Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pluck the Police

Pity poor Gordon Sumner. Roundly reviled for his love of the lute, the artist forever known as Sting has finally deigned to give the people what they want: the songs he sang with the Police, in the style he sang them with the Police. Both Stereogum and Idolator made the same Spinal Tap "jazz odyssey" joke to describe the new arrangement of "Roxanne" that Sting unsuccessfully proposed to his Police mates.

It takes a big man to set aside your artistic pride and resurrect the popular ditties you performed thirty years ago. It takes a bigger man to refuse to do so. David Thomas, old Papa Ubu, is that bigger man. Even when he reunited with the surviving members of Rocket from the Tombs, even when they rerecorded the songs that brought fame to Pere Ubu (and to the Dead Boys), David Thomas refused to sing them the way he sang them thirty years ago.

You might as well ask David Thomas to sing like a conventional rock frontman. You certainly can't expect him to sing like Stiv Bators did. Ever the Pere-Punk, he doesn't even sing the full chorus to "What Love Is", but my five year old son and I agree that it still rocks.

If you can't afford tickets to the Police reunion, you might do just as well to check out a younger trio of lads with similar chops: the familiar reedy voice, the reggae chords and riddims, the busy drum fills. The Jai Alai Savant mix these ingredients into something new on their forthcoming album, Flight of the Bass Delegate. Tiny Mix Tapes fills in the details, in a Mad Libs stylee.

The Jai Alai Savant: Diary of the Mass Trappist

Rocket from the Tombs (2004): What Love Is


At 2/22/2007 9:21 PM , Anonymous Peecat said...

I plan on attending some of those Police concerts, but only to join the violent protests being staged outside.


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