A GUEST POSTING by KHAYEM
A Ripped and Wrinkled Life :
A Momus ICA
This ICA has been a very, very long time in the making. Back in 2017 when I was a regular but silent visitor to TVV, JC wrote about Momus’ 1988 album Tender Pervert and Jonny The Friendly Lawyer commented that “Maybe somebody with the goods can serve up an ICA so we can see what he’s all about?” I agreed wholeheartedly, but did nothing.
In 2020, the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the early months of the UK lockdown, Momus popped up again in #213 of JC’s epic Saturday’s Scottish Song series. That’s also the go-to for an invaluable Momus bio.
A few months later, a further Momus post featured 1989’s should-have-been-a-hit single, The Hairstyle Of The Devil. I’d finally found a voice by then and had contributed my first ICA a few months previously. The post prompted a similar comment from TVV reader Yours Truly (not to be confused with yours truly, i.e. me), “I wish someone came up with a Momus ICA?” Again, I agreed wholeheartedly, but did nothing.
Part of the challenge is that I had a couple of Momus albums from his ‘classic’ period on Creation Records in the late 1980s/early 1990s, having started with the singles compilation, Monsters Of Love. I also had the Forbidden Software Timemachine double CD, compiling the “Best Of The Creation Years”. Over a hundred songs all in all, so where to begin?
It’s an understatement to say that Momus is prolific, and he’s been bringing out roughly an album each year (with the occasional break) since 1986. So a career-spanning ICA was also out of the question, not least because I haven’t been able to keep up with (or afford) that level of output.
At the tail end of 2021, I thought I’d cracked it. “Aha”, I said to myself (yes, my inner monologue had become an outer dialogue during lockdown), “I’ll just focus on Momus’ last three albums!” Three or four songs per album, ten to twelve songs in total. Bosh! ICA done.
Of course, it was never going to be that easy, not least because the sum total of the three albums is forty-seven songs. And I liked all of the songs on all of the albums. Curses!
I played around and played around with various songs and sequences, and I just couldn’t settle on a final running order. My procrastinating rolled into early 2022 and inevitably came at a cost: A new Momus album! Another eighteen songs! All of them good! Aaaaaaargh!
I’ve spent the last six months on and off, starting again with an ICA spanning the four albums, managing to whittle sixty-five songs down to twenty, nearly but not quite being able to decide on the final ICA track listing.
Yesterday (26th October)*, Momus announced a new album, his 4,017th by my reckoning. Issyvoo is out on 2nd December 2022, his second album this year. I told you he was prolific. The prospect of having to start all over again and expand the scope to include five albums was all the kick up the arse that I needed to finish this ICA.
*Note from JC : Khayem sent all this over back on 27 October, but it went missing in cyberspace!
I am under no illusion that this will be a contender for the next ICA World Cup final, but I think it provides a snapshot of how much – and how little – has changed in Momus’ world since those hazy days with Creation. And where else would you find references, often in the same song, to Eurydice, coronavirus, Sally Bowles, Lidl urinals, Orpheus, Fire Island, Romy Schneider, “goths in a holocaust”, Balthazar, Bob Dylan and Frankie Howard?!
I’ve cheated a little as this ICA has stretched to twelve songs, three per album, rather than the customary ten. It’s all wrapped up in just over twenty minutes per side, so I’ll hopefully get away with it.
In keeping with my own blog, I’ve also presented the ICA as a single, 40-minute Dubhed Selection for your listening pleasure.
1) Influencer Village (Smudger, 2022)
Watch me now one million views / Smashing all the mirrors / Click ‘like’, thumbs up and subscribe / Influencer Village
2) Zooming (Athenian, 2021)
That’s not painting, that’s body-shaming!
3) People Are Turning To Gold (Video Version ft. Janice Long) (Akkordian, 2019)
People who love money they make me sick / Praying to the god of arithmetic
4) I Got It From Agnes (Vivid, 2020)
It doesn’t matter who / It might have been at the pub / Or at the club, or in the loo
5) What The Kite Thinks (Akkordian, 2019)
Above the shaking mirror / As the world sinks
6) Horrorworld (Athenian, 2021)
Once we dreamed a smooth and a simple life / What turned up? / A ripped and a wrinkled life
1) Friendly World (Smudger, 2022)
This world doesn’t owe you anything / No one stops you from leaving
2) Self-Isolation (Vivid, 2020)
Happy the land that doesn’t need heroes in the first place
3) Bus Inspector Bill (Athenian, 2021)
And the day that Charlie passed away Lil was there to hear him say
“I’ve been unfaithful to you in every known position, Lili dear”
She said “Charlie darling never mind, I knew it all the time
That’s why I put 9000 milligrammes of arsenic trioxide in your beer”
4) Dylanology (Akkordian, 2019)
And everybody’s laughing at the trial of Josef K / The judge keeps quoting Wilde but I’ve got better things to say
5) Friends (Smudger, 2022)
I used to respect you, yes I did / Even though you’re an obvious junkie
6) Fever Dream (Vivid, 2020)
I’m in the underworld but I’m also in my kitchen / I’m in the afterlife, but also television
Bonus) A Ripped and Wrinkled Life : The Dubhead Mix (40:42)