Midnight Album Spotlight – The Smiths’ Louder Than Bombs

Hello, I’m DJ Michele Myers. I’ve got a show Friday nights at 9pm on KEXP — I get to pick out the best music in the world and spin it for the masses. I call the show Nite Life.

At midnight every Friday, after a 3-hour marathon of danceable sets, I keep myself (and hopefully you) awake by doing the Midnight Album Spotlight.

This Friday I’ll be playing tracks from The SmithsLouder Than Bombs. Over the years I have endured mass torture from some of my friends for being a Smiths fan. But I have stuck by them. The Smiths gave me one of my first tastes of alternative music. They were the first band I ever heard sing about great poets like Keats and Yeats.

“A Drinking Song” by W.B.Yeats

WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

Not only do they share my love for literature, Manchester boys The Smiths were the first band who shared my enjoyment of hanging out in cemeteries. Cemeteries are quiet. Cemeteries are real. Cemeteries are great places to drink beer and talk about poetry.

This album Louder Than Bombs may seem sad and self-indulgent to some, but to me it seems poetic and personal. Here are some lyrics to “Rubber Ring,” a song about the flexible nature of time (note the Yeats-like tone as well):

The passing of time
And all of its crimes
Is making me sad again
The passing of time
And all of its sickening crimes
Is making me sad again
But dont forget the songs
That made you cry
And the songs that saved your life
Yes, youre older now
And youre a clever swine
But they were the only ones who ever stood by you

Do you
Love me like you used to?
Oh …
Rubber ring, rubber ring, rubber ring, rubber ring
La …

You’re clever
Everybody’s clever nowadays
You’re clever
Everybody’s clever nowadays

You are sleeping
You do not want to believe
You are sleeping
You do not want to believe
You are sleeping
You do not want to believe
You are sleeping

Morrissey, the lead singer, went on to do solo stuff that is now a huge hit all over the world, especially in Europe and Mexico. Here is Morrissey performing “Rubber Ring” post-Smiths.

But I love the Smiths better. Johnny Marr’s psychedelic warm guitar riffs, Andy Rourke’s bass and Mike Joyce’s drums were one of those perfect combos. And although I was introduced to the band through an earlier album The Queen Is Dead, Louder Than Bombs is the one I go to for full literary audio noir.

Here is one of the most romantic songs ever: “Hand In Glove” by The Smiths. LIVE!

Join me, Michele Myers, Every Friday night for Nite Life at 9pm on kexp.org.

This entry was posted in Friday Nite Spotlight, KEXP, Nite Life. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 4, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Wow, this was an exquisite summation of your personal pleasures with a classic album. Sweet.

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