Friday, August 3, 2007

Live Bed Show

Perhaps to balance out these Lynchian portraits of doomed ladies a bit, there are also Pulp songs that take an achingly empathetic view towards brokenhearted women. “Live Bed Show” exists in the same line as what possibly may be Pulp’s greatest song, “Lipgloss.” Whereas “Lipgloss” describes a woman in the early aftermath of an ended relationship, “Live Bed Show” looks at what could be that same woman several years on, still unable to pick up the pieces. There are plenty of songs where Jarvis looks himself in the mirror, trying desperately to wake himself the fuck up, to move on from whatever past event he’s been obsessing over. He’s been there many a time. Even so, it's clear from this lyric alone that he knows what this is all like.

The song twists the “if these walls could talk” cliché, viewing the woman’s life from the perspective of a bed that once witnessed acts of great intimacy and passion, but no longer. “The silences of now/ And the good times of the past.” Even when Jarvis mixes the metaphors more than once – bringing games and TV shows into the mix – it makes perfect sense; he’s showing how someone can see their life as a sad waste, no matter how many different ways they cast it.

I often think of the middle section of Different Class as a treatise of romance from three distinct angles. “Disco 2000” looks at adolescent crushes, “Something Changed” at the surprising ways new love can emerge. “Live Bed Show” fits in by showing what love leaves in its wake.

An alternate mix of “Live Bed Show” is available as a b-side to “Disco 2000.” The main distinction is a spaghetti western guitar solo that occurs after the intro. It’s a minor addition, but it seems to make a difference, prolonging and emphasizing the slow dramatic swell of the music.

1 comment:

Bob said...

One of my favorites. I'm always impressed by the way the closing repitition of the opening lines ends up sounding that much more desolate the second time around.

This one also features what's probably the most "literary" use of his non-word vocal manuever...the "laaa la lala LA la laaa" part in Live Bed Show actually furthers the whole slow passage of time, not only reinforcing the "seven years ago" lines, but also implying that her situation isn't likely to change anytime soon.