The Rich Girls Are Weeping

27 September 2006

Roger O'Donnell's favorite communist country is Cuba. Or at least it was when the Cure's Prayer Tour program was printed. At that time, he also missed his parents, seriously dug fast food, and wanted a time machine while being nattily attired in a single-breasted, but still much-padded frock coat...tieless au Dave Sylvian. (Dig that French grammar.) Now that Fidel Castro has handed over Cuba to his brother Raul, TRGAW aren't sure of Mr. O'Donnell's opinion, but we'd argue that the release of O'Donnell's The Truth in Me could be timely enough to be viewed as suspicious by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Then again, O'Donnell isn't American and HUAC was dissolved in 1975, so we could be wrong. At least we know we're weird, and we sincerely hope that Mr. O'Donnell still likes champagne and chocolate as much as did in 1989.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we received The Truth in Me in the mail about a week after receiving a neato press release. Continuing in the spirit of full disclosure, I cringed at the idea of yet another ill-advised post-career-peak solo project by an ancillary member of a musical institution. (Admittedly I also felt this way about the whole of Ian McCulloch's solo career.) To my surprise, O'Donnell succeeds with something pretty, albeit ephemeral: tenous Moog Voyager explorations that establish O'Donnell as a member of the grand tribe of space musicians who refer to themselves as "synthesists," and treads lightly alongside the places where Boards of Canada and Morr have inhabited over the past decade. Before this falls into music review wankery, I'll point out that the airy, faux-naive female vocals on "For the Truth in You" and "Treasure" spoil the effect of what is otherwise a self-consciously timeless experimental record.

Roger O'Donnell -- My Days
Roger O'Donnell -- ...And So I Closed My Eyes

Relatedly, the Cure may indeed be the collective Kevin Bacon of nascent British indie and as inbred as the Royal Family. Ten Imaginary Years (the 1988 autobiography) was rich with family tree forks and double-backs that have, at this point, probably gotten even more twisted: let's see... Robert Smith is married to Mary Poole. This is the easy part. Porl Thompson (guitarist) is married to Robert's sister Janet; and Simon Gallup (bass) was married to Porl's sister Carol, but is now married to someone else. As Wikipedia tells it, there's a veritable brood of kids here. Porl Thompson played in Shelleyan Orphan (Humroot only, though Shelleyan Orphan did tour with the Cure prior to that release) and Babacar with Boris Williams who is possibly still involved with Caroline Crawley (of both Shelleyan Orphan and Babacar), who contributed the majority of vocals on This Mortal Coil's Blood (4AD). In addition to the Cure and a stint of weird collaborations (highlights: Zwan, Placebo, Blink-182), Robert Smith was briefly a Banshee and worked with Steve Severin on the Glove project. Interestingly, it still hasn't been established who wears more makeup: Smith, Siouxsie, Brian Molko...or new contender, the whey-faced Gerard Way.

The Cure -- In Between Days
The Cure -- The Exploding Boy
The Cure -- A Few Hours After This
The Glove -- Punish Me With Kisses
The Glove -- Like an Animal
Shelleyan Orphan -- Swallow
Shelleyan Orphan -- Burst

On the flipside of the Cure, at least in my neck of the Piney Woods, were Depeche Mode. In my contrariness and advanced age, I have to argue that, for me, the side projects are where it's at...but I'm not sure that I can condone Dave Gahan's solo work, even if I do find him fascinating to look at. No discussion of Depeche is ever complete without my argument that Alan Wilder's Recoil project and Martin Gore's Counterfeit series are better than the primary body of work with Depeche, so without further ado:

Recoil -- Grain
Martin L. Gore -- Loverman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, but the links for A Few Hours After This and Like an Animal don't seem to work...

Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pinkie von Bloom said...

damned case-sensitive file names. this is fixed! ;)

Friday, September 29, 2006 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

God, I LOVE Shellyan Orphan. I still have the cassettes and hold them very dear. Shatter is just a classic.

Good work ladies, love the posts.

Friday, September 29, 2006 5:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love Shelleyan Orphan, specially "Burst". Could you point another link to it? That one is broken.

Thank you!

Monday, August 18, 2008 3:53:00 AM  

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