Throwing a (World) Party

In lieu of substantive blogging material, I’m planning to throw up random thoughts and ideas for awhile. That should suffice for fresh content until something big shows up at my doorstep. I’m actually fine with transitioning the JBE into a poor man’s Pitchfork if need be. I’ve never been shy about sharing my opinions on music (past and present).

Years ago, I read an article by some music journalist. He was speaking with Karl Wallinger (former member of the Waterboys) and at that time (in the 1990s), Wallinger fronted World Party. I don’t recall the publication. I do remember Wallinger being articulate about his music, however. He was talking about the Beatles, and their influence on his writing and song structure, as well as a host of other things that the British singer-songwriter was weighing-in on at that moment.

Like most things from my past, I boxed up Wallinger (and his music) and stuffed them back into the subconscious recesses of the soft tissue that is my brain’s roomy central archive.

Funny thing about music (at least for me), this material dating back half a century seeps out at unexpected times. With Wallinger and World Party, it was on Sunday, in the early afternoon. This followed my Sunday-morning-coming-down filled with trying to recall everything I’ve been studying from the NFHS Volleyball Rules Book. I had to pass their online exam in order to become certified, and become legit with the Maine Association of Volleyball Officials (MAVO).

I’m happy to report that I made the grade. Like with anything that you prep for and spend time and energy acquiring, this new certification left me feeling a sense of accomplishment. I then hopped on my bike and cycled for 90 minutes.

After returning home, I got to celebrate with my cat, Lucy. Lucy didn’t seem to be in the mood for throwing a party, so I jumped on the computer and in about five minutes, I thought of the World Party song, “Is It Like Today.” Why would I think of this song at that moment? Did I hear it at some point during the past week? I doubt it, since I’ve been on a fairly constant diet of sports talk radio, intermixed with some Rush Limbaugh. And then, my current routine of being out of the house 4 morning no longer allows space for listening to my favorite streaming indie rock sources.

As I listened to a bunch of World Party “classics” from the early 1990s, I had my memory jogged that Wallinger had a significant health issue back in 2005, when he suffered a brain aneurysm. It affected his ability to speak, let alone complete the complex neural tasks required to play guitar, sing, and write songs.

Wallinger was fortunate—he wasn’t part of the 10 percent of people who die, and another 10 percent who never return from something as serious as an aneurysm. He seems to be back doing what he seems to have been meant to do with his life—play music and perform.

I’m posting two older World Party videos. The first one, “Ship of Fools,” speaks to our current mess we’re in, politically, socially, culturally, etc.

The second one, “Way Down Now,” is simply one of my favorite WP tunes, and ranks right up there with my all-time top songs. It also seems relevant, even though it was written some 25 years ago.

“Won’t you show me something true today?” To me, it details a world where up is down, good is bad, and east is west—or something like that.

3 thoughts on “Throwing a (World) Party

  1. Never heard of this, Jim. Not much of a music person. I can see why you like it. I will have to ask my daughter about this…she is a big music person.

  2. @JAB Easy enough to do. Both Mike Scott (from the Waterboys) and Wallinger have continued in music and other endeavors.

    @Sally World Party might not resonate with the younger set, given that their heyday was the mid-1990s, which seems to be a frame of reference for my musical orientation (that and the late 1960s/early 1970s). I do think their music holds up well and doesn’t sound as dated as other 90s bands/artists, when I listen to them.

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