightful, that it makes the listener (well, this listener) want to kiss someone, and the obvious choice is the man whose face takes up most of the video. But still, just look at that mouth, and those witty eyes. And he has a lovely neck (I've always had a weird thing for certain necks).

After I'd got over the initial giggliness, I realised that, rather distressingly, the man in the video bears an eerie resemblance to Jarvis Cocker:

Now, I never fancied Jarvis Cocker, but I did like him. Of course I did! Northern man, smart as all get out, "She said, "I wanna sleep with common people, I wanna sleep with common people like you ... -- I said, "Ah, I'll see what I can do": what's not to love? Still, even
with all of that on his side, Jarvis Cocker is no looker, and certainly no sex symbol. So it's rather odd to discover how thin and mysterious the line between "Eh" and "Oh, MY" is.

See now, that guy (Reader) - You can keep your muscles and your traditionally sexy looks and your...whatever. That guy's gonna last forever.
High cheekbones, skinniness, and a wit sharp enough to open a tin can with: age cannot wither those, nor custom stale.

Plus, you have to love a guy to whom this happened:

When I was little, my sisters liked to blindfold me and make me stand on a board that two of them would lift up slowly. They would only raise the board a few centimetres, but the trick was that they themselves would slowly bend down as they did so, and I would hear their voices falling further away, telling me I was getting closer and closer to the ceiling. Then, another sister would bop me on the head with a book, making me think I'd hit the ceiling, and the lifters would pretend to panic that they had gone too far and wobble the board until I fell off. I'd be convinced I was falling from a great height, rather than the few centimetres between me and the floor.

And who thinks like this:

My barber is called Innes, and he had a heart attack while cutting someone's hair last year (he's only 30) and since then, I've always had him cut my hair a little shorter than normal, in case he's not around next time.

But enough of these entirely self-indulgent not-even-rising-to-the-level-of-erotic musings. On to the finale!

Now, you knew how this post would end, didn't you? The Trashcan Sinatras are going on tour, and I got a ticket!!!! On 19 November, I'll finally get to see them. Tee hee. Oh my. YES!

I should perhaps mention at this stage that apparently Frank Reader is married.

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