Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I heard Bobby Darin in a cafe today -- "Beyond the Sea," the least campy of his big band hits. Taken as sincere, straight readings, there's nothing about "Mac the Knife" or "Up a Lazy River" that makes any sense at all -- they're quite nutty performances, bizarrely over-the-top, almost proto-punk -- conceptual art. But a passion does come through those tracks, a fierce urge to squeeze more out of the songs than exists in them. By the end of “Up a Lazy River,” when he’s shouting, “UP A LAZY RIVER!!!” and menacing his listener with an interpolation not in the original lyrics, “Ain’t goin’ your way, GET OUT OF MY WAY,” you’re wondering, what the HELL is this guy thinking? And it’s great.

“Beyond the Sea” is more straight up, and it’s lovely -- Darin’s beautiful voice, and whoever that drummer is playing those fills like 60 during the instrumental break -- he’s brilliant.
I love Bobby Darren's crazed big band stuff as well. His Beyond the Sea always makes my day when I hear it. And the Mack the Knife he does is as oddbally Brechtian as it gets. A little known masterpiece.
Of course I meant Bobby Darin. His contemporary, James Darren, is also a treat. Especially his reccurring role as Vic Fontaine on Deep Space Nine. The version he sank of The Way You Look from the final episode just breaks my heart.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?