Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Best Band Ever*

*according only to me, subject to change without notice

I had meant to profile this band and esteem them with this most prestigious honor two Tuesdays ago, but yada yada, end of the world, so since this is my first Tuesday back I'll give them their due. So with all "introductions" and formalities out of the way Placebo is the Best Band Ever*.

I think I decided to profile them a few weeks back when I was searching for something by Prince, I'm not sure what or where I searched, but I guess I eventually found my way onto youtube when a song by Placebo called My Sweet Prince piqued my interest. I found this live version and it was stuck in my head for the rest of the day. It was a Saturday then and I decided that I could do them for BBE* the video is a little emo (and since when is showing emotion in your music a thing to be mocked, I don't know) but it's such a beautiful song with a haunted melody.

It seems to me that the song is about a drug and addiction but you can extrapolate that to anything that "you can't live without" to be your sweet prince. Though the line about "closing the hole in my vein" sort of locates it a bit. Yeah its pretty much about herion.
But such a pretty boy all the same and I think that was the way they first came to my attention. I think this was around 1999 and I guess MTV profiled them or something (thats where I got most of my music news then; some slack please- I was 16) but Brian Molko, the lead singer, was such a femme and gorgeous boy that I was drawn to knowing more about them. I think it was around the time of this (possible) profile that in an interview Brian made a quote about "Half of our band is gay, half of our band is straight" the kicker being that they're a three piece (get it?) Brian is bi and the other two are gay and straight respectively, but I have no idea who is who or who is what because they're both sort of Euro creepy ugly. But anyway at the time I was going through my proto goth phase and the heavy eyeliner palish skin really appealed to me, as of course the fact that Brian was so open about things like at every show half the guys think he's a girl, and stuff like that, but once I got over that fascination because of gender transgressing I got into the music, which was brilliant. The first video/song I ever heard from them (maybe they were profiled on vh1, I don't know) was a song called Pure Morning. The opening lyrics "A friend in need's a friend in deed/ a friend with weed is better/ a friend with breasts and all the rest/ a friend who's dressed in leather" instantly hooked me and too this day I still sing the chorus under my breath ( I like songs about morning) and the repetitiveness of the melody and that rhythm section hook me everytime

Its from their 1998 album Without You I'm Nothing, which from all I've heard from it is I've like it a lot. It also included Every You Every Me, which is more uptempo. There were two music videos for it, one that included a ton of clips from Cruel Intentions, which I didn't like at all (the video that is, the movie only slightly annoyed me; I heart Sarah Michelle much too much for that; wow she's only 30.) and the original. It's a concert video which are tricky to do, and this isn't the best one, but the song is awesome.

Here's a live remix of the title track Without You I'm Nothing. This version is substantially slower and less distorted and less electronic than the single version, but this version totally adds to the melancholy and the romance of distant love that would be hard to feel as strongly as in the mp3 posted below.

Bowie is God, though Brian's dress is a little blah.
Placebo with David Bowie-Without You I'm Nothing (mp3)
Without You I'm Nothing is the only full album I have of theirs so I know there many great songs I'm missing but I've somehow accumulated quite a few random b-sides, many of which dealt with sexuality and homoeroticism (I was going through a phase) and so along those lines is a song from their 1996 eponymous debut, called Nancy Boy. The official video tries way too hard and you probably shouldn't watch it if you worry about epilepsy but here's a live one, which is so mid 90's its amazing

Another favorite song is Taste of Men. This is one of their most polished ones that I've seen and I don't know why I like it so much besides the fact that I'm maybe trying to decide if I actually have a taste in men (so far no specific that I can pin down). The song is available in a live version on Black Market Music (great name for an album, btw.)

(or here's a live video from their concert in Paris. They're huge in Europe)

So for all of those reason (did I actually give any reasons?) anyway today, for no other reason than I like them* Placebo is the Best Band Ever

(*other reasons include this video [shh I think they have a thing with drugs; don't tell anyone]

and this early b-side Slackerbitch , which has another chorus that is way too often in my head. oops. {mp3})

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