26 April 2006

boy, last call for me should really be about 11:00. that's my internal censor's curfew and consequently when the sentiment comes pouring down like, well, spring rain. i was listening to 16 lovers lane and this struck me as the best kind of music to end a night w/. it's not late night music; it's merely music that says, w/ a great deal of warmth, "good night."

the go-betweens - "dive for your memory" (from the 16 lovers lane lp, available for purchase here.)

"bye bye pride" is probably my favorite go-betweens song. at least, when they played new york a few years back, it was the song i most wanted to hear. it's got wonderful lines; abundant oboe (the most underrated instrument in pop); and a group chorus that may not be their best, but is just so inviting, esp. in a live setting. thing is, i know every word--but i have no idea what it means. it could be a sad song; which would make it the happiest sad song existence. (in the late 90s / early 00s, it could have been the perfect soundtrack for a wb drama or a party of five spin-off.) here i though grant was the troubadour and robert was the byronic hero, the "difficult" one. what's it all about, g.w.?

robert, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically & wrenchingly direct on "dive for your memory"--also w/ oboe--and the result may be his best song. there's classic forster equivocation : if only the cliffs were closer, if only the water wasn't so bad : it comes across as mere stalling b/c by song's end, he's descended into the black water of his girl's memory, "black & forgetful," in hopes of making a clean start.

he sings : "deep down i'm lonely and i miss my friend." he dreams : "so when i hear you saying / that we stood no chance / i'll dive for your memory / we stood that chance."

what the hell do you say after that? (apart from, "i had two copies of this album and i wish i'd had a chance to give the other away.") you don't. in one sense, there's no response to someone who's so single-minded, who's so determined (and, likely, so foolhardy) to attempt to risk life & limb & things (& other things) for the impossible. silence & sighs shouldn't be totally unexpected and are, furthermore, both completely understandable & forgivable. after all, someone has to stand their ground and stand firm for reason when the other is diving off cliffs & chasing windmills (and we know now who is whom and not just b/c you can't swim).

and an oboe, keening like a solitary seabird as the song recedes, softens the blow--as does a warm hand and a sad smile.

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