Sunday 10 June 2012

Disco 2000 - Pulp

A friend of mine over at Reverberations and PlugInMusic reminded me of this song a week ago. Not that I'd forgotten about it as such, I just hadn't listened to it recently. The main reason for this is almost certainly because I've not been using my iPod lately - opting for the radio instead (a topic to write about later) - and I invariably end up listening to this song when I shuffle my way through my collection. I usually hit upon it by chance, or when noticing Pulp as I scroll down through the list of artists, and then end up playing it several times in a row (also a topic to write about later).

I don't know when I first heard Disco 2000. My guess is that I probably was aware of it when it first hit the airwaves because I don't feel as though I arrived at it particularly late, but I think I've embraced it a lot more in the last ten years. As with pretty much everything I've talked about in previous posts, there is a certain amount of nostalgia in this song. However, rather than it reminding me of a particular moment of my life, the song instead seems to make me long for something to be specifically nostalgic about. There's a lot in the song that I do connect with and/or remember connecting with (unrequited love and affection, teenage jealousy, lost friendship, etc.), but I cannot say that I've ever felt as though I will one day meet up with somebody I was once very close with and have some rekindling of desire. And that's not just because I'm happily with someone now, anyway. I just don't have that kind of personal history; at least not to the full extent that the song discusses.

"Let's all meet up in the year 2000
Won't it be strange when we're all fully grown
Be there, 2'o'clock, by the fountain down the road."

I don't have a crush I've been clinging onto for years, waiting to see them once again. I never chuckled to myself how things might be so very different in the future. And, because I went to a single-sex school for most of my teenage years, there wasn't much opportunity for me to be enraged by my friends fooling around with the girl I longed for in school... there were no girls.

So how can I get nostalgic about something when it doesn't seem as though I can relate to it?

"Deborah do you recall?
Your house was very small,

with woodchip on the wall.
When I came around to call,

You never noticed me at all."

I guess it's... hmm... empathetic nostalgia, perhaps? I can understand what Jarvis Cocker is singing about, even if the specifics don't match my own past, and I can get wistful about 'Deborah' even though she doesn't exist to me.

Sure, it's not totally unrelated. There are some links. I've liked people that have thought nothing of me, and I've watched people become close to a girl I've desired. But I guess I feel as though Disco 2000 succeeds in getting me to remember things that, actually, never happened. I may as well have fallen for 'Deborah' when I was at school because I feel that angst as I sing along.

Incidentally, none of the above is why my friend mentioned the song. She just wanted to know what 'woodchip' was. In the process of explaining, she asked whether I had heard Nick Cave's version of the song. I hadn't, even though it turns out I own it.

It's quite a different sound. I'm a big fan of taking a fast-paced song and trying to slow it down (hence trying to do a couple myself), and that is what Cave has done with the song. It's a nice enough version in my opinion, and he's typically nonchalant in his vocals, but I guess I just don't get the same feeling from it - and I miss that. I don't really get any feeling at all from it. It is, as I say, "nice enough".

Keane (a favourite band of mine) also did a cover of Disco 2000, and played it safe with a straight cover. I like Keane, their version sounds good, but still... I just don't feel the same way about it. Without Jarvis, I guess I just don't get the same kick out of the song.

So, Pulp all the way for Disco 2000.

Final thought: Apparently most of the song was based on true events except, according to Cocker, "The only bit that isn't true is the woodchip wallpaper".

"You are the music while the music lasts" -T.S.Eliot