Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday I'm In Love - explained

Some have complained that my frivolous picture post yesterday on Marnie's tern was unduly obscure.

I had thought fellow rock fans would pierce the scanty veil of my punnery easily enough: Marnie Stern is a New York-based singer-songwriter and axe heroine, and she's playing in Beijing tonight at Yugong Yishan. Not only does she look rather stunning, but I am assured that she also plays the guitar like Eddie Van Halen!

If this is true, I fear she is likely to become another of my hopeless rock crushes. The most excellent SUBS, fronted by Beijing's own sex-bomb punk princess, Kang Mao, are supposed to be one of the acts opening for her, so there's likely to be a whole lot of swooning going on in Froog's world this evening. Hence, I was put in mind of my favourite Cure song....

All clear now? See you at YGYS later.


JES said...

Found the SUBS home page. Of course the text is all in Chinese, which I can't make head nor tail of, but Google helpfully offered to translate it for me. So, no idea if this is an accurate translation or not. But after listing the names of some of the band's members, it says their lead singer is "the anti-cat."


Froog said...

Really? Wow. I rather like that idea, whatever it means.

Google Translate is so ropey on Chinese that I seldom bother with it, other than for a cheap laugh now and then.

There's something about the symbolism of 'cat' in Chinese - something, I presume, to do with 'stylish' or 'sexy'. Anyway, the Chinese name for Elvis is mao wang - 'Cat King'. I don't know what the wider associations of the word/animal are beyond that.

Of course, there is also a possibility that it has some connection with feeble girliness. I have lamented on the blogs more than once that the majority of Chinese womanhood seems to think it appropriate to sport clothes and accessories adorned with childish stuffed toys or cartoon characters - usually cutesy animals, mostly cats: the Japanese Hello Kitty is especially ubiquitous. I can entirely see Kang Mao being anti-that. (English-speakers tend to think of names as just names; it hadn't ever occurred to me to investigate whether her name is the character that means 'cat'.)

I hope you enjoyed my Marnie's tern visual pun. Alas, the artiste herself was a massive disappointment. As I may well blog in a moment...

JES said...

A long time ago, I remember the term metaphor described by a teacher in terms of what he called the "vehicle" and the "tenor." (No idea, btw, if this is a standard analysis or if he'd made it up himself.) The vehicle -- the thing that transports the metaphor, as it were -- is the words on the page, and the literal image they conjure up. The tenor is what the metaphor means.

Puns may work in something like the same way. In this case, I recognized the presence of a vehicle (dear Tippi, and the seabird, juxtaposed in an unexplained but vaguely allusive way) but -- because I didn't know the artist's name -- the tenor sailed right by me.

I think there must be a category of fantasy girlfriends reserved exclusively for musicians whom we first get to know via their album covers or publicity photos -- even before their music. Are you familiar with the singer-songwriter (American, I think) Neko Case? She was (is?) lead singer for a group I'd heard of, The New Pornographers. But at the time I first saw the cover of her recent solo album Middle Cyclone I'd never so much as heard her voice. That single photo sold me her music.

I wish I were a little more enlightened and a little less conventionally superficial about this sort of thing.

Froog said...

Ah yes, a striking image. Do you have any comment on Ms Case's music?

I must ask my friend The Weeble if the SUBS singer is 'Cat' Kang, and in what ways she might be considered an 'anti-cat'.