28 August 2006

(said the gramophone has posted a new lloyd cole song, an (excellent) cover of an old moby grape record, "i am not willing." i had thought of posting it, but it's time had come & gone; several weeks ago, though, it would really have said so much about a certain situation. picture the girl from pulp's "like a friend." now imagine if, instead of running into an obliging jarvis cocker, she ran into someone w/ the determination of lee hazlewood in "big red balloon" or the singer of "by the time i get to phoenix." unlike in those two songs, no physical distance is traversed : it's all figurative. the girl is no longer welcome & one couldn't be more thankful, thankful that she finally gave him a reason to leave. what's magnificent about lloyd's cover, apart from the ethereal keyboards, is the attitude that he brings, true to a man who sings breakup songs w/ lines like "baby you're too well read." when he sings, "now i'm so grateful, no longer willing to have her home," his tone adds a tacit addendum : "no hard feelings, babe," and that's the truth.

so, no, no lloyd cole now, b/c that ship has sailed. instead, i'm posting "hit the ground running" by smog (listen) (buy). normally, i'm not much of a bill callahan guy. apart from "ex-con," i find him real boring & for types who will listen to dull, annoying music just b/c of the lyrics, people who ... well, listen to callahan's gf, joanna newsom. "hit the ground running," though, is propulsive & awesome and callahan, through kid choirs & string bits, makes the distance from :01 to 6:54 seem as brief & invigorating as stepping out your front door at dawn on the first morning of daylight savings. oh, & yeah, lyrics : "i had to leave the country / though there was some nice folks there / now i don't know where i'm going / all i know is i'll hit the ground running." ain't traveling nowhere, babies, but i'm going places, figurative like, and listening to smog makes me feel like a stowaway on a freight train, seeing life firsthand, like joel mccrea in sullivan's travels.)

26 August 2006

(like many things in life, the following goes down easier while listening to al green, here singing "what a wonderful thing love is" (listen)(BUY!). al condenses four-hundred pages of baldwin into about four minutes, and if he spares us the view from the gutter, it's only out of christian charity. sometimes i think only al green is in the position to sing about love b/c only he has as many tones as love has modes, and he has the scars to prove it, Lord. love begins as a loping groove, it brings laughter & joy; suddenly everything begins to scatter, most notably the self, and al cries & entreats, but he's never ashamed of it, he is not too proud. "what a wonderful thing love is"? it's not irony & it's not r&b--he's singing for all you kids. that said, i can't think of another al green song in which the words are quite so unintelligible ... but never has he sung so directly about the subject of love--that is, the loved object-- not even on "l-o-v-e (love)." he goes to the river; he drowns; he comes back & he's still in love w/ you. what did he see? what is his message? "i've been crying about your love." happy tears or sad? yes.)
(one of the reasons we read, i think, is in the hope of finding our inmost thoughts expressed in writing, presented to an accepting public, validated & affirmed, confirming that we are neither mad nor alone. this morning, i finished james baldwin's another country; in the v. brief closing chapter, dated by the author, i discover that on 10 december 1961 in istanbul, james baldwin had an idea identical in content to one i had forty-five years later, seated against the exterior of a shopping mall in elizabeth, nj, as my companion smoked a cigarette.

we were near newark airport, and so there were many planes in the sky. i would ask her where she thought each was headed. we shared, among any things, a romantic view of planes in flight & truckdrivers on the highway in the early a.m. we never really discussed why; but as two kids from jersey, it made a certain sense. after all, when we were born, it was to the strains of that keening harmonica that opens "thunder road." it's always been far easier, then, to look outward, toward the highway, toward the horizon, than to dare look inside (which is the difference between born to run and darkness on the edge of town).

one character in another country says, "maybe i'm crying because i wanted to believe that, somewhere, for some people, life and love are easier--easier than they are for me, than they are." this is what i used to think when i saw a plane in the sky or heard the whistle of a train. but then i went other places & met other people, and i soon realized this wasn't the case. every country has unhappiness, and like tolstoy's families, they're all unhappy in their own way.

