Thursday, March 6, 2008
In Defense of Lonely Nights
There are those who say Paul Banks is not a poet, but I must disagree. Interpol is indeed a perplexing band, but as the most worthy standard bearer for Ian Curtis of this generation, they naturally attract a certain disaffected fan. Goth dance jams and toruch songs for intellectuals.
Having seen them live, I can attest to their dour professionalism. Carlos Delgado will often just sit indian-style with his bass, and I could not tell you for the life of me what Mr. Banks' speaking voice sounds like. If at first they seem disinterested, or if their love songs seem unromantic, their sex drives unsexual, it's an attitude that still draws you in. For people of conscience, they are among the finest bands of this Balkanized media age. Their songs will probably be on the radio less and less, and I doubt they'll be doing this when they're 40, but while they're coming around, attention must be payed.
On the subject of Mr. Banks, his terseness is the closest we have to an indie rock Hemingway. He's feeling out his emotions and not quite sure how to address them. But sometimes, there is a major breakthrough. The lyrics of the song above are like a manifesto of being lost. It becomes a mantra. You may sing it ironically, but someday, you won't.
It's too early to talk about this decade, and by the time we're ready, it will be too late. But TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS stands with IS THIS IT, FUNERAL and GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS as a Colossus for our time, if landlocked perhaps.
We are the children of Nirvana. Rock N' Roll. Deal with it.