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Old 14-04-2018, 00:54
The Quatercircle The Quatercircle is offline
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The Brilliance of Vivian

The tonal center piece of the album. Musically some of the most melodic and varied of the record here. Fantastic and natural pace changes.

Everything on the album stems from Vivan imo. Love this song.
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Last edited by The Quatercircle; 14-04-2018 at 01:02.
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Old 14-04-2018, 02:08
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Vivan.
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Old 14-04-2018, 09:08
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I HATE this song. The verses are great, but the chorus is just ridiculous.
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Old 14-04-2018, 09:14
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I like it. Steve Lamacq played it along with Sequels of Forgotten Wars when they were on with him. Both tracks I put on my personal RIF EP after one listen. Me and Lamacq, we know what songs are 4 real, man.
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Old 14-04-2018, 10:04
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The verses are beautiful, and I’m coming around to the chorus like JDB is to Jeremy Corbyn*.

*As the Guardian helpfully informed us.
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Old 15-04-2018, 05:41
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I like it, but who is "Vivan"?
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Old 15-04-2018, 07:57
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It's pretty good, the chorus is taking some crap from fans on here but it gets stuck in my head easily and I find myself humming it when I'm not humming along to HMLAH.
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Old 15-04-2018, 10:51
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It has grown on me a bit but the news from the thread about no plans to play this live made me think of Father Ted shared bedroom with them all waking up going "Vivan has gone to the masters and been released to the public!!".
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Old 20-04-2018, 07:10
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It's really nice. The verses lend some air to the album. The melody is nice and loungey and then the chorus comes -- just enjouyable and bouncy. There's a dynamism to it and the bass guitar is nice and big.

Reminds me of Emily, which I also love and a lot of people don't. Let's blame misogyny? (I'm kidding, let's not). I don't know, I like hearing a pretty woman's name in funky chorus.

The camera click everyone likes is a bit stupid though. (the sample is too clear, natural and studio recorded for one, samples are better when they're a bit dustier, like the quote and burning bulb in the beginning of the Kevin Carter video). But, I mean, I still enjoy it although it's cheapo.
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Old 20-04-2018, 13:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian On Fire View Post
I like it, but who is "Vivan"?
http://www.vivianmaier.com
A secret photographer

You can also search on Wikipedia to see what I mean.
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Old 20-04-2018, 14:30
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A mashup of The Vapors' Turning Japanese, and their own song 'Your Love Alone is Not Enough'

...I could have seen for miles and miles
I could have made you feel alive...
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Old 20-04-2018, 14:40
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Oh Vivian. Jimbo just sounds so disappointed in every chorus. Like he's come back home from installing the new sink in the downstairs toilet in the Door to the River studio and he's just opened the door to see that his new boxer dog, called Vivian of course, has just done her business again on the living room rug.
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Old 23-04-2018, 13:43
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Some rambling thoughts on ‘Vivian’ and ‘Finding Vivian Maier’

I’m sure many of us here love checking out the inspirations the band cites as inspirations for their songs, so I watched John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s 2013 documentary ‘Finding Vivian Maier’. First of all I will say I found a fascinating film and definitely recommend it, if think you might be interested. It definitely deepens my understanding and enjoyment of the Manics’ song, as I’m now going to detail.

One thing that struck me is that at several moments I thought ‘oh I can see why Nicky Wire liked this...’ , judging by previous lyrics as well as highlighting subject matter on Resistance Is Futile, and things the band have talked about in the promo campaign. The idea she was this kind of archivist, hoarding newspapers, had a skill at engaging people closely enough to take the photos she did and yet had a deeply private side, the word “solitude” came up, kind of reminded me of Nicky.

In contrast to the band’s comments, for much of the film I was thinking ‘she doesn’t seem that bad a nanny...’, but then in latter part of the film you do hear how she was troubled for some (largely unidentified) reason(s) and did some quite unacceptable things which is what I assume those comments were about. And yet even those with less-than glowing things to say about her in the film seemed to have mixed emotions. It wasn’t a hagiography, but it wasn’t a character assassination either - I liked the way the film introduced her as a well-liked if difficult/eccentric person before later getting to the “way-past eccentric” moments, as one interviewee puts it.

“Would it mean that much if you were looking down?”

The documentary discusses the nature of the twin-lens rolleiflex camera Vivian used, and the way in which her photos would often feature people looking down slightly because the camera was worn around the neck, not held up to the face, and so it gave subjects a more imposing stature - one wonders if the photos would have been so effective if shot down, rather than up.

Towards the end of the film Tim Roth suddenly turns up for a few fleeting seconds (he’s also listed as a kickstarter backer in the credits) which gives us another interesting link to the Manics and their past work, namely the album cover of Postcards From A Young Man, itself an album featuring the actor taking a photograph.

Some of the song’s lyrics seem quite self-explanatory with even a small amount of knowledge of the backstory. “The mystery that you left behind”, of this woman who took so many (many thousands) of photos but never made a considerable effort to become known for them (though there is some indication she at least thought about it once, and was aware/believed her work was good). But there’s also the mystery she left behind in her own life, the sense that those who knew her, employed her, gave her a home still didn’t completely know her. The idea that she didn’t quite fit in.

“The museums and galleries have become your home”

... but not immediately - the films describes some of the resistance to the art/photography establishment’s acceptance, which appears to be futile, because the work is so good it has created lots of interest. That part also reminded me a little of the themes of Liverpool Revisited or 30 Year War, the idea of the (extra)ordinary, the working class or the outsider scoring a rare (but much delayed) victory over the establishment in some way - whether it was the Justice for the 96, Lowry’s paintings, or Vivian Maier’s photographs. There is that phrase to describe the album the band used “widescreen melancholia”, as well the theme of time passing (the last word of the album’s standard track listing is of course, “time”) that sums this idea up I think - eventual justice or recognition.

“But we never heard your voice” “Did we ever see beneath your disguise?”

There is some debate in the film as to whether her ‘French’ accent was real. There’s also the idea that her voice as an artist is somewhat enigmatic given we don’t really know why she took all these photos. Was it simply her “weapon of choice” / “ultimate defence” against some dark secret past we can only guess at? A yearning to be part of a family but an impulse to remain at just a certain distance? The film offers clues on that but no real clear answer. “All that history you never compromised” has numerous possible meanings - that she never compromised her own (youthful) history to others during her life, but also that during her entire life she never compromised her artistic integrity, her purely creative endeavour.

Finally I have to say think her photographs were fantastic. Vivian’s story certainly adds some mystique to the work - but it’d be very strong work regardless.
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Last edited by Porco; 23-04-2018 at 14:47.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 20:10
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Great post Porco
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Old Yesterday, 20:37
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Thanks Porco.... It's not my favourite track but you've pointed me back for a closer listen. I do like the idea in the lyric of the camera being for her both a weapon and a means of defence. I'll be looking up that film for sure...and looking out for a collection of her photos. Makes you wonder what will be the records of our times we leave behind....selfie poses and emoji exhibitions. We should stop and look more
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