Momus – Tender Pervert

  • Artist: Momus
  • Year released: 1988 on Creation Records
  • Genre: Post-punk, alternative

“I think a common theme is “aggression against normality”, from the left wing terrorists in The Happy Family album through the Maoist intellectuals and fake homosexuals of Tender Pervert, the baby-hating, doppelganger-haunted narrators of Ping Pong, right up to the eccentric ‘Thunderclown’ on the new album, my characters don’t accept the world as it is. The corollary is that they respect otherness, and try to model other ways of living: parallel worlds. I think of this as basically a (post-Christian) Calvinist mindset.” – Nick Currie aka Momus in an interview for The Quietus

After a stint in the musical wilderness, I finally found myself bereft of records to review. Nothing seems fully satisfying after that glorious moment of truth – that you now only crave music that sounds like a frenzied jazz band playing in a mental institute. I still don’t know whether if I should feel happy or terrified, actually. (See this review for more information.) So…I present thee: Tender Pervert!

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#Suede7

If you know what I’m talking about, congratulations (the Suede PR department is brilliantly snarky, by the way)! If you don’t, read on.

Suede have finally finished their 7th album, titled Night Thoughts, and will unveil the album live with a film at the Roundhouse venue in London. The teaser for the album has some serious shoegaze-y vibes. Brett, I don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m really curious about that teaser – and I hope it’s going to sound as good as Bloodsports was! Shoegaze was at its peak in the early 90s while Suede were still peddling their wares as sleazy, dangerous rent-boys… and Brett is a well-known fan of The Horrors, so so this will be very, very interesting.

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If you’re scratching your head and going “Suede – who are they?”..oh well, never mind. Suede are:

  1. that 90s band from Britain who were hastily stuffed under the “Britpop” tag by journalists too eager to slap scene labels in their magazines. They may have single-handedly invented the hype process, of which the NME are guilty of. (See: Best New Band In Britain! headline on most NME issues)
  2. They are made up of Brett Anderson (vocals/tantric dancer), Richard Oakes (guitarist), Neil Codling(keyboards/guitar/one-time lizard man), Mat Osman (bass/the art of loftiness) and Simon Gilbert (drums). Former members include Justine Frischmann (guitarist/backing vocals) and Justin Welch (drums) who left and started Elastica, Bernard Butler (guitarist) and Alex Lee, formerly from Strangelove (keyboards).
  3. Suede made three fantastic albums – the self-titled debut, Dog Man Star and Coming Up. Head Music and A New Morning were, well – not great. Following a 10-year hiatus after splitting in 2003, they reformed in 2011, initially to perform and raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust, but decided to tour again. Suede subsequently released Bloodsports in 2013. (this is a fantastic album, by the way.)

If you’re still wondering who the blazes are Suede..perhaps some visual material might jog your rusty memories?

Suede, Mark 1 (with original guitarist Bernard Butler, last from left.) Credit: Kevin Cummins (Getty Images)

Suede – Mark 2 (with Richard Oakes, second from left.)

Records on repeat for the week

Hello, hello!

Nah I haven’t abandoned this blog yet, if you were wondering. I’ve been busy with real life (and annoying bouts of Word Streak With Friends, oops) but I’ll post some records that I’ve been listening to lately.

Craft Spells – Nausea (2014)

Gorgeously crafted melodies with a crisp, airy production. The pianos leave their dainty footsteps on the sonic landscapes that Justin Vallesteros creates, complete with lush violins. On songs like Twirl and Breaking The Angle Against The Tide, the guitar lines are reminiscent of the Pastels and Felt. On the whole, the album makes for a refreshing listen.

Highlights: Komorebi, Laughing For My Life, Breaking The Angle Against The Tide

Rip, Rig + Panic – God (1981)

In the same tier as The Pop Group (Gareth Sager and Bruce Smith were from the band) but with Neneh Cherry (yes, the Buffalo Stance singer!) and Andrea Oliver on vocals and a much funkier rhythm section. On Try Box Out Of This Box, the band mixes dub elements with a swooning saxophone and jazzy pianos. As a whole, the album isn’t as frustrating as Y, but the vocals are quite wild!

Highlights: Knee Deep In Shit, These Eskimo Women Speak Frankly, It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Brrod 

The Other Two – The Other Two & You (1994)

I absolutely adore New Order’s music, and this is no exception. The duo, made up of Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert – the brilliant drummer and the lovely lady responsible for some of the synths on New Order records – show the world what they’re made of. Selfish, with its airy melancholia and Gillian’s girlish vocals begs for repeated listening. I love how the album starts out all synthy and almost teenybopper-y but then hits you in the face with harder tracks like The Ninth Configuration. This was recorded a year after New Order’s Republic, but Gillian’s vocals inject a bubbly optimism which is not evident in Republic.

Highlights: Selfish, Innocence, Loved It (The Other Track)

Books as albums – why not?

Recently, I was re-reading Anais Nin’s Delta Of Venus. I also happened to have Kate Bush’s The Sensual World on repeat, which, god bless her, is one of my favourite records from Ms Kate herself. Kate’s breathy, whispered “Mmmmmm” and “Stepping out of the page/ into the sensual world” fit the description of Elena perfectly in Delta Of Venus (the Elena chapter), where her blooming sensuality is aroused fervently by her lover. It takes on a ferociousness that threatens to consume herself – but she discovers herself in the process.

This set me thinking: Are there any books out there that demand the perfect music to be read to? So…ta-da! I present thee: two books and two records with very similar themes!

Bonus points: Listen to the records while reading the books, AND let me know what you think.

one

Anais Nin’s Delta Of Venus and Kate Bush’s The Sensual World (specifically the title track)

Anais Nin’s beautiful ability to set the imagination ablaze is perfect for her erotica books. Wait – before you turn away in disgust, let me stress that her erotica CAN be appreciated as literature, and rightly so! Obviously, sex happens – but Delta Of Venus is written in such a way that doesn’t explicitly state the obvious. She invests emotions in her characters – through sex their femininity, and thus their understanding of themselves grow. The Sensual World has Kate singing about the same subject matter. However she never gives the game away, but merely hints at it (To where the water and the earth caress/and the down of a peach says “Mmm, yes”). It was inspired by Molly Bloom’s soliloquy in James Joyce’s Ulysses. I haven’t read Ulysses but I don’t think it has the same subject matter as Delta Of Venus!

two

Yukio Mishima’s Confessions Of A Mask and Momus’s Tender Pervert (specifically The Homosexual and Bishonen)

Momus is a Yukio Mishima admirer and a Japanese culture fan, and I’ve always thought that The Homosexual was written with Confessions Of A Mask in mind (or vice versa?). Kochan, the titular character in Confessions Of A Mask, struggles with his burgeoning homosexuality but strives to keep it under wraps by pretending that he is a straight male. Some people have postulated that Confessions Of A Mask was semi-autobiographical due to the apparent similarities between Kochan and Mishima, but we’ll never know the truth, eh? The Homosexual also rotates around this self-denial, but the character exacts revenge on all his name-callers by sleeping with their wives, and savouring the delight he brings to their women (nasty!).

Momus’s Bishonen explores the desire of a young man, considered effeminate by his peers, to die young in a glorious death as wished by his stepfather. Incidentally, this “death in glory” ideal is presented in Runaway Horses.

So…do you have any recommendations for similar books and literature in this vein? Let me know!

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