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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

117. "Ici Les Enfants" by The Monochrome Set

I'd always assumed that when I finally hit a song that I "couldn't do" for 39-40, it would be because of some really difficult structural or musical issue. But that wasn't the case. When The Machine dropped this one in my lap, I knew right away I was going to have trouble performing it because of the lyrical content. It concerns a-- if not the specific-- Roman Polanski-esque case of child fixation and probable molestation, referring specifically to the age of the victim as 12, which is the age of one of my daughters. Now, it's not a bad song or anything... it's a critical indictment, in fact, just one that takes the often effective first-person perspective of the offender, like the murder ballads of old, country prison tunes, most of the songs on Peter Gabriel's melting face record, and countless other compositions. It's just that I can't imagine myself singing these particular words.

So last night I put some thought into how I was going to approach this. I thought I could perhaps sing the lyrics of the whole song in French as opposed to just the chorus; I thought about constructing some kind of found-sound collage about the topic-- and I even thought about what kinds of material I might want to use in order to create something more thought-provoking than didactic and bleeding-hearty, and realized that even looking for such sound bites might well put me in the same category as Pete Townshend a few years back, and then I thought, hey, why not use the actual text of Townshend's statement? Maybe have Anjali read it? And I had a piece of music set to go, a demo for a new Skates & Rays tune called "The Howlaround" which could be adapted easily...

But then I woke up and looked at the paper this morning, and guess who was back in the news! So the job got a little bit easier.

Rex Broome ~ musical content
The Liberal Media ~ as themselves

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