Friday, January 5, 2007

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I hardly believe that you're old, fat and well-adjusted

(photo courtesy of Ri(c)k on Flickr)

So today's "Metro" called for Fatty Bob Smith to release yet another Cure album in May. It's been a while since I actually saw the pudgster himself-- summer of '04's Curiosa tour (a self-admitted tribute to himself, booking such acts as Mogwai, Interpol and Muse). Roosevelt Island that night seemed to have taken upon itself the responsibility to usher in a NYC Gothic tribute-- wafting heavy clove aromatics dancing about; a dense fog enveloping the audience; cool mist and gentle clouds above highlighting the night's full moon. Truly magical. To this day nothing can prepare you for the finale of "A Forest" in this atmosphere-- those six perfectly played notes in succession coming out of the darkness.

But I have to say, besides a few songs, the Cure's 2004 "The Cure" album was a decidedly good effort, yet I didn't rush out for its purchase like the heavily hyped 2000's "Bloodflowers." There was trepidation on my part upon hearing the producer was working with Korn. (say what?)
With "Bloodflowers'" endless publicity I was worked into a panic:

"He's retiring! This is IT! What will I do without Robert Smith in my world? How shall I go on? Buy it now! See him now! You may never get the chance to ever again! He shall drink Guinness, sit in his chateau watching Manchester United on the telly, wearing long black shorts exposing his Crawley-white legs, with Mighty Ducks jerseys draping over his beer gut for the rest of his life!"

Over the years Smith has been rock's answer to Jay Z, Barbra Streisand or Cher's retirement ploys, each successive album stating, "Yes, this is the final act of my Shakespearian career." Whatever.
Something like 7 albums later (I believe the first announcement of his retirement came in 1989), here we now find ourselves in 2007.

The eyeliner, hair and clothing might scream "turbulent, emotionally wrecked master of eternal depressive cycles," but alas, truth be told, Robert Smith is hardly your average, everyday Goth. Just the sheer fact he's been married to Mary Smith (his girlfriend since the age of 13) since 1989, still enjoys a good beer at the local pub watching a game of kick in the grass...

(poignant pause...)

...he's also a hockey fan. A hockey fan! How emotionally tortured can a hockey fan be??

Alas, even so, this news gave me a bit of hope today.
Dreams of hollow-body Gretsches and MAC Russian Red Lipglass danced in my head.

Yes, perhaps this is the album Cure fans everywhere have been waiting the last 2 decades for; the one that will have lyrics to challenge even "Disintegration's 'Disintegration.'"

"i never said i would stay to the end
i knew i would leave you with babies and everything
screaming like this in the hole of sincereity
screaming me over and over and over
i leave you with photographs
pictures of trickery
stains on the carpet and stains on the memory
songs about happiness murmured in dreams
when we both know how the end always is
how the end always is"

It's hard for me to even imagine the ability to surpass these at any point in life, let alone hurtling towards middle age and cultural obscurity, but in the past 4 years, The Cure has had a rebirth of huge proportions. Perhaps the relevancy is a trend or the tide has turned. It shall be interested to see how this release plays out to the new 20-something fans.


Anonymous said...

"Fatty Bob?" This is from oly? or someone else oly published? It wasn't that long ago it was fatoly, I think you should be kinder and gentler with your lifetime hero. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

or how about Chubby Bobby? Why should he have to be described by body type now anyway? How can you sound more sympathetic? Glob Bob would be criminal. Maybe now he is Slim Robert, who knows? At least you are giving him some recognition, does he still need it?