Monday, February 5

THE POEMS








It's a well-known fact that, anything the world can do, America can do better. Have a jones to visit London, England? Well, screw that. Visit New London, Connecticut, instead. While there, you can visit the DNA EpiCenter and the Bigelow Outdoor Classroom -- which boasts a "natural setting of surrounding woodlands" and... um... a "protective awning."

Paris, France? Don't be a dope. Everybody knows that Paris, Texas is where the action's at. It is, after all, the "best small town in Texas." It also features the "prettiest plaza in the State of Texas" (this according to the Texas Monthly -- no doubt the "best monthly magazine" in Texas). Best of all, you can visit the Eiffel Tower. Standing 65 feet tall, the Tower was "constructed by Boiler Makers Local #902 utilizing materials, plant space, and employee time donated by the Babcock & Wilcox Company." That would be the same Babcock & Wilcox Company that was sued in 1998 because "radioactive releases from their plants" were causing "various cancers." Allegedly. But who can care about a trifle like that when you've got a 65-foot-tall Eiffel Tower to go look at. Oh, and... it was "Texanized" in 1998 "with a cowboy hat" [see picture at top].

Maybe a few of you have a hankering to drag your asses to Glasgow, Scotland. The question is: Why on earth would you bother? Glasgow, Pennsylvania is right here waiting for you. Glasgow, PA is a town of 63 people (98.41% of them white), located just four miles northeast of East Liverpool, Ohio (where THE BEATLES would have come from if they'd had the good sense to be born American) and 16 miles northeast of the Austin Lake Campground in Toronto, Ohio (a much preferable destination to the much-overrated Canadian version). (FYI: "Glasgow" is the 4,514th most popular surname in the United States. "London" is the 1,821st. "Paris": 2,319th. "Liverpool": 27,448th.)

Now then... if you insist upon visiting that OTHER Glasgow, then you might just want to look up the indie-pop group THE POEMS. ALL MUSIC GUIDE tells us this about them:

"Influenced by literature as much as the best in Scottish pop, Glasgow's the Poems feature former members of classic Scottish bands. Robert Hodgens (the Bluebells), Adrian Barry (the High Fidelity), and Bobby Paterson (Love and Money) were joined by vocalists Kerry Polwart and Amy Ogletree. The quintet signed on with Minty Fresh in the U.S. and released Young America in September 2006. The record includes contributions from members of Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, Del Amitri, and the Proclaimers."

Couldn't have said it better myself. Though I would add that Ms. Polwart sports some very lovely pipes, and that the group's songs tend to be laid-back, lithe, and served sunny-side-up. Also: My rather lengthy "Humbert Humbert travels America" intro to this post is not entirely un-apropos, seeing as THE POEMS profess a certain fascination with the US of A (hence the album title). My guess is that they can appreciate this nation's many mythologies -- as only "outsiders" truly can. Of course, that doesn't mean they're dummies when it comes to manipulating the American free-enterprise system. GREY'S ANATOMY comes a'courting? Don't play hard to get. (Just ask PETER BJORN AND JOHN.) In THE POEMS' case, they licensed the lovely, laid-back, and lithe "Ballad of a Bitter End" -- a song that should only be listened to while driving into the sunset in a vintage VW bug. In Paris, Texas. While passing the Eiffel Tower. The one with the cowboy hat.
YOUNG AMERICA can be purchased at AMAZON.COM.
THE POEMS on MySPACE.
[MP3] [VID] "I Am a Believer"
[MP3] "Sometime Somewhere Someone Should Say Something"

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