Sunday, May 21, 2006

Trompe le Monde

A song that keeps playing in my head is the Pixies' 1991 album opener "Trompe le Monde". As usual with Frank Black, the lyrics are enigmatic, and on this song the grammar is also a bit spaced out. I keep meditating on it, getting nowhere.
Trompe Le Monde
By Frank Black Francis

Why do Cupids and angels
continually haunt her dreams
like memories of another life
is painted on her shirt in capitals

Out on the free free way
there's only she and the they
represented by the lights

We went to the store and bought something great
which samples this song from Washington state

Go little record go
it is named by
some guy named Joe
and the words
are the letters of the words
electrically played
for outer space and those of they who paid

This song is twice occurred
and now its time to go
away on holiday
Joe may be the band's guitarist Joey Santiago. Maybe he named the album Trompe Le Monde, "Fool the World". And maybe that's why I can't understand much of the lyrics. Perhaps the words shouldn't be taken seriously: they're just the sum of their letters, played electrically. There are other signs of whimsy on the album, for instance the fist-pumping chorus "JEFREY WITH ONE F! JEFREY!"

But what about the song from Washington state? Is it a Nirvana song? Probably not: Nevermind was released just a few weeks before Trompe le Monde. Or was Frank Black referencing a song from Bleach? Or some other band entirely? He doesn't seem entirely supportive of the band in question.

"The They" on the freeway who are represented by lights would seem to allude to space aliens descending on solitary drivers. And some of the They appear willing to pay for Pixies records.

Great album, weird lyrics, great band. And then they went away on holiday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but whatever. Yes, I'm pretty sure Trompe le Monde does reference things, but we'll probably never know what..But here's the deal about the Jefrey with one f Jefrey bit. It's about the brother of Eric Feldman (a guy who briefly played keyboard with Pixies for the Trompe Le Monde album.) They wanted to fill up some SPACE in a song, with something progressive and MOVING. So they brought in Eric's brother Jefrey, WITH ONE F (he kept telling them this while he was there,) who came in to the studio and SAT ON A CARPET in the middle of the room. He played TABLA: a small pair of hand drums. So he came in and SAT ON A CARPET in the middle of the room. That's all I know about that story, the D=RT thing I have no idea. Basically, Space (I Believe in) is a song about their brief experience with Jefrey.

13 July, 2007 22:49  

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