Friday, July 8, 2050

A CURIOUS MANIFESTO

"Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason." (Albert Camus)


(Kick-ass graphic courtesy of Rev. Heron. Check out her Cure blog: Underneath The Stars)

When I first learned about The Cure in 1985, it was an epiphanal event. It was as though up to that point I had simply swum through counterfeit experiences. For me, The Cure offered a refreshingly surrealistic take on life, both musically and appearance-wise. Physically, the band members' stylistic proclivity toward untamed coiffures, cartoonish clothing, and cosmetic countenances was jolting to my more conservative sartorial sensibilities. But that swiftly changed, as an era of fashion experimentation was inaugurated upon my Cure discovery.

But of course, it's the tunes that matter most, and when the strains of my first Cure song caressed my ears, it delivered a raw punch to my whole conceptualization of pop music. I had theretofore been enamored of middle-of-the-road radio titans, with their fairly straightforward pop renderings, and while I still hold a place in my heart for such bands, The Cure's more subtle, whimsical, and inventive aural and lyrical approach changed my life.

I learned about The Cure on accident - I was simply rifling through tapes at my local record haunt, when I happened across The Head on the Door. The cover was so intriguing I just had to purchase it, despite the fact that I had not yet heard the music contained therein. Don't judge a book by its cover, we are told - and yet the musical contents of the Head on the Door masterfully matched the tantalizingly bizarre cover. It was one happy fluke, discovering a band like this.


Twenty-three years later, I am still besotted with The Cure, and continue to be mesmerized by this off-kilter and cerebrally enthralling band. Indeed, I am more obsessed than ever with The Cure, for reasons that are rather murky to me. Better not to delve too deeply into a deconstruction of such a pathological compulsion, and just enjoy it for what it is!

This blog features as its piece de resistance an essay I have written linking The Cure with artists such as Miro and Rimbaud. It will also contain reviews by me of all Cure albums, reviews by me of selected Cure shows I have attended (14 total), and miscellaneous cerebral musings about the band. An Aesthetics section will also be added eventually, which will feature pictures of the boys, plus my favorite Cure-related artwork.

Hopefully you will find something compelling here; feel free to leave constructive commentary of your own as a contribution to the ongoing discourse about the best band of all times, The Cure.




10 comments:

caterpillargirl2 said...

Very nice write up. I love it when you said that the first time you heard The Cure it delivered a raw punch to the conceptualization (sp?) of pop music.

That's exactly what happened to me. Before I heard The Cure, I was listening to whatever top 40 was feeding me. Let's just say I owned both a Bobby Brown and a Whitney Houston tape. LOL! The first song I heard by The Cure was "Lovesong" and I saw it on MTV in 1989. I was 12 or 13. Can't exactly remember. It was during the summer because I remember watching MTV all summer long and I turned 13 in August, so I could have been 12. Anyhow.....I thought "gee, these guys look really strange and dark..." I loved it!

I purchased the single along with the single for "Just Like Heaven." Those were the first two songs that I owned.

Then one day I was at my friends house and her older sister gave me her "Japanese Whispers" tape. I FUCKING LOVED IT! My first favorite song on there was "The Walk" because it was so darn funky and then I fell deeply in love with "Lament."

By that time I was hooked and decided to purchase "Disintegration" and KMKMKM" since I'd already loved the singles and their b-sides.

I don't know what happened to me that summer, but my whole idea of what good music was changed.

My next fascination was Depeche Mode and the first album I had by them was "Some Great Reward" followed by "Violator."

Gosh I'm rambling. I just really liked this write up. I think it's interesting that you first heard of The Cure by looking at the art for HOTD. That is so cool. I hope that Robert reads/or has read about that. SOmething I've always taken notice of is the wonderful artwork on the albums. I love the artwork for Japanese Whispers too.


Ramble ramble ramble.

I'm going to read some more of you blogs when I have time.......

Mine isn't as good, but if you'd like to read my blog about the Charlotte show you can see it on my myspace page. www.myspace.com/crcrawford.

See ya!

XOXOXOXOX
~Crystal~

sarab543 said...

That was beautifully written. You express yourself so well. The cure rocks! lol

Clockwise Cat said...

Thank you all so much for your comments.

CPG: I love Lament too. And isn't it wonderful that the Cure pulled us away from what we thought we knew to be good music and taught us what REAL music was? Not that one cannot indulge in fluff now and then... and not to denigrate anyone's tastes as I have some questionable ones as well... but I think that is great we have similar stories to share. :-)

Sara: Thanks!! :-)

comicsnstories said...

Well, you sort of know me. We share a love of The Cure!

Genital Ben said...

Cat, I know what you mean, most music sounds like crap to me now that my ears have tasted The Cure. It's like I've seen heaven and I don't want to come back to the real world. I've been spoiled by The Cure. Thank God they have so many songs and cover so much ground. I can listen to them forever.

I still don't know what that is on the cover of HOTD, I love it.

thistle said...

Cat - I wonder how many of us stumbled onto The Cure with HOTD? I still remember listening to it the first time, turning the LP jacket over and over, reading over the words. Nothing was the same. To this day, I've never had a close friend that was a Cure fan, but nobody was going to shake loose that musical tether to sanity for me. Thanks for the blog - I've enjoyed poking around!

Clockwise Cat said...

Ya'll all kindsa RULE!

Ben avec genitals: Everything else sucks compared to the Cure, period. EVERYTHING. Even Tom Waits. Oh how it pains me to say that... :-)

Thistle: Musical tether to sanity? YOU FUCKING RULE. PERIOD. Very well said.

The CURE fucks us sideways and upside down.

*turning up AKOS to ILLEGAL LEVELS as I type*

Clockwise Cat said...

*waves to comic dude*

have a look around.. make a comment or two about what you see... come sit a awhile and bask in the curey goodness

more to come! :-D

Clockwise Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Enchante said...

Are you still posting?

Anyways, I love the cure too. It took me quite a long time to discover them but being born in 82 doesn't help. I semi heard of them because I am a big Smashing Pumpkins fan and of course everyone in the band (except for Jimmy) loved The Cure and they were a big influence on their music.

My GF bought their greatest hits album and I realised I knew a lot of their songs and proceeded to get a lot of their earlier albums.

They came to New Zealand 2 years ago and my GF and I goth'd up and went to the show. It was amazing and Robert still sounded just like the albums. However I was dismayed that I was probably the youngest person in that audience!

My favourite songs are probably Burn and Lullaby.