Wave of Mutilation
It’s as good a place to start as any, 10:30 Sunday night, the drinks going dead under their collapsed canopies of lime, an itch born of the pills we stole from the neighbor lady’s medicine cabinet keeping fingers busy. Hard to believe people keep their Schedule II meds
out where just about anyone with a shaky moral compass and a head full of bad ideas can find them, but there you are. Somebody seems to have remembered that the Grammys are on, and we sit through about five minutes of U2 doing the iPod song, which means Diana Ross gets to eat real food tonight, because the chorus is a total rip-off of “You Just Keep Me Hanging On.” Bono says something about Franz Ferdinand killing America, unless he’s somehow referencing the Killers, in which case he shouldn’t have bothered. Meanwhile, The Edge continues to fool no one in that knit hat, while the guy who fucked Naomi Campbell and whose entire contribution to the canon seems to be going “Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dum Dum, Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dum Dum” on his bass pretends that people are looking at him. Later, the Little Drummer Boy says something that is drowned out by the sound of drinking. And because this is an awards show and these sort of things are nothing if not drearily predictable, suddenly a bunch of people whose wares are to be found in wildly different sections of your local HMV outlet get together to put their gloss on The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” Bono steps up to the mic first, naturally, followed by Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, an even-more-sedated-than-usual Brian Wilson, Alicia Keys, the heroin guy from Stone Pimple Toilets, Billie Joe from Green Day, the Marlboro Man, Willie Tyler & Lester and the ghost of slain Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, who mutters something in coarse, dead guy German about getting shot in the head and thereby inadvertently starting World War I, only to have a quartet of ambiguously gay Scotsmen knock him off the top Google ref perch
. To the surprise of absolutely no one who happens to enjoy the benefits of a central nervous system, the All-Star Jam sucks. While a noble sentiment is at the tiller of the effort––a version is available at iTunes, and all proceeds go to the Red Cross tsunami relief effort––the sheer unsuitability of the track makes us wonder if any of these music types ever read the lyrics sheet. (Of course, we don’t expect Stevie to read much of anything, although his little psyche! moment with Norah Jones when he pretended he was going to read the winner of Best mumble mumble (we were sort of staring at the face of adult contemporary, or more to the point, wondering what she looks like without, you know, clothes––yes, we know, but we have a thing for the spawn of sitar players, and besides, she was the only girl up there other than Alicia Keys, which we kept drunkenly insisting was Aaliyah––so we’re not at all sure what he was doing up there or how to end this sentence.) Which is to say, a key component of “Across the Universe,” when you get past the “Kangaroo Dave” or whatever hippie business they’re supposed to be invoking there, is the line “Nothing’s gonna change my world,” a bit of a blunder when you’re sending love to hundreds of thousands of people whose worlds were significantly changed by the introduction of a giant wall of water. Changed quite a bit, if you ask us. If you want to relive the circle jerk, go here
and buy the song, although we think you’re probably better off sending a check to the Red Cross.