Monday, October 08, 2007

2: 'Prole Art Threat' The Fall

Typical sickening, mucus commute to Kings Cross. Face jammed against plasto-glass, posed awkwardly around someone's Brompton bicycle, folded up but still a ludicrous way to take up valuable crumpled human space.

In the sort of mood that this experience engenders, a blast of The Fall from my shuffle as I get of the train is welcome. The first tune this morning was 'Prole Art Threat', from the magnificent 'Slates' EP/Ten Inch thing. And the first lines, as voiced by the character known as 'Man with chip' are 'Travelling third class on a one class train'.

I know that means two posts, both Fall-based. But you can't fake the iPiphanies, baby. Play them as they lay.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

1: 'Blindness' The Fall

After a conversation about dyslexia, the depressing state of my flat and the challenges that both present to a working life, I wondered out onto the street. The version of 'Blindness' that appeared was the one from the Fall Heads Roll album, not the one from the Peel sessions that most Fall fans consider superior. The lyric is simpler, without the extraordinary line 'paper everywhere, but not a drop of water to be seen'. But never mind.

The song has the sort of pounding bass repetition that marks out many of the classic Fall moments. It lends the song the gravity of a Biblical prophet, a gravity that Smith's lyrics undercut and disrupt as much as they exploit it.

To begin with, it seems that 'the flag' is 'evil'. 'Welcome - living leg-end'. It probably reads this. Later in the song, it is the 'flat' that is evil. And it is filled with 'cavalry... Calvary.'

So Mark (the living leg-end) is walking on only one leg down the street. He is harangued by a blind man on a poster. 'Do you work hard?' it asks. This is a repetition in lyric and melody from an old Fall song, 'Chicago Now'. 'Blind man... have mercy on me' Mark begs. By the end of the song, Mark's character is reflecting on his own eyes that 'can't get fixed' and begging for mercy from the blind man on the poster. And considering that his own curfew is either at 8.30 or 9.30. It is now 6.30.

You don't have to know much about flats, The Fall, dyslexia (occasionally called 'word blindness') or self-employment to realise that it felt like Mr Mark was saying something to me, then. As for what, I might have to get back to you. But that is what an Ipiphany is. The modern uncanny, facilitated by the random function on your mp3.