Monday, October 13, 2008

Jarvis 4 Eva

I make no real qualms about Jarvis Cocker being my hero. Between him and Brian Eno the two represent the perfect way to be a gracefully aging rocker. People who remain as relevant as ever without popping up on VH1 and humping their legacy.

Jarvis had his pop moment with Pulp only after toiling away in the harsh salt mines of obscurity (aka Sheffield England) for about ten years. What always stuck me as amazing is that while Pulp were at the height of their fame in England, Jarvis was about in his mid thirties. So while we has caught in all this swirling fame he had this knowing, older brother style air about him. Which of course just served to make his sly observational songwriting style all that much more authentic. He had been there and seen that and was here to tell you all about it.

So, like a good little fan boy I ate up the semi-recent 2CD reissues of the three major Pulp albums (His & Her's, Different Class and This is Hardcore). But as a very good fanboy, I noticed that even with an entire extra disc of bonus tracks, there were still a couple of things missing.

First of which is the "Complete and Utter Breakdown Version" of "The Fear", the opening track off of This is Hardcore. Its essentially just the same as the album version, but with an extra guitar solo thrown in. But good none the less.

The second though is one of my favorite Pulp moments. "Duck Diving" is from a BBC session that the band cut circa their final album, the Scott Walker produced We Love Life (which perhaps explains why it wasn't included with the aforementioned reissues). It's a very charming bit of English-ness. I always love when Jarvis breaks into straight up spoken word mode and this is certainly one of his finest stories.

And of course I was SUPER PLEASED to find this little treasure on You Tube the other afternoon. A FIVE PART interview with Jarvis broadcast by the BBC around the time of the release of his brilliant solo album. He shows you his favorite spots in Paris, plays some songs live, talks about Pulp and offers a thoughtful explanation of the cover art for that solo LP. Here's part one of that interview:

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