Thursday, March 09, 2006

Make-Up / Untouchable Sound / Rating: 7.6

"Why wait so long to put the record out?"

Once upon a time cool was something you had to work hard at or be born into. You had to cultivate it by actually going to a record store and scoring a used Serge Gainsbourg lp. You had to go to a book store to find that book of essays by a political revolutionary. Thrift stores had to be carefully picked through for the proper attire and this was before cable TV showed re-runs of Dark Shadows (a goth-mod soap opera from the 60s/70s) where vampire mods were first unleashed upon America. There was no internet with instant access to a world of out of this world. Now it is all too easy to fake your way into a hipster fa├žade where square is a fashionable side of a Pentagon. (FYI : Make Up song reference at work here)

Astrology charts, mathematics, beat poetry, ascots, the Bible as the first dirty book, the bigger the hair the closer to god mentality, dance moves not even Prince could pull off…. these are not things Make Up invented but they sure as hell brought them to a generation of kids who bowed down to their freakish level of never seen / heard before hottt. While the rest of us were racing towards the finishing line of fabulous Make Up were already there sipping sparkling water from slippers and combing their hair and yawning. The Make up were so ahead of the curve it was if they were bored with themselves and already onto the next by the time you saw them play again a few months later.

I don’t know how anyone could be that around the clock cool but holy fuck they were.

All these years later it is still impossible to crack the Ian code of absurd imagery and maze like abuse of the English language but getting lost in it, the ultimate "IT" was just, is just, another part of the band’s snake charm.

Their live shows were like erotic tent rivals where the best dressed teens and 2o somethings you have ever seen in your life danced as if it was they were extras in the uncut x-rated version of Quadrophenia. Bras and panties were thrown. YEAHS! from the crowd responded to every YEAH! called from the stage. It was a happening unlike anything happening at the time and little has come close to it since. It never translated 100% on record but in a venue… on a stage… they were a band to dress up and get down to.

A live Make Up record is the worst tease of all time and a bad idea period. It removes the ever so vital visuals and takes their audio performance down two notches. The energy and lyrics are in place, the audience participation echoes in the distance but the gospel meets live sex act dwindles to light petting in this format. Shame on Sea Note for not making this a DVD and shame on Make Up for thinking this needed to come out as a legit cd release 6 years after the fact and shame on Pitchfork for applauding a lousy apparition of a legendary band.

Their last hoorah deserves a proper AMEN and brothers and sisters this ain’t it. My rating is five fingers at the end of an extended arm. Say it to the hand cause this sister doesn’t want to hear it.