Sunday, March 11, 2007

Of Montreal - My Favorite Boxer

In a matter of hours I will be leaving for Boston to see Of Montreal. Until then this entry will focus on an Of Montreal song they definitely won't be playing tonight. It comes from 1999's The Gay Parade, my favorite album by them during a time when Of Montreal were still a collective band and not just the Kevin Barnes supershow. You see, for the last three albums (Satanic Panic in the Attic, The Sunlandic Twins, and Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer?) Kevin Barnes wrote and played every single note you hear on the albums. The band you see live are practically a cover band. It's all good though as their last three albums are some of their best yet, especially Hissing Fauna.. which was released about two months ago. But for The Gay Parade, their third album it's a concept album about happiness featuring vignette songs about the many characters who are marching in the parade. It's a fantastic album- one that I can always look to when I need cheering up. I dig the part Jeff Mangum is credited to in the linear notes: "holding hands while jumping on the furnace." I also particually enjoy how the album ends with one of the characters thanking you for visiting them:

"Hello my name is Claude Robert
And I'd like to thank you for spending time with the gay parade
We hope you found it enjoyable
And that we will see you again very soon
Because we've grown quite fond of you
And all agree that you make very pleasant company

If you ever feel that in your life
The moments of gaiety
are too few
You can always come and visit us
Now that you know the way
And perhaps someday
You'll be able to stay with us
Forever inside the gay parade "

You can't help but smile during that and just think, why yes, I will visit again! It seems a little corny on paper but in the context it's one of the best album closers I have ever heard. The song for this entry is "My Favorite Boxer," a song about an obsessive fan of a boxer named Hector Ormano who on one day finally comes in contact with his hero. It's a nice mix of funny, sad and poignant yet also has as Aesop-esque moral on closer analysis.

Of Montreal - My Favorite Boxer

"Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
He goes smasho and everyone cheers
He turns big men into whimpering cowards
He's so strong and how I adore him

But I'm so weak
So much so that I'm afraid
to walk alone down my street
I know I'll never be as brave as Hector Ormano

Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
His smile is so white like elephant ivory
He's so handsome and all of his girlfriends
Are tall and blonde with hourglass curves

But I don't know many girls
And I certainly don't know any girls like that
Even if I did I wouldn't be as cool as Hector Ormano

One summer day I was sitting on the bridge
Looking at the water below
When I heard some laughter and a familiar voice
Coming from down the road
It was then that I saw and my heart nearly dropped
I saw Hector Ormano with some friends
And as they approached my mind went blank
As I struggled to find the words
I was dying to tell him

As Hector walked by he picked up a stick
And threw it at my head
His friends went quiet and Hector said to me
"What are you looking at wimp?"

Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
Even though he was mean to me
My father says I'm a meaningless no one
Compared to the perfect Hector Ormano"

Of Montreal - The Gay Parade @

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