Wednesday, April 9, 2008
No. 445: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash
Band: The Pogues
Album: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Shane McGowan is a wonderful songwriter and the record is a testament to the Irish folk music in which he dabbled. The band's Irish style is popular worlds over.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: This record does not hit me. I have never really enjoyed Irish culture, so I can't speak to the greatness of the record.
Best song: Ugh.
Worst song: Ugh.
Is it awesome?: Someone else needs to rate this. Commenters, go!
I hate to be this person, but I can mostly do without the Irish love that sometimes pops up in the United States. I don't have anything against the Irish, per se. I'm sure Ireland is a nice place. I don't drink beer, so I can't speak to the tastiness of Guinness. I'm not a fan of Notre Dame or the Boston Celtics. I am very brand-loyal toward Irish Spring soap (I am not kidding), but that's about the extent of it.
(A particular pet peeve of mine is St. Patrick's Day v. Cinco de Mayo. I feel like Cinco de Mayo should be as big a holiday as St. Patrick's Day. It's a similar thing -- ethnic holiday based around drinking -- with much better food. Why isn't Cinco de Mayo more popular? Because it comes from Mexico and Americans now, apparently, hate Mexicans.)
So... The Pogues don't speak to me. It doesn't help that Decemberists lead man Colin Meloy -- a human and a band that annoy me more than just about anyone -- cites it as his favorite album. Pitchfork -- an organization of which I am a fan -- ranked the album 67th best album of the 1980s.
I like Sinéad O'Connor's record, but the rest of the Irish culture in America situation never really hit me.
Still, the traditional Irish vocal cadence, the tin whistle and the thematic elements are not my favorite things. Like many records, I'm wildly unqualified to write about this stuff, so I'll simply point you to two things:
Sorry readers, I have failed you.