Author Topic: What is the PopMart Miami character?  (Read 1157 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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What is the PopMart Miami character?
« on: December 18, 2018, 05:12:36 PM »
I've had a PopMart Rotterdam bootleg since 2000 but I've never watched any video, including Mexico City, other than the show opener PopMuzik/Mofo (and boy is that gooooooood).

So imagine my surprise when I dial up Miami and I see - whaaaaa?

I'm watching with a mixture of disgust and glee. A lot of glee but that guy is FILTHY. I would guess he's some, well, Miami character - but I don't get it. What the hell is wrong with his pants? Why is he walking like that? And he doesn't look like I'd expect - I'm thinking shirt unbuttoned to chest hair, gold chains, cigar, but not thaaaaaat?

Also, what the hell is up with the umbrella??



Offline Bundang Dave

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 06:51:42 AM »
I don't the whole story behind the persona, but I think it's heavily influenced by old vaudeville and Al Jolson performances, hence the "My Mammy" refrain and "sun shines east, sun shines west..." line.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 07:12:31 AM »
Al Jolson! <mind blown> Thanks for that context!

What do people think more generally about Miami, especially album vs live performances?

I know it's not a song rated very highly around here. It's not my favorite song either but I do hear something interesting in it. The live version brings so much more energy, specifically that moment when they really kick it into gear and there's suddenly a BIG sound that didn't make it onto the album.

I really like Pop and not sure I agree with the idea that it's not complete but I do think Miami has more to it than what made it onto the album.

Offline miryclay

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 11:11:25 AM »
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I don't the whole story behind the persona, but I think it's heavily influenced by old vaudeville and Al Jolson performances, hence the "My Mammy" refrain and "sun shines east, sun shines west..." line.

Auntie and Mammy are both Irish references.

I dub thee Umbrealla Man. 

Offline laoghaire

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 11:32:40 AM »
Miry clay. Happy Christmas, you old ar*e.

Offline Bundang Dave

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 04:20:17 PM »
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I don't the whole story behind the persona, but I think it's heavily influenced by old vaudeville and Al Jolson performances, hence the "My Mammy" refrain and "sun shines east, sun shines west..." line.

Auntie and Mammy are both Irish references.

I dub thee Umbrealla Man. 

While I don't doubt "mammy" has some Irish relevance, I think it's pretty clearly also in reference to the Al Jolson song "My Mammy" (which now that I read through the whole lyric, I think it strongly connects with Mofo and Bono's other mother-themed songs):

Everything is lovely
When you start to roam;
The birds are singin', the day that you stray,
But later, when you are further away,
Things won't seem so lovely
When you're all alone;
Here's what you'll keep saying
When you're far from home:
Mammy,
Mammy,
The sun shines east, the sun shines west,
I know where the sun shines best--
Mammy,
My little mammy,
My heartstrings are tangled around Alabammy.
I'm comin',
Sorry that I made you wait.
I'm comin',
Hope and trust that I'm not late, oh oh oh
Mammy,
My little Mammy,
I'd walk a million miles
For one of your smiles,
My Mammy! Oh oh oh...
Mammy...
My little Mammy.
The sun shines east-- the sun shines west--
I know where-- the sun shines best!
It's on my Mammy I'm talkin' about, nobody else's!
My little Mammy,
My heartstrings are tangled around Alabammy.
Mammy-- Mammy, I'm comin'--
I'm so sorry that I made you wait!
Mammy-- Mammy, I'm comin'!
Oh God, I hope I'm not late!
Look at me, Mammy! Don't you know me?
I'm your little baby!
I'd walk a million miles
For one of your smiles,
My Mammy!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 04:22:32 PM by Bundang Dave »

Offline laoghaire

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 05:23:04 PM »
For sure, you nailed it on the Al Jolson reference. Brilliant. Never even thought about it but there's no doubt you're right. Lots to ponder there.

Offline Bundang Dave

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 08:27:22 PM »
I wonder if Bono viewed Miami, with its excess and superficiality, as the peak or embodiment of his own straying from home?

I've always loved the track for its swagger, its sinister-psychedelic vibe, and its cynical yet impressionistic lyric. I wish they had explored this sound more.

I also think of it as the 90s version of Bullet as far as it being a criticism of America, this more so about their culture of excess rather than their culture of war/colonialism. They even rehashed the Bullet drum beat with added distortion to align with their 90s sound.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 08:45:29 PM »
Those are some great thoughts, and they also show how well Miami fits on Pop in terms of theme. Superficiality and excess for sure.

Never thought about the Bullet tie-ins, but it makes sense also given that they followed Miami with Bullet at PopMart.  And there does seem to be a musical relationship too, you're right, in addition to the critical stance on America.

Love the PopMart Bullet too. So many great Bullets. "How much do you want for your soul?"
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 08:48:41 PM by laoghaire »

Offline laoghaire

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 08:57:57 PM »
Holy sh** that's not merely vaudeville. That's blackface. I've heard of Jolson's Mammy but I had no idea about the blackface, holy sh**.

Wow that just took the sinister up to 1,000.

What a crazy aong. And a crazy performance. These are the same guys who did, like, WOWY.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 09:01:11 PM »
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Holy sh** that's not merely vaudeville. That's blackface. I've heard of Jolson's Mammy but I had no idea about the blackface, holy sh**.

Wow that just took the sinister up to 1,000.

What a crazy aong. And a crazy performance. These are the same guys who did, like, WOWY.

Yeah, Miami is NOT pop-rock.


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Offline Chip

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2018, 09:17:54 PM »
Count me as having a second mind blown by the Jolson connection. You could argue that "Miami" is just an updating of "My Mammy."

I also totally agree with Bundang Dave that "Miami" is Pop's "Bullet" thematically. It struck me that way when the album came out, and I'm convinced that's why they paired them live.

In terms of Laoghaire's other questions, I don't know what to call the Miami/Bullet character. In terms of the studio vs. live versions, I'd say it's so-so on the album but a powerhouse live. It was one of the tour highlights in DC.

Offline JFW

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2018, 01:57:30 AM »
I think the song is nice. It's the song playing when I leave the train at a Central Station and walk to the bus station through the crowd. I start an album when I leave home, haha.

It's cocky, weird, simple but groovy. I really like it. Don't think they can still pull  it off. Wasn't that overwhelmed by dirty day this tour. But during Popmart it had a nice place in the setlist.

Offline miryclay

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2018, 10:16:08 AM »
Mammy is all over here:

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Offline miryclay

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Re: What is the PopMart Miami character?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2018, 10:20:25 AM »
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Miry clay. Happy Christmas, you old ar*e.

Not sure what that unprovoked attack was all about but here we are.

"Miami, my mammy" would be a line that the 'Bono-voyager' would say 'in jest" when overwhelmed. Possibly at the sight of an beautiful woman.