segunda-feira, dezembro 01, 2008

The Fall: You don't have to be strange to be strange!




Das bandas que compõem meu paideuma de excelência sônica, o Fall quiçá seja a de mais árdua decodificação; na ativa desde 1977, e com um catálogo de lançamentos de fazer inveja a Frank Zappa, o grupo de Mr. Smith (único integrante presente em todas as 'trocentas' mil formações da banda) já atravessou toda sorte de metamorfoses estilísticas, do punk abrasivo, caótico e tingido de paranóia industrialista característico de sua primeira e melhor fase entre 1977-1981; passando pelo post punk 'clássico' e incisivo do período intermediário com Brix Smith (1983-1988); acenos de garage rock sessentista em roupagem pós-moderna no primeiro lustro dos anos 90; até uma diluição de certo modo conscientemente paródica de suas matrizes estéticas a partir da metade da década de 90; é deveras complicado, portanto, traçar um perfil preciso da banda, que na verdade é o reflexo / transfiguração artística da personalidade e dos interesses em perpétua metamorfose de seu genial mentor.

Certamente boa parte do fascínio que o Fall exerce, é mister salientar, deve-se ao verdadeiro mito, à figura impagável que é Mark E. Smith. Dono de uma voz de alcance muito restrito, roufenha e um tanto quanto fanhosa, ‘agravada’ por um impenetrável sotaque northern english , Smith consegue de forma absolutamente brilhante reverter a seu favor suas diversas limitações; seu 'canto falado' é extremamente mordaz e desleixado, com uma cadência entediada e cínica, ideal para o assombroso festival de circunvoluções semióticas, labirínticos jogos de palavras, trocadilhos, portmanteau words, alusões políticas, assonâncias e aliterações que permeia suas letras.

O disco (o terceiro dos camaradas), onde o punk rock dadaísta de seus primeiros registros enfim terça vozes de forma definitiva com um hipnótico minimalismo de matriz teutônica, constitui, a meu ver, o ápice de sua trajetória, sintetizando à perfeição o que a banda sabe fazer de melhor. Assim sendo, temos peças memoráveis como Pay Your Rates, a clássica combustão punk de abertura, em compasso de crítica social na melhor tradição anarquista (Debtors' escape estate / Debtors' retreat estate / A no-motivation estate / Debtors' escape estate); New Face in Hell, onde o progressivo estranhamento melódico da canção conjuga-se com soberba precisão ao mergulho no inferno descrito na letra; C 'n' C-S Mithering, um dos mais vitriólicos ataques de Smith contra a indústria da música, emoldurada por tramas circulares de guitarras acústicas e uma atmosfera geral de delírio surreal; Impression of J. Temperance, austera colisão avant punk entre guitarras agônicas e ritmos assimétricos; Gramme Friday, claustrofóbica meditação sobre o cotidiano exasperante (The people I like live in kitchens and halls), onde temos um fascinante exercício de constraste formal entre uma solar batida rockabilly e brumas glaciais de guitarras superpostas, até a inquietante coda de nítido sabor psicodélico; e, por fim, encerrando em grande estilo este discaço, temos a antológica The N.W.R.A, imperturbavelmente desdobrando-se como ominosa hipnose motorik em mutação genética velvetiana, corrosiva epopéia político-existencial a refletir uma das maiores obsessões de Smith: a decadência socioeconômica do Norte da Inglaterra a partir da segunda metade do século XX, agravada sobremaneira pelo thatcherismo, e cujas possibilidades de regeneração nosso herói encara com amargo ceticismo (I'm Joe Totale / The yet unborn son / The North will rise again / Not in 10,000 years / Too many people cower to criminals / And government crap).

Aliás, em merecido louvor a um dos mais inteligentes e originais poetas em toda a história do rock'n'roll, postarei aqui as 2 melhores letras do ábum, que a meu juízo sintetizam as grandes linhas de força da lírica 'smithiana': 1) as alusões políticas anárquicas, 2) o irônico niilismo existencial e 3) os labirintos semânticos.

The N.W.R.A.

When it happened we walked through all the estates, from Manchester right to, er, Newcastle. In Darlington, helped a large man on his own chase off some kids who were chucking bricks and stuff through his flat window. She had a way with people like that. Thanked us and we moved on.

'Junior Choice' played one morning. The song was 'English Scheme.' Mine. They'd changed it with a grand piano and turned it into a love song. How they did it I don't know. DJs had
worsened since the rising. Elaborating on nothing in praise of the track with words they could hardly pronounce, in telephone voices.

I was mad, and laughed at the same time. The West German government had brought over large yellow trains on Teeside docks. In Edinburgh. I stayed on my own for a few days, wandering about in the, er, pissing rain, before the Queen Mother hit town.

I'm Joe Totale
The yet unborn son
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
Not in 10,000 years
Too many people cower to criminals
And government crap
The estates stick up like stacks
The North will rise again X4
Look where you are
Look where you are
The future death of my father

Shift!

Tony was a business friend
Of RT XVII
And was an opportunist man
Come, come hear my story
How he set out to corrupt and destroy
This future Rising

The business friend came round today
With teeth clenched, he grabbed my neck
I threw him to the ground
His blue shirt stained red
The north will rise again.
He said you are mistaken, friend
I kicked him out of the home

Too many people cower to criminals
And that government pap
When all it takes is hard slap

But out the window burned the roads
There were men with bees on sticks
The fall had made them sick
A man with butterflies on his face
His brother threw acid in his face
His tatoos were screwed
The streets of Soho did reverberate
With drunken Highland men
Revenge for Culloden dead
The North had rose again
But it would turn out wrong

The North will rise again


So R. Totale dwells underground
Away from sickly grind
With ostrich head-dress
Face a mess, covered in feathers
Orange-red with blue-black lines
That draped down to his chest
Body are a tentacle mess
And light blue plant-heads
TV showed Sam Chippendale
Oh, no conception of what he'd made
The Arndale had been razed
Shop staff knocked off their ladders
Security guards hung from moving escalators

And now that is said
Tony seized the control
He built his base in Edinburgh
Had on his hotel wall
A hooded friar on a tractor
He took a bluey and he called Totale
Who said, "the North has rose again"
But it will turn out wrong

When I was in cabaret
I vowed to defend
All of the English clergy
Though they have done wrong
And the fall has begun
This has got out of hand
I will go for foreign aid
But he Tony, laughed down the phone
Said "Totale go back to bed"
The North has rose today
And you can stuff your aid!
And you can stuff your aid!

_____


Pay Your Rates

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If your rates too high
Write a snotty letter
If your rates too high
Put your life on this bit of paper

Advice on rates
Advice on rates

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If your rates too high
You'd better sign this letter
If you don't pay your rates
You're gonna end up here

Or end up on debtors' retreat estate
Or debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' escape estate

Debtors' escape
Debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' retreat estate
Neuroticred landscape
A socialist state invention
The old government bones working

[Legendary Chaos tape:
Let's hear it for the working class traitors
Hello Warren Mitchell]

Debtors' escape estate
Debtors' retreat estate
A no-motivation estate
Debtors' escape estate

Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay your rates
Pay pretty sharp
Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay the borough

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your rates!

Enfim, meus filhos: divirtam-se com o peculiaríssimo universo do Fall; e como diria mestre Smith, You don't have to be strange to be strange / You don't have to be weird to be weird...






Ten. Giovanni Drogo

Forte Bastiani

Fronteira Norte - Deserto dos Tártaros

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