03 July 2009

Knowing when to pun

The 2009 Tour de France begins tomorrow. Huzzah! While I get ready for my annual three-week stint as a cycling expert and acquaint myself with the list of riders who haven't been banned (it's quicker that way), you can do two things:

1) Read a couple of Albert Londres' wonderful, revelatory reports from the 1924 Tour;

2) Have a listen to some numbers by the Delgados. The band had albums called Domestiques and Peloton, and were named after Pedro, who won the Tour in 1988 and who TOTALLY DIDN'T TAKE ANY ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES. (The following year, he showed up almost three minutes late for the prologue, in which he finished dead last, though he did recover to finish third overall.)

The Delgados split up in 2005, but thanks to the miracle of recorded sound, we can still, as if by magic, hear their unique brand of Scottish indie miserablism. Here, in order of the order I've put them in, are some selections:

"Accused of Stealing"



adrian russell 3/7/09 10:48 PM  

excellent stuff. didn't kraftwerk have a song called 'tour de france'? maybe an album...

Fredorrarci 3/7/09 10:53 PM  

Indeed they did. But I read today that they played it at Manchester Velodrome while some track cyclists rode around in formation. Track cyclists. That's just wrong...

redduffman 4/7/09 2:21 AM  

Kraftwerk had an entire album called Tour De France. It's a must for all German electronica fans.

Elliott 4/7/09 4:31 PM  

I really liked the Delgados Fredo, but the use of the music terms "indie" and "pop" have always confused me. What happens if a Justin Timerlake song is NOT popular? Is it still pop?

Conversely, it appears the Delgados started off with their own record label but eventually signed Radar Records of, sigh, London. Did that make them less indie, err, independent?

I prefer the terms "understated instrumentation-depressed" and "overstated instrumentation-joy" or "unindep" and "ovinjo" as the young people say...

Fredorrarci 4/7/09 5:25 PM  

Well, I used the term "indie" pretty flippantly here. The architecture of the music industry is an interesting topic, but I barely care about whether the music I listen to is funded by an indie label or otherwise as long as the music is good. The fact that, say, Hate didn't come out on their own homemade label doesn't make it any less glorious.

And "pop" is a word I use quite loosely and unpejoratively. For me, it has more to do with sensibility and tone than sales figures. Generally, I try not to worry about taxonomising the music I like, and instead just get on with digging it. Though I could make an exception for "ovinjo".

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