Monday, July 25, 2005:

Look Over Your Shoulder

Alan Price -- Look Over Your Shoulder
Track today is from Alan Price, keyboardist for The Animals, on his work for the soundtrack to the Lindsay Anderson/Malcolm MacDowell film O Lucky Man! Anderson and MacDowell have done some very odd and fascinating work together, starting with If...., a surreal, grim, blackly humorous film about some rebels at a British boarding school (<rot13: spoiler/commentary>Vapvqragnyyl, vg raqf jvgu n fubbgbhg juvpu jrag pbzcyrgryl haerznexrq va gur H.F. va gur zrqvn nsgre gur inevbhf fpubby fubbgvatf. V thrff gurl'er chaqvgf, abg fpubynef; gurl'er snzvyvne jvgu ivqrb tnzrf naq fb gubfr trg gur nggragvba engure guna nalguvat zber eryrinag be, Tbq sbeovq, frafvoyr. Nf Puevf Ebpx fnvq, jungrire unccrarq gb "ur'f shpxvat penml" sbe na rkcynangvba?</rot13: spoiler/commentary>)

O Lucky Man! picks up with Michael Travis some years later as his career takes a number of unexpected and amusing turns, putting him through all classes of British society. Like the first film, it's a social commentary and it tends towards the deeply satirical. Price's work fits the film like a glove and I think it's awesome that Price is filmed with his band, playing his piano, and the footage is cut in with the story so that the songs comment on the action like a Greek chorus. It's a bold move--risky--but I think it works.

"Poor People" puts social class as a zero-sum game, explaining that poor people stay poor because they don't have spunk enough to take everything they can, gleefully; "Justice" explains that you need a lot of wealth to get any; "My Home Town" is a ragtimey tune with some wonderful lyrics. Those are all good tracks, but I think "Look Over Your Shoulder" is the one for today, because the rhythm and melody are memorable, hummable, and (as Sean at Said the Gramophone said) pastoral. Very nice for a mid-summer.

When there's a bluebird singing by your windowpane
And the sun shines bright all day through
Don't forget, boy, look over your shoulder
Because there's always someone coming after you-hoooo, la la la la....

Right-o. Bangup work.

I just want to reiterate at this point that I do very much like every track I've posted here on the shanty. That said, some of my writeups left a lot to be desired, especially the ones that sound glib or spend their time talking about things with nothing whatsoever to do with the music. I'm making it up as I go along, true, but I'll try to do better. If nothing else, I hope you dig the music.

Daily Question: John at The Tofu Hut was
a) kidnapped by aliens for a young extra-terrestrial's science project,
b) kidnapped by the CIA/DHS/NSA for posting unpatriotic photos,
c) kidnapped by the RIAA and forced to listen to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on repeat for nearly two weeks, effectively breaking his psyche and forcing him forevermore to post only music that sucks, or
d) not kidnapped at all; in fact he decided to take a trip to Isla Mujeres, where he is now, in a hammock with a straw hat over his face, sipping a margarita and singing "Malagueña". Badly.

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