Magic Jewball

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iPod song of the week – Morrissey

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On January 13, 2008
At 8:30 pm
Comments : 13

Ever wonder how I pick these songs? Random detritus of the past? Well, a good amount of the time, they just pop up on shuffle during the week and I think, “I forgot this song existed! Yes! iPod Song of the Week!” This is one of those weeks. Actually, I usually skip right past this song when it comes up on shuffle because it means a certain something to me and there’s nothing more disconcerting than a song full of meaning popping up while you’re cruising the aisles at Target looking at ziploc bags. But this time I actually listened, as it had been a while, and I thought, “yeah, this song is still the shit.”

There are certainly catchier songs by Morrissey. Funkier. More clever. Songs where he pronounces the word “playboys” with three syllables. But this song is just so unusual that I dig it the most. It has no chorus and just plows along as a wistful look back upon the occasion of moving house, the house the character has lived in his whole life. And it’s a long song (nearly eight minutes with no chorus!) because there’s a lot to look back on. It’s just bits and fragments of (naturally) a pathetic life and the music is as poignant as the tale.

“There were bad times on Maudlin Street,” croons Morrissey. Indeed.

Morrissey – Late Night, Maudlin Street

Streaming audio available on the iPod Song of the Week page.


13 Comments for this post

  1. Deutlich says:

    new music! new music! I swear, sometimes I feel so DUMB to it all because there’s soooooo much out there. Oy.

    ::goes off to read up on Morrissey::

  2. GirlNextDoorTN says:

    Mkay. (Warning: novella ahead)

    Soooo, I’m trying not to be judgy, but this is something I’ve noticed that’s exclusive to big cities with public transportation as one of the most important means of getting from Point A to Target.

    The whole nonstop listening to the iPod thing. If someone came to my Target (one of, oh, say, 6 within a 30 minute drive of me) and was walking around listening to their iPod while shopping, Nashvillians (read: I) would stare at them and wonder why the hell they dislike the possibility of human interaction so much. And I’m like that everywhere. I specifically remember commenting to a family member that I don’t get why people are all locked up in their music world on the Metro when they’re missing out on everything going on around them.

    It’s probably my Southern upbringing and Southern residence, but I enjoy little mini conversations at places like Target with fellow shoppers- the whole “Hey, where’d you find that sweater?” and “Oooh! Pumpkin-shaped votive holders marked down 75%!”

    I dunno. Guess it’s mostly a giant-metropolitan thing.

  3. Becca says:

    Deutlich, you don’t know Morrissey? I wish I were you so I could discover Morrissey. ~sigh~

    TN, have no fears! Be judgy! I judge people who need cars to pick up milk. But I digress.

    Regarding Target specifically, I think I shop at Target with headphones on because I shop everywhere else with headphones on. New Yorkers don’t spend a lot of time in stores because they (the stores that is) are small and it’s easy to find what you need and leave. So it’s pointless, if you were walking down the street, to pull off your headphones for 5 minutes to get groceries.

    Regarding the subway, it’s the same as being in your car. Should people stop listening to the radio or books on tape because they are missing out on what’s around them? No, driving is boring otherwise, as is the same subway commute you do every day.

    But in reality, and I don’t know about other people, I am not in my own world when I have my headphones in. I am simply in the same world as you but with a soundtrack. Half the posts on this blog are things observed with headphones in. And this happened to me at Fairway (a grocery store) the other day.

    I went to see if the spinach up top was fresher than the spinach below. While dislodging a bunch, a load of radishes came tumbling down. A dude helped me pick them up and recommended arugula to me. That’s when I realized the spinach up top was actually arugula and so we had a laugh. Is that not human interaction?

    Here’s the punchline: I had my headphones in the whole time! Maybe because we all have headphones, but here it doesn’t mean you’re unapproachable and people have conversations with them in, just as if, to use my example above, you and others were in the car with the radio on. And believe me, I have to be in the real world while listening to my iPod because otherwise I would have been run down by a car or had my pocket picked a long time ago.

  4. ~dogandmusiclover~ says:

    I have listened to Morrissey, but not as much as I’d like. Anyone care to tell me what his best album is, in your opinion? Thanks!

  5. KP says:

    So this song is basically his Ulysses then?


  6. GirlNextDoorTN says:

    Ahh, see, for me it’s the other way around. I listen to my iPod specifically when I want to block out the world around me (like at the gym- no talky to Stacey). Perhaps for me it’s the novelty of being on public transportation (when I visit DC or Chicago), combined with my need to always be prepared, with a dash of fear that I’ll miss my stop and have no flipping clue where I am. I do require my iPod for my 1.75 hour driving commute every single workday, so perhaps that’s just part of being in a routine.

    As for the shopping, well. I’m a browsing kind of gal. I don’t remember the last time it took me 5 minutes to do anything in a store. But perhaps that’s because I *don’t* have to deal with public transportation when porting my goods back home. More room to put stuff when you have a trunk. And a passenger seat. And a back seat. And your lap.

    Thanks for your side of the story.

  7. Becca says:

    Dog, I have to admit, most of my Morrissey albums are from the 80’s/90’s and although I have the two newest, I never really got into them. Of the old stuff, I suppose Bona Drag is my favorite (“Interesting Drug,” “November Spawned a Monster,” and “The Last of the Famous International Puh-lay-boys, er, Playboys” are the stand-outs for me although I seem to remember “Every Day is Like Sunday” was the single. I also love “The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get” from Vauxhall and I.

    KP, well, Ulysses was a brave warrior and Morrissey…. well, he’s a clever wordsmith, not a fighter.

    Ah, true, TN. It’s not a novelty for me any more than getting in your car and driving to work is for you. But I do browse in Target. However, if you saw the people I deal with there, you’d really want to be in your own world.

  8. ~dogandmusiclover~ says:

    Thanks, Becca!

  9. North-of-the-Big-City says:

    OK, so I never, ever comment online, but had to throw my 2¢ on Morrissey: listen to Live at Earls Court on Napster — “First of the Gang to Die” and “I Like You” are classic.

  10. Becca says:

    Oh, North, I’m glad you commented. I was going to dedicate the whole post to you as the only person who knows what this song means to me and then I remembered how we both hate sentiment.

    Thanks for the tip. Dog, listen to North – she knows of what she speaks.

  11. ~dogandmusiclover~ says:

    Thank you, North!

  12. KP says:

    I guess the James Joyce reference didn’t work here. I promise to try harder next time.

  13. Becca says:

    Use the one from the Cream song next time. That’s more my level.

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