Friday, June 29, 2007

iPod Wisdom: Part One

Things I heard and learned while Harper took a nap next to me today and I worked through (and wrote ridiculous off-topic notes in) the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of Anna Karenina:

First: "Mr. Cool" by Rasputin's Stash.

One of the great intros of old soul (1971), up there, probably, with the Ohio Players' intro to "It's All Over" (which features the sheer poetry of this declaration: "Aw, girl, put that suitcase down -- you ain't kiddin' nobody. You can't leave me, woman. You love me... say what?"), as two guys, panned to either speaker, wonder just who "this dude looking like he in something" might be who is walking down the street.

"They call him cool," one says, not needing to specify just who "they" are.

"Who?" The other wonders.

"Mr. Cool."

"Oh. Dig."

And there you have it. It's not enough, clearly, to be known as Cool. You have to earn enough respect, enough credibility, to attach the Mister to your name. (Thank the gawds teachers get it from day one, right?)

Mr. Cool himself, then, arrives, centered, along with the horns and the fuzz guitar, to let us know that, yes, "They call me cool." You might wonder why. "Because I got more glide in my stride and more dip in my hip."

That's it? Nope.

"And I wear a mean pair of shades. And you can't see my eyes unless my head is bent."

And there you have it. That's how freaking badass Mr. Cool is. You can't see his eyes unless his head is bent.

Plus, as we find out in subsequent verses, he doesn't want to come across as an agitator, but he does want it known that when he gets moving, he's a smooth operator.

Yes, they call him Cool. Mr. Cool.

And then he drops the bomb: he used to fool around with the President's Old Lady.


And he used to call her Sister Sadie.

(And you know he means it because there's a key change).

Oh, and in case you didn't know, he was the first man on the moon, too. You just didn't see him because he left at night.

Damn guy is rewriting my whole sense of American history at this point.

But -- and this is critical -- just when you start to suspect this might be just an eleborate play to, say, pick up a lady or two, we get the outtro: one such lady replaces the original doubter in the left speaker and offers herself to him.

His response? "Go away, baby, I ain't got time right now."

Of course, he might see her later that night, but that's left in the air.

And, in a truly visionary move, he lets us hear the voice of a future acolyte in the right speaker just before the fade, as a voice later copped by Louis Skolnick, wonders, "Can I be as cool as you, Mr. Cool?"

1 comment:

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