Every so often I make up a mix CD of my favorite songs at the moment; mostly new songs, but with some old songs sprinkled in for flavor. I thought it’d be a neat feature of this new blog to go through, song-by-song, and explain a little about why it appeals to me.
As I mentioned on the Summer CD, Bloc Party‘s A Weekend in the City was my favorite album of 2007. Here I include “I Still Remember”, and all I really have to say about the song itself was already covered in that earlier post on “The Prayer”. So here I’ll talk about why I think I like the band so much.
According to the Wikipedia, Weekend is about the “2005 London bombings, immigration, drug abuse, Black British lifestyle, and criticism of youth subculture and casual sex”. But to me, it’s mostly about the uniquely British combination of privilege and apathy. For example, the first song on the album is a literary reference to a Bret Easton Ellis novel, itself a statement of modern ennui. I believe England’s situation is probably unique because its long monarchical history lends itself to a sense of entitlement that we’re not used to here in the States. Of course, apathy among those without privilege is an entirely different matter. An example of such a sharp contrast can be seen in the recent film The History Boys, adapted from a very popular play.
Bloc Party’s style is very befitting of this theme, from the music itself to the videos. I was shocked to see a photo of Matt Tong smiling on his Wikipedia page, though he’s cited as being the most outgoing of the band’s members. Their style is one I think that works well, and by all indications, they’ll continue the trend with their third effort, due out soon.
Next time: Another excellent bluegrass cover.
P.S. Sorry for another long delay, but I guess it keeps us in the tradition of being 180 degrees off from the seasonal mixes. I’d been anxious about writing this entry for a couple of months, and in the end I wrote a lot less than I’d planned to anyway. Maybe some other day I’ll fully expand on all of my thoughts about Bloc Party.