Friday, March 28, 2008

Fridays are for Arab Straps

Arab Strap happens to hold a very dear place in my heart. The band, not the sexual device used to help maintain an erection. The Scottish duo brought together two awesome things: great music and drunken tales of nights barely remembered. "Singer" Aidan Moffat has this sing-songy type way of kind of just talking but sort of singing over the music, and he sounds like he may very well be half in the bag while he retells stories about getting drunk in seedy bars and having unsafe sex with unsavory women. He is also terribly funny, in his story telling. Though he drops the C-bomb maybe a tad too frequently - what I mean is that if it is somehow possible to use that word too much, he's the one doing it. I remember seeing them in concert when I was in high school and the only clear recollection I have is that at one point the keyboard broke down for a spell so Aidan chatted with the audience for an extended period and was hilarious. Actually, one more thing I remember is that they did a song which consisted of the lyrics "I want to fuck Han Solo" and "I want to fuck Princess Leia". I do not know whether this song was made up on the spot or if it is in their normal repertoire.

I can still remember the first time I heard anything by them. It was the album "Philophobia." This album opens with a subtle number about safe sex called Packs of Three. Here are the lyrics, to give you an idea:

"It was the biggest ever cock you'd ever seen, but you've no idea where that cock has been.
You said you were careful - you never were with me.
I heard you did it four times and jonnies come in packs of three.
She was the best shag I'd ever had.
That doesn't mean I'm saying, bedwise, you were bad.
I think you were working, we got a hotel.
We didn't have anything but I thought I might as well.
I never told the rest.
I was drunk and I told you I was thinking about a test.
You know I just said it for effect.
Then you laughed and said Id fuck anything in a skirt once I'm erect.
And shes a famous harlot in this town.
I know enough to, but still I couldn't turn her down.
He said I'm an arsehole, what was I thinking?
It's far too easy to blame it on the drinking."

See what I mean? It was a jarring introduction, but it didn't take much more than that song to get me hooked. Here are the videos I could find:

The Shy Retirer from Mondays at the Hug and Pint

Here we Go from

Cherubs from Elephant Shoe

Afternoon Soaps from Philophobia

Speed Date from The Last Romance

Anyway, if you're at all interested in any of their albums, my personal favorites are Philophobia and Elephant Shoe probably tied for most favoritest, with Mondays at the Hug and Pint and The Last Romance tied for next to most favoritest.

EDIT: Upon reading some reviews of their albums for fun, here's my favorite opener, about Elephant Shoe, from AMG (Now bear in mind this is the opening to a good review):
"All of the same words ("languid," "somnolent," "depressing," "miserable," et al.) employed to describe Arab Strap's first two efforts apply to their third as well..." That is my kind of fucking band.

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