Friday, November 09, 2007

Screw This Navel-Gazing Teenagers Crap - ScarJo Wants To Get Down!

(The Teenagers, "Starlett Johansson")

(Guess Who?)

Download: The Teenagers - "Starlett Johansson"
Download: The Teenagers - "Starlett Johansson (Blamma! Blamma! Scared of Spiders Mix)"

The buzz on the interweb is aflutter with the sounds and sights of The Teenagers, specifically because of their song, "Starlett Johansson", and the video for it, which emulates (to a degree) the famous opening shot of Lost In Translation.

Here we go again, kids: this is a massively overhyped band and song. I get why this song is popular amongst bloggers, though. Chuck Klosterman once made the remark that indie-rock was comprised of 100,000 Charlie Browns. If that's the case, then a song like this will become the hipster equivalent of the national anthem.

Which would be a shame, because the song is very, very generic. The vocals at the start of the track sound like Klaus from The Life Aquatic started experimenting with overdubs alongside his mumbling, narcoleptic cousin-in-law (Dun’t get be-hind da beet, sonnie!). Once the chorus kicks in, Mumbles McGhee then gets the idea that singing might be a good idea, but the singer over-estimates his range and, as a result, the notes in the higher range are anemic.

The song, overall, sounds like a bad "Saturday Night Live" parody, with a sub-Weezer guitar riff and a chorus that desperately wants to be “Ageless Beauty”, but simply is not. The lyrics of the song are annoyingly self-deprecating and overtly referential (though I did like the nod to Eight-Legged Freaks).

Anywho, do you think ScarJo would stand for any of this navel-gazing crap? No! She's young. She's hip, she's fresh, she's Noah's Arcade. Sista just wants to get her groove thing on, not listen to Saddoes The Clown mope around. This is purely speculation, but I would imagine that SJ has enjoyed a sick, syncopated bassline from time to time. Ergo, I humbly submit this alternative for the unrequited-loving hipster nation: Chicago Post-Punk Trio The Jai-Alai Savant’s “Scarlett Johansson, Why Don’t You Love Me?”

I wrote about The Jai-Alai Savant back in April and May, respectively. Needless to say, a lot more people read this blog now than they did then. I’m writing about them again because they have an energetic, highly intense live show and because the album they put out back in April, Flight Of The Bass Delegate, will certainly be one of my favorite local (Chicago) records of 2007.

But back to the song in question. The Jai-Alai Savant combine the melodicism and mainlined reggae of The Police with the righteous fury of The Clash and "Scarlett Johansson, Why Don't You Love Me?" has got both of those in spades. Check out the grooves and the clean, Andy Summers-style staccato guitar strikes that begin the song. I can imagine that Ms. Johansson would appreciate a song with a greater variety of rhythms, rather than a track that's the current flavor (but then, how the holy hell would I know).

Check out "Scarlett Johansson, Why Don't You Love Me?" (desperate title, but stay with me) below, plus two others from Flight Of The Bass Delegate:

Download: The Jai-Alai Savant - "Scarlett Johansson, Why Don't You Love Me?"
Download: The Jai-Alai Savant - "White On White Crime"
Download: The Jai-Alai Savant - "Akebono"

The Teenagers MySpace
The Jai-Alai Savant MySpace

(Jonathan Graef)

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Anonymous Nik said...

ScarJo... hah!

11:09 AM  

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