Many years ago, decades ago probably, I bought an import LP copy of Living Colour’s Time’s Up. It was, and remains, and incendiary album of polemic and authority. Not to mention just fantastic songs and awesome playing. And I think that really is key, because they are playing: they are doing it for fun, there professionalism for sure, but you can hear the play. The cadences of incandescence.
On this import copy was were four bonus tracks such as became commonplace on cds throughout the nineties, to make up something like eighty minutes (ridiculous, as if music was a football game). And one of those four tracks was a live cut of “Final Solution” -Pere Ubu’s greatest tune. It is a great song, just awhirl with arch vigour and terrible seriousness. Beautiful, and a great tribute.
This afternoon, listening to a cd of Time’s Up, I sat and listened again with ever increasing wonder to “This is the Life”. It is on a par with “Final Solution”, a savage and unrelenting critique of aspirational consumerism and the self as the object of capitalist occupation. To my mind songs don’t get much better than “This is the Life.”
The refrain of “this is the life you have” is reminiscent of be here now and other related spiritual/buddhist positions (not to mention the Beatles and Oasis). It is though unecumbered by any of the waffle of universality, and it is located by the crushing “this.” “This” puts it all right there, this life is it.
And, well, I don’t need a cure when things are this good and that clear:
In your real life/Treat it like it’s special/In your real life/Try to be more kind/In your real life/Think of those that love you/In this real life/Try to be less blind.