From ICA 48, one of my own and selected today as Tindersticks are a band beloved by both myself and Rachel, and it’s kind of romantic that they feature on the blog on the morning we wake up in Paris…..albeit the tracks selected today are far from anyone’s idea of love songs!!
In March 1993, Tindersticks had released a limited edition 7” single which featured Niki Sin from Huggy Bear on joint vocals. It told the tale of a doomed love affair between a singer and an actress.
He (the singer) believes the attraction was all down to the emotion and power of his voice and can’t understand what has gone while she (the actress) thinks it hilarious that he fell for her when all the while she was just again performing a role. It’s a more than decent song but this, the re-make in 199t complete with full orchestral input and a vocal contribution from Isabella Rosellini, is the definitive version as her fragile and edgy delivery really brings home the point that our singer is just a stupid romantic fool.
Jism is a song like no other in my entire collection in that I feel I always have to, and indeed want to, give it my 100% concentration while it is playing. On one occasion, it came up on random shuffle while I was waiting patiently on a train to take me to work, but I was so transfixed that I looked around at its end and noticed my fellow passengers had boarded and the train had subsequently departed without me realising. I get completely lost in it every single time….the downside being, however, that if it does pop up on shuffle and I have to concentrate on something else that’s happening around me, I have to hit the fast forward button to the next song.
Please don’t ask me to put into words why this is, as I don’t have the vocabulary to do my feelings justice. The fact that the lyric comes from the viewpoint of a psychopath who isn’t the least bit concerned about using domestic violence only adds to the power and emotion of what I consider to be one of the most outstanding few minutes of music ever written.
The country and western genre tends to specialise in the sort of duet where the man sings a few verses about the state of his mind and behaviours and then his woman responds with a ‘well that ain’t quite how I see it buster’.
This fabulous little number, which was also released as a single, would fit that mould perfectly. Stuart Staples, while acknowledging he has some problems to overcome thinks he’s doing fine as he has an easy approach to life but his other half, in the shape of guest singer Carla Togerson from The Walkabouts patiently but wearily tells us that he is in fact a total fantasist and indeed by the end there is a realisation that she is about to walk out of his life forever. I often think that this is the revenge song from the woman who was on the end of the treatment dished out in Jism….