Blur – Charmless Man

Bonus points to Microsoft Word, which auto-finished “Charmless Man” to “Charmless Manipulate”. Good work, Word.

Well. Nobody’s arguing that “Charmless Man” isn’t a very good song. The records execs didn’t seem to think so, since it was released after stupid “Stereotypes”, but come ON, guys. Yes, it had lots of “la la la la la” in it filling space, but it’s a great character takedown, perfect for thinking about that one overprivileged douchebag you know in your life and then feeling smug! It’s a catchy-ass pop song, of the sort that will stick in the back of your memory until dementia do you part, so respect.

Once again it’s just one batch of B-sides, no two-CD nickery nackey. I must say, I don’t understand these studio types. Why NOT release a CD2 of live tracks, like before, and get higher sales numbers both on the charts and in the sweet profit margins? Surely there were four live tracks lying around somewhere. Or they could commission some terrible remixes; some Myles would buy it. Or they could just release three barrel-scraping B-sides. Either way.
Of course, I like barrel-scraping B-sides. You can at times hear your favourite bands doing things they’d normally never do, or shrug and finally release that song they thought was too poppy to fit on the album, or…uh, release a blah instrumental, a brief, woozy depressing song with a creative title, and a lo-fi number obviously never intended for release. Yay!

Guess which of those Blur did on this single!

Have you guessed yet? The answer is “Lester B. Pearson!”

“The Horrors” is the aforementioned ‘blah instrumental.’ They literally go “la la la la la la la.” That’s one you’ll only get if you know the single! “A Song” – the one with the great title! – is too airy and fades out too early, and “St. Louis,” while actually a decent song about being bored in said city, sounds like it was recorded by another, more amateur band entirely! Hey, that’s what I said in an earlier paragraph.

First, they built a disastrous prototype line along another street, St. Clair. Second, they tried to railroad through the first LRT on the end of the uptown subway line, mostly for political reasons. It was done so that the pro-subway faction could never justify finishing said subway, even though it was far from essential. And they got what they earned now that a pro-subway, very anti-LRT mayor has been elected.  Now nothing will get built! But don’t tell that to the Sun, our right wing paper, which seems to think you can transfer the years of planning and funding to turn a surface LRT into an underground subway with no delay, as opposed to years of fucking delays. More frustrating is the fact that a midtown LRT that’s WAY more useful than the uptown one, because it connects to the airport, Toronto being a rare world city with only bus transit to its absurdly busy airport, was both mostly underground AND funded. So making it a subway wouldn’t have actually been impossible! But no, it gets cancelled. The stupid uptown line  gets “built” instead. And the scare quotes are to indicate that it will NEVER BE BUILT BECAUSE IT TAKES YEARS AND YEARS TO BUILD A SUBWAY AAAAGGGHHH. Meanwhile you have to wait for the third subway at the transfer points downtown during rush hour before you can barely squeeze against the doors. I hate everything.

5 / 10


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