One more thing about the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
For a ridiculously overblown spectacle that had a fake Queen of England skydiving from a helicopter and squadron of Mary Poppinses (Does anyone know if that’s the right way to pluralize “Mary Poppins?”) cascading from the sky to vanquish a 100-foot-tall Voldemort… they kept it pretty damn real.
Consider Fuck Buttons’ inclusion in the ceremony. Their name is “Fuck Buttons.” Do you think in a million, billion years that shit would fly in Ammmurica? Fuck Buttonnnosireebob. They also let Mr. Bean poke fun at that repetitive synthy sound in the theme from Chariots of Fire, and when they paid tribute to British accomplishments in cinema, they gave Trainspotting, the at-times-horrifying independent Scottish film about heroin addiction, a well-deserved moment in the sun (or in the monstrous LED screen, as the case may be). Self-deprecating humor? Acknowledgment of contributions to the arts that are, shall we say, “less than squeaky clean”? That’s what I call keeping it real.
I was 13 when Trainspotting came out, but I don’t believe I watched it right away. At least I hope I didn’t. Man… that baby on the ceiling… [I don't know how to spell the grossed out sound you make when your whole body shivers and you feel a little pukey, but I just made it.] It was my sister who introduced me to the movie some time later by way of its soundtrack, which I’ve always remembered most for Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” — so much so that “Lust For Life” starts playing in my brain the moment I even hear someone say the word “Trainspotting.” My brain also conjures Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” when I check to make sure the windows are locked before going out of town, but that’s a completely different story…
What were we talking about? Olympics! Though “Lust For Life” wasn’t chosen to accompany Trainspotting’s tribute during the opening ceremony, the song that was — Underworld’s “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” — opened up a floodgate of memories associated with listening to that soundtrack with my sister. As it turns out, Underworld chose that song in their capacity as music directors of the entire opening ceremony (a job they executed spectacularly, in my opinion). Before writing yesterday’s post, I knew next to nothing about Underworld. To be perfectly honest, I’d only heard the song I posted — “Caliban’s Theme” — a few times, Friday night having been the first. So it was a pretty cool feeling connecting that delicate yet powerful melody with another song that brought me back so far/fondly. I have the sneaking suspicion that hearing the word “Trainspotting” is now going to conjure Olympic rings raining down fire. Que sera, sera.
Thanks for keeping it real, Brits. Job well done. Listen to the studio version of “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” above and check out a live version below. And be sure to come back soon for more of “OMG! OLYMPICS!” week!