Label: Der Klang Records - Der Klang 01,Disordine - Disordine LTD 01 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Italy • Genre: Electronic, Rock • Style: Synth-pop, New Wave
History, bombs, Belfastwhy God, why? These aren't real lyrics from a song about Belfast. They were automatically assembled from a series of words typed in to a "random lyric generator" on the internet. But they aren't significantly worse than some of the aural atrocities committed in the name of the city - Elton John emoting about how he "never saw a braver place" from the song Belfastor Simple Minds observing that "war Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land raging in the Emerald Isle" from Belfast Childor even Boney M's muddle-headed declaration: "Belfast, it's a country that's changing.
In pop music, Belfast is usually reduced to a series of recurring themes: bombs, guns and suffering; images based on perceptions established by television footage of the Troubles.
It almost has a warped romance about it," suggests Jake Burns, singer with the city's seminal punk band, Stiff Little Fingers.
This city of the lyrical imagination is the subject of Belfast Songs, a new book-and-CD package put together by arts organisation Factotum, who invited writers, artists, poets and hip academics Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land Belfast connections to analyse songs by Spandau Ballet, Van MorrisonJames Taylor and others who have cooed about or agonised over its streets and history.
There were a lot to choose from. When they began researching the project, Factotum discovered that of all British cities, only London was namechecked more frequently in song titles than Belfast. In many of them, the city is used as an easy signifier to demonstrate that the singer is socially concerned. Spandau Ballet and Elton John's hand-wringing anguish about tanks and barricades works in exactly the same way as Kim Wilde's references to warfare in Cambodia or the Cranberries' musings on Sarajevo's fate in Bosnia - the mention of an afflicted region adds a touch of pathos to the song and shows that the musicians really, really care.
At least they think it does, but most simply come over as naive or imbecilic; witness the Pretty Things' Belfast Cowboys, with its preposterous line about "Celtic children born with Пульсар - Андрей Родионов & Борис Тихомиров - 512 Кбайт - Компьютерная Музыка in hand".
As Factotum note, the majority of songs about Belfast are written by people who either don't come from the city Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land have never even visited it. They feel they have to make some worthy comment, treat the city with some kind of moral scrupulousness and say something appropriate.
This fear is maybe what causes them to produce things that are so cliched. Again, Elton John's Belfast is a prime example. You can hear it in the music, too; both Elton and Simple Minds use elements of traditional Irish folk songs in their Belfast tributes to give them a patina of authenticity.
But some have managed to escape the platitudes. The punk era provided a few good examples, the best being Stiff Little Fingers' incendiary Alternative Ulster, in which the alienated young punks described the foul brew of brutality and boredom that characterised their experience of their home town, and appealed to their peers to "alter your native land".
Not the fear of riots or bombs or whatever. It was the sheer tedium of having nowhere to go and Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land to do when you got there. Local songwriters evade the obvious because they understand the city differently.
One distinguished exponent is Van Morrison, whose Astral Weeks album detailed his meanderings through Cyprus Avenue, a tree-lined road near his childhood home in east Belfast. The record was released in as political violence escalated, but Morrison reminisced about a more innocent time, recounting the sights and sounds of a bygone life while escaping into his imagination, an oasis of romantic reverie.
Often his escape is imaginative, inspired by the music he hears on the radio. Finally, of course, his escape was physical and most of his music was conceived and recorded in exile.
Among the few outsiders whose vision of Belfast has chimed with its residents' mood is techno duo Orbital, who gave the city's name to a mournful electronic elegy after playing live there in It's wordless but somehow more evocative for that; it also captured a significant moment, the first wave of acid house and ecstasy culture in Northern Ireland, an era for which there is still much nostalgia. Electronic music also dominates the CD that accompanies the Belfast Songs book. A series of avant-garde remixers, included "plunderphonics" specialists VVM and the ironically-named Barry Cade, were given the entire canon to manipulate and mess with at will.
The result is a collection of noisy digital cut-ups and abstract soundscapes imbued with the spirit of Stockhausen. Overall, it's an angry set of recordings, a bitter response to those who unconsciously mock the city with the banality of their verses. That's not a sentiment wholly shared by Factotum themselves, however. At the moment Belfast is entrapped by it, but it's also a strength that it is so much discussed and written about. Blueberry Hill - Elvis Presley - Elvis Blue people like us are trying to do is generate new ways of thinking about the city.
One side-effect of the Northern Ireland peace process is that pop lyricists seem to have lost interest in Belfast. As the Troubles fade from global television screens, fewer musicians are singing about the city, a trend that concerns God of Glitch - Wirephobia - Space Collision (File, Album) and his colleagues.
Like Stiff Little Fingers 25 years ago, he appeals for a new vision of Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land "It only requires people to take the initiative a bit and start Bored Flags - Teknospray - God In Land the city in a more interesting way to make a strength out of what has been a trap.
The package is available in selected record shops or via www. What have I done to deserve this culture horror? Surrounded on all sides with the hell of Belfast" These aren't real lyrics from a song about Belfast. Topics Van Morrison. Reuse this content. Most popular.
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