October 6, 2006

Turning Japanese?

The comparison of American law to Japanese things in the last two posts was purely coincidental. The post quoting Ted Olson was already up when I read the email calling attention to the Lileks quote. So don't be expecting a theme day.

15 comments:

Ron said...

Hopefully, you haven't had an attack of "The Vapors."

MadisonMan said...

Yes, I'll be singing that song in my head the rest of the day. Thanks.

bill said...

song background:

Over in the States, "Turning Japanese" was deciphered as a paen to masturbation - more specifically the Oriantal - looking facial distortions one pulls in the moment of climax (so I'm reliably informed). Fenton is characteristically reticent on such matters. "It means whatever you want it to mean," he says, before admitting: "I wrote it as a love song. But when I went to America everyone said to me, "Is it about wanking?" In interviews, I'd say alternatively, "Yes it is", and "No, it's not". It could be about a lot of things. I just woke up with that phrase in my head. It's just an image which captures what that song was all about. But, no it wasn't intended to be about wanking at the time. What surprised me was that the Americans thought it was an English phrase!"

Ann Althouse said...

"so I'm reliably informed"... LOL. He sounds intelligent.

I haven't heard that song in a long time and would have bought it on iTunes -- but they didn't have it.

reader_iam said...

Ann:

The video is available on YouTube (I had reason to post it a couple of weeks back).

Yeah, I was bummed that you can't get the original on iTunes--my copy's on vinyl. The Skankin' Pickle version is decent, though, and you can download that from iTunes.

reader_iam said...

In fact, I think that was my debut YouTube embed! (Heh. I almost typed that "in bed"! Best go get another cappuccino.)

reader_iam said...

Hey, Ann--did you know that Fenton was a solicitor before the whole Vapors thing?

He went back to being one sometime in the late '90s, and I assume that's still what he's doing.

Ann Althouse said...

Ah. I thought he sounded pretty smart... not your stereotypical musician. But you can tell from the lyrics of the song itself.

bill said...

Is the iTunes selection from "sing along with" Skankin Pickle?

If so, that's some pretty good 3rd wave ska. More reminiscent of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones than the 2-Tone movement of the late 70/early 80s.

MadisonMan said...

Waitaminute: what's intelligent about the lyrics? I'll admit they make more sense than, say, McArthur Park, but intelligent?

TJ has a great hook, and it was great to be on the dance floor when it came on -- as long as you didn't spin around too much. But that's it.

What are intelligent lyrics anyway? No sex No Drugs No Wine No Women No Fun No Sin No You No wonder it's dark.

reader_iam said...

Bill: Yes, it is. And, yes, it is a good example of that (I'm listening to Skankin' Pickle right now).

For the second day in a row, Althouse-reading has dictated the start of the day's musical adventure around here!

Hmmm. Maybe there's a playlist in the making there.

; )

reader_iam said...

Or a broader, semi-regular feature: what other blogs compelled me to listen to this day/week/whatever, with links to the appropriate blogs/posts.

I'd need a pithier series title, though.

Ann Althouse said...

MadisonMan said "Waitaminute: what's intelligent about the lyrics? I'll admit they make more sense than, say, McArthur Park, but intelligent?"

I didn't say the lyrics were intelligent. I said you can tell an intelligent person wrote them.

MadisonMan said...

Oops, so you did. I blame my lack of reading comprehension skills on this tune going through my head.

Slowjack said...

By the way, the two Vapors albums are very good. If you like British pop from that era I recommend picking them both up. And I would agree that Fenton is intelligent. For fairly straight-up pop songs the lyrics are solid.