A Fiercely Practical Guide.
It can be a difficult task at the best of times. How to enjoy the era-defining indie sensation that is ‘The Smiths’ and their brief but brilliant catalogue of pop gems without the unwanted spectre of Morrissey’s fiercely longbread countenance creeping uninvited before your mind’s eye and ruining the whole fucking thing?
It is a frustration we have all felt and for some it has become far too heavy a burden. But all hope is not lost. To coincide with his Australian tour, Mongol Cult have compiled a list of tips for enjoying The Smiths and even his Mozzness’ solo work whilst experiencing minimal cringe and self-loathing.
It all has to do with focus and selective sensory input! It will take practice and discipline, but we’ve distilled its essence into some easy to follow examples so all of you can enjoy the process in the comfort of your own home.
Tip No. 1: DON’T PICTURE HIS FACE
We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Say you are melting slowly into your sheets as you sit wrapped in his sonorous longing as ‘I Know It’s Over’ pours from the speakers to fill your lonely bedsit. This moment of genuine frailty and beauty can be swept right out from under you should you picture his smug gittishness arching a brow at you quizzically as if to ask “why is it all so dreadfully unfair?”. It’s a hard-on killer we can all agree, and this leads us neatly to our next point…
Tip No.2: AVOID THE VIDEOS
YouTube is fabulous thing. Decades worth of performances at your fingertips, beamed right into your face by legions of digital pixies. Say for example you want to bathe in the genuine anger and taut guitar dynamics of Morrissey’s ‘Irish Blood English Heart’ –it’s a mere click away. However, (and again- we can’t stress this enough), it would seem to be robbed somewhat of its power when accompanied by a film clip of Mozz himself draped in a cream coloured suit twirling his microphone cord through the air limply and waving his arms about like a massive wet ponce.
There are plenty of ‘Audio Only’ options available that will far better suit your needs, but even these can be fraught with peril as they are often accompanied by a still image of him thrusting his doe-eyed bonce at the camera as if imploring with his eyes that you reply to his eternal question ‘Why must fools suffer desire so? “.
In instances like this the involuntary dry heave that is triggered may in fact rob you of all listening pleasure and send you into a shame spiral that may result in lasting psychological damage- especially if someone else is witnessing you watch this shit. Again, you have been warned.
Tip No.3: THE MUSIC PRESS IS NOT YOUR FRIEND
So you’ve walked into the newsagents in search of something to fritter away a few minutes on your daily bus commute in order to distract you from the grim pointlessness of your day to day existence and its inexorable march to the grave. Oh look! What’s this? The NME are doing a Smiths retrospective? You love the Smiths! You eagerly approach the cashier with the pamphlet of glossy tat in your mitts and hand over your sandwich money eagerly. DON’T BE FOOLED! The information you absorb by digesting these articles is sure to come back upon you like some kind of awful mental acid reflux next time you’re trying to absorb the crisp 3 minutes and twenty five seconds of perfection that comprises early statement of intent ‘Still Ill’.
It may even take hold as you attempt to dance around your kitchen in drunken abandon as the effervescent joyride that is ‘First of the Gang to Die’ fills the air.
Either way you’ll be really grooving on it right? And then all of a sudden you’ll remember reading about the time he compared the London Olympics to Nazi Germany with all the earnest sincerity for which he is renowned and for which also makes him so eminently punchable. Or perhaps you’ll recall him dismissing Robert Smith of the Cure as ‘a whingebag’ without a trace of ironic recognition, or the time he labelled the Chinese as a ‘sub-species’.
Whatever it might be, your mental orbit will surely be knocked akimbo, rendering you unable to enjoy the pop stylings you crave because your inner cinema is now resembling the worlds saddest, most self-important press conference. With daffodils.
Tip No. 4 : ABSOLUTELY NO POSTERS
I once dropped acid at a friend’s house and had to look at the ‘The More you Ignore me the Closer I Get’ poster all night. ALL NIGHT! There it was, melting from the wall, his face peeking out as a reminder of the titular conundrum as I tried in vain to avoid the bum trip of all bum trips.
No one fucking deserves that. No-one. And therein lies the rub. The endless futility of it all. For all his mercurial genius, no matter how hard to you choose to ignore him, his dreary fucking face is there.