Thursday, October 25, 2007

Laughing Boy

It’s easily the only Pulp song to feature a country-style pedal steel guitar part (played by one Gerry Hogan). “Laughing Boy” nevertheless cancels out any lingering taste of roots-rock by also prominently featuring synths and electronic drums. The end result is another of the band’s effortlessly world-weary, last-call ballads. Jarvis sounds utterly defeated as the losing, constantly humiliated member of a love triangle. Even his sarcastic put-downs -- referring to the other man by the title, calling out the woman for the cleanliness of her teeth -- don’t offer much catharsis. He realizes, “I must go,” but the song ends with him endlessly wondering if he actually has it in him to carry that threat out.

The band must’ve thought pretty highly of “Laughing Boy.” It’s one of the few Pulp b-sides to occasionally show up in a live setting. Thus, a performance of the song appears on the band’s concert film The Park is Mine.

One more thing: Does anyone with more knowledge about (presumably) British terminology know what it means to “ladder your tights”?


Richard said...

To "ladder your tights" is to snag a a pair of pantyhose, tearing a hole in them.

Great blog by the way, spent the afternoon reading through it all. Cheers!

Mike said...

Hey Richard, thanks so much for the comment. I'm glad someone finally contributed the meaning of that phrase. Thanks as well for the kind words regarding the blog. Glad you like it!