Roxy Music in Montreux

This week, we”ll explore how the movie Ratatouille can help you win over the heart of important people in your lives. To make things less abstract, let”s assume that you are an ambitious young professional who just started working at some fancy institution, let”s say at the WTO in Geneva. You really want to impress your boss in order to convert your internship into a permanent work contract.

Now, it turns out that on Friday, the glam rock band Roxy Music played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and you come to know that at least two staff members of the WTO with work-contract-granting powers had independently purchased tickets for the event. You also quickly realize that you”ve never seen more than one WTO employee (yourself) at any other pop concert before. Alert, as you are, you realize that this band (of which you never have heard before) must be unusually popular among supervisors at the WTO.

Now, all you have to do is to get your supervisor to discover a CD/Vinyl-Booklet on your desk and listen to a snippet of the 70s/80s music of that band. Don”t forget: Your supervisor listened to this music when she/he was young, so: Nostalgia is on your side. The moment your supervisor gets in contact with Roxy Music, this is what will happen: she/he will have a sentimental-melancholic-heartfelt flashback filled with a vivid memory of a meaningful moment from his/her adolescence – and his/her heart will melt away just like restaurant critique Anton Ego”s did when he unexpectedely tasted the Ratatouille dish of his childhood in Gusteau”s (in Pixar”s 2007 movie “Ratatouille”):

To be efficient, just order some Roxy Music album online or buy it directly at some large, corporate department store in Geneva. Don”t waste your time searching flea markets and second-hand music shops – only romantic fools would do that.

As soon as you have your hands on your personal Roxy Music copy, I would recommend you to put the accompanying booklet in the washing machine for one cycle. Especially, if you bought a brand-new re-release of their albums, it will look too new, and when your supervisor finds a shiny new CD lying on your table she/he may get suspicious that you are trying to win her/his heart over in order to obtain a work contract – you want to avoid such thoughts under all circumstances!

Additionally, the more worn out the CD cover looks, the more it will make you appear as if you had found it on some romantic flea market or second-hand music shop – which signals to your boss that not only do you know the art of French savoir-vivre and local purchasing habits, but you also are able to discover jewels such as Roxy Music amongst all the rubbish on display. And in the mundane routine of office-work who wouldn”t like to have a colleague possessing some romantic foolishness?

The only final question you have to solve is: Which song will you let run in an endless loop on your computer (or on the record player that you brought along especially for this occasion), so that it will appear as if you happened to have just been listening to it when your supervisor drops by?

I would propose to use the lyrics of Roxy music in order to send out subtle subconscious cues to the mind of your supervisor. Be direct: “Make me a deal and make it straight – All signed and sealed, I”ll take it!” These are the first lines of the 1972 “Virginia Plain”:

If you want to be more poetic-pathetic, then vaguely allude to your supervisor that an internship is not enough – instead you want “More than this”(1982):

Finally, you can gently hint that you would hope that the lucky day containing your work contract will come “Out of the Blue” (1974):

The intro of “Out of the Blue” is especially interesting, because it serves as inspiration for the intros of two important Radiohead songs. The extremely simple 4-chord progression is identical to the chord-progression used in Radiohead”s 1995 “Just”(from 0.50): Furthermore, the melody pattern used in the accompanying guitars is extremely similar to the guitar-playing in intro of Radiohead”s 1997 “Paranoid Android”:

In general: If Rock”n”Roll is simply accelerated Blues, then Roxy Music can be described as being based on decelerated or slow-motion Techno or Trance – Most of their songs rely on extremely short riffs consisting of only 3 or 4 chords, and these are repeated over and over again, thus their music is able to seduce you in a similar (but much slower) way as Petit Pays” Frotambo does…despite this unusually simple song structure, they tower layers and layers of melodies and sounds over the whole thing, allowing for orchestral build-ups as well as for jazz-like improvisations – which is why Roxy Music”s glam rock fits perfectly to a Jazz Festival, as well as in your repertoire of job-prolonging techniques.

Have a glamorous week,


PS: I feel a bit sorry for Argentina after their uncontroversial 4:0 defeat against Germany last week. However, is well known, they do not wish to be cried for – maybe just contemplate about them in solidarity, the next time you dance tango in the Parc des Bastions…Madonna – Evita – Don”t Cry for me Argentina (1996):