101 THINGS TO WHICH YOU CAN COMPARE INTERPOL BESIDES JOY DIVISION
To: Indie-leaning reviewers
From: Last Plane to Jakarta
Hi everybody. As you all know, the new Interpol album comes out next week; the promos went out early and the tracks leaked to the internet almost immediately, so you've all probably been waiting to have your say for some time. Soon, quite soon, you'll go public with your impressions of Interpol's second effort. We hope that all of you are old enough to know that use of the phrase "sophomore jinx" will make you look like morons, but then we are known for holding out hope even after seasoned gamblers have declined to take the odds.
We also worry that you're going to pull out the lame Joy Division comparisons again. It was so boring last time, you guys. It was boring because it looked like you'd all been cribbing from one another's reviews, for one thing, but it was also boring because it wasn't really true. Sure: it wasn't a completely specious comparison, and once you started looking for it, it seemed to be everywhere. But it outlived its usefulness in a big hurry, and in no time at all you could have constructed a write-your-own-Interpol-review engine using a PERL manual and a couple of references to Unknown Pleasures. It got to be the music-review equivalent of a police bulletin's "average height and build": useless, a waste of words, of no critical value.
While cleaning the kitchen yesterday morning, we listened to our advance copy of that new Interpol record and we took notes. Some of these may seem frivolous, but all of them are meant earnestly and have been tested for relevance; every one of them, with just a little elbow grease on your part, is guaranteed to increase the yield of crisp prose and insightful observation in your reviews. Hey, you're welcome!
* John Cale
* Warren Zevon
* Pink Floyd's Animals
* your favorite animals
* The Animals
* The Anti-Nowhere League
* Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen
* Marilyn Monroe
* Saccharine Trust with a different singer
* a very depressed Dire Straits
* Nico's The Marble Index
* Nico in general
* the first Cure album
* the second Cure album
* early Bauhaus
* late Bauhaus
* Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up" screwed & chopped
* Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters
* the Strokes
* "Rainy Days and Sundays"
* the Sundays
* "If I Was a Carpenter"
* Graham Greene
* a goth Aztec Camera
* the Steve Miller Band
* the Wedding Present
* weddings in general
* Generalissimo Francisco Franco
* the Lemon Pipers
* a really obscure two-piece from southern California who nobody remembers called Supercollider, who were really good and screened old NASA footage while they played, and I really wanted to see them a bunch of times but I actually only saw them that one time and it was really great
* the Beatles
* Beat Happening
* What's Happening!!!
* the remake of the What's Happening!!! remake that'll hit screens circa 2135 and will only be seen by androids
* Christian Death's Catastrophe Ballet
* the Virgin Prunes
* a really mellow Sex Gang Children
* the cover of an album I have by a band called We Are Childhood Equals
* Rothko if he'd lived to see fluoxetine
* Jackson Pollock if he'd never been born
* a late-morning alone in an old-growth forest
* S.E. Hinton novels
* the Andrea True Connection
* the feeling you get from guys who are into conspiracy theory & pyrmaids & shit like that
* the suspicion you have that some of these guys could have been you if you'd made just one wrong mental turn at just the wrong moment
* "Suspicious Minds"
* framed photographs of Elvis
* framed photographs of Elvis in a dentist's office
* framed photographs of Elvis in a dentist's office on a distant planet
* Edward Elgar
* Sonic Youth minus the noise fixation
* an imaginary band named "Youth Sonique"
* old-time hockey
* breakfast in Paris
* the sun setting after the monsoon rains
* the Manic Street Preachers
* the credits to a French movie playing in a theater in S.E. Portland on a rainy day
* Sarah Records
* Blanco y Negro
* David Bowie's early singles on Pye
* Susan Amway-era Magnetic Fields
* lack of water
* lack of air
* fluorescent light
* a balcony in Adelaide, Sunday, August17th, 2003, 7:00 a.m.
* the modern sense of duty
* the postmodern suspicion of same
* the truth not lying somewhere in between, contrary to what you might expect, but squarely in one of the two camps
* Lee Hazlewood's Cowboy in Sweden
* Roxy Music with an attitude problem
* the Microphones
* an old PSA for dental hygiene where the voiceover, a child, introduces the spot by saying "Happy Tooth discovers the real toothache!"
* the Stranglers
* attempting to quit drinking without any help from anybody
* shut up, fuck you, I can do it myself
* Strawberry Switchblade's "Since Yesterday"
* Tanita Tikaram's band's secret practice tapes
* bedrooms whose walls are covered in band fliers
* a mountain of skulls in the jungle
* Spandau Ballet
* This Kind of Punishment
* Mighty Joe Young
* the C.B. craze-related TV show Movin' On, but not B.J. and the Bear
* Sinead O'Connor if things had worked out differently
* the band that Sinead's third son will start in 2024
* the year 2024 itself, faintly visible there on the horizon
* the horizon itself
* our own mysterious attraction toward horizons in general
* mysterious attractions in general
And there you have it! No points for referencing this list with a smarmy "comparing the new Interpol to these things only makes it look worse" or any phoned-in nonsense like that. Away, then: to the teletype!