Our British coworker just said "I love the way you say 'lamps.' LAYMPS! Americans are hilarious!" Over here in the New York homeland, we've done our best to observe and participate in the mystic culture of the UK, squinting in the dark, as fascinated by its unknowable ways as much as we are by LA, whose ways we may be able to understand but often try to pretend don't exist. Though there has always been a bounty of music from the UK, dance music has always been its strongest pull, the cycle of "chavs" partying to some different big beat always tempting from the other side of the screen on the other side of the Atlantic. UK funky has taken a particularly strong hold on our brains. Kyla's "Do You Mind," despite its year old status (ten thousand internet years) is still our personal anthem, even if we've only ever heard it played in public once. The XX, who you may have noticed we like, have been successful in pulling the weight out of dance music, leaving just its trace in the air. Professed R&B lovers, and Brits, they're apparently similarly smitten with "Do You Mind" and have covered the song, reducing it with their typical sullen bareness. And, just to be clever British assholes, the band uses live drums for the first time, abandoning their trusty drum machine the one time it would make perfect sense. That's what British humor is all about, we think. We're not sure, though, Fawlty Towers only made sense to us like a third of the time.
August 26, 2009