Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weller and Waits

I don’t know what Paul Weller is taking these days but his new album Wake Up the Nation is nuts. Lots of two-minute 'songs', most of them chopped up into 20 second ADHD bursts of frantic drums, clanging and mad piano, over which Weller hollers catchily in Bowie Cockney ("Waiyke up the Naiytion" etc). It's definitely music of semiotic flexibility for a steady-state, sustainably-aware post-carbon economy. Anyway, great to see him discover his artistic mojo in middle age, after some years of dull stuff.

At this rate Weller will be Britain’s answer to Tom Waits. Arguably, Wake up the Nation is even more inventive than Waits’ great Island records which, wild and wonderful as they are, basically consist of five types of song used in rotation, namely the Rumbler, the Ballad, the Jerkin’ Jalopy, the Drunken Waltz and the Dirge.


2202 said...

Weller is a copyist.
Waits however is an original.
Think that says it all.

Brit said...

Maybe, 2202, though if you haven't bought any Weller since The Jam, this is the one it's ok to buy.

Willard said...

[Waves at 2202. Fancy meeting you here]

Okay, Brit. I'm going to give it a try. Comparison to Waits works for me.

Willard said...

Well, I listened and I see what you mean, Brit. However, I think I'm with 2202 on this one.

The album has good moments but really reminds me of lots of other better albums -- The Doors, Peter Gabriel, even the Beach Boys. Some is reminiscent of Waits but it also reminded me of Chaz and Dave. That said, I'll need to hear it a few more times before I decide if I like it or not.

2202 said...

Sorry Brit to use your comment section but:
Willard, I wish I knew who you are so go to my geocaching profile and email me offline.

On Weller he is such a sour puss, Waits is just a drunk :-) Saw Waits late 70's early 80's in London. Good gig and I can remember a hatstand being one of his on stage props. It was not long after seeing his protege Ricky Lee Jones who was equally as good.


lure the Sea said...

*waves wildly to you all*

2202, everyone knows the true identity of *hushed voice* Willard.

2202 said...

Well lure. I take it you mean a certain chisel thrower?

Gaw said...

I keep getting distracted by his Blake's Seven haircut (Weller not Willard).

malty said...

We Demis Roussos acolytes can never get our heads around this Weller stuff. Or understand the adulation of Waits, Waitsulation?
Gaw, Melroses one and only celebrity was Gareth Thomas, the last time he was seen his mop in no way emulated the original.

lure the Sea said...

Yes 2202. He is the man who likes a little whizz-slapping with his custard! *places finger to lips* Shush now, not another word.

Outa_Spaceman Being: 52 said...

Never was a Jam fan. During that period I suspected suit wearers.

I liked Mr. Weller's Stanley Road album.

Rain Dogs has to be my 'fav' Tom Waits album. He seemed to re-write the Walt Disney song book.

'What's He Building In There?' has, sort of, become my unofficial anthem.

By accident I saw Mr. Weller on Jools Holland's Old Grey Whistle Tube and was reminded of St. Emin of Margate's words:
'Stuck, stuck, stuck'.

I liked The Specials (aka) Barking Mad Sun Ra Who Ha Orchestra.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Waits never convinced me at all: too determinedly idiosyncratic to be convincing... exactly as Jim Jarmusch's films are too determinedly idiosyncratic (and sometimes feature Tom Waits, as if to stress the point).