no, maybe the only true moment of happiness is liminal space, when one is neither here nor there. it's like that lambchop song, where the woman's favorite hour of the day is the one before her husband gets home--the waiting, the anticipation ... & perhaps also the knowledge that, in that hour, she can't harm him nor he her. on an airplane, making his first visit to the united states, the frenchman yves encounters many friendly people : his seatmate who invites him to stop by if he's ever in montana; a flirtatious housewife; a businessman who shares stories of fishing in lake michigan. yet, when the plane lands, they all return to their former selves, defined by their occupation & class. the answer, it would seem, is to be forever like zeno's arrow, suspended in midair, never going anywhere.

but that's not life. one must dare or fail. true, one may dare and fail, but better to have taken the risk. "perhaps," a character says,
if you can accept the pain that almost kills you, you can use it, you can become better. ... otherwise you just get stopped with whatever it was that ruined you and you make it happen over and over again and your life has--ceased, really--because you can't move or change or love any more.
one must strive for forward motion, otherwise the loved one never arrives home, otherwise you never get anywhere. in another country, those characters who cling to what's known are those who doomed; those who take risks have a chance at a life--and a chance is the best we can hope for.

hope? "the word seemed to bang from wall to wall. 'hope? no, i don't think there's any hope." it's an opinion i can understand, one i've held even recently, as i recognize that just about every hardship that's befallen me has come from hoping for something better for myself & others. morrissey sings, "my only mistake is i'm hoping"; baldwin himself, whom morrissey saw in barcelona in 1987 but lacked the nerve to approach--baldwin wrote, ten years after another country, "the hope of the world lies in what one demands, not of others, but of oneself." hope begins w/ the individual & then radiates outward. (you'd think someone as solipsistic as morrissey would understand that!)

yet through much of another country, there is no cause for hope. i encountered just about everyone i ever knew in the book, and many of those people were me. i've heard these conversations; i've played both parts; i recognized my own anger & anguish, i recognized the hurt & the helplessness of someone i loved. (i should revise what i said earlier : there are some of one's thoughts reflected in fiction that bring the reader no comfort.) it's disheartening when you realize that there is no other country where people live & love easier, b/c love itself is another country. it's a country w/ barriers to entry that rival the great wall & satisfy u.s. conservatives; it's a country whose officials expel you w/ cheerful readiness & often for no reason; it's a country where most of us are aliens, regardless of our age, sex, race, or orientation.

hope arrives, at the v. end of the novel, from across the sea, a tremendous hop, skip & leap of faith. like our fictional counterparts in baldwin's novel, we continue to try to overcome the obstacles to citizenship (whether they be age, sex, &c.). we want to gain entrance to that coarse, howling country, even though we're unsure of why or what exactly it is we hope to gain. someday, we think, we'll make a home there. or at least we hope we will.)

25 August 2006

(last night i finally got my sacd player to work. i put in blood on the tracks; it was like hearing the album for the first time. "if you see her, say hello" is one of my favorite songs. i must admit that i never really noticed its inexorable pace; in this mix, the percussion slaps you across the face & ends in double-time, like an expression of impatience, someone tired of hearing your story.

will oldham's wrenching cover of david allan coe's "in my mind" (listen), as lovely as it is rare, is like a late-night early draft of "if you see her ...," country cousin to dylan's second take of the song in new york (listen), ragged & exhausted. (lapse of time & change of scenery turned despair into resignation for dylan.) it sounds like he's sharing a basement flat w/ poor ol' toussaint mccall & between the two of them, they can't find a way of keeping the cold out. "if you see her ... " is music for looking at the stars; w/ "in my mind," well, you can't see nothing for all the tears. instead, you close your eyes & struggle to call to mind an image of someone you used to know, peering past the patina, wading through the fog.)

22 August 2006

(sometimes i'm so happy i feel i can't speak sensibly. one of those moments was earlier this afternoon. my paperwork officially went through; i copied my syllabus; i copied roland barthes's "photography & electoral appeal" for my first class. there was a bounce in my stride & a strong temptation to skip. i got in the car & my ipod, bless his empathic electric heart, offered me up the following : herman's hermits, "i'm into something good" (see earl-jean's version for a wonderful alternative, a production that would be right at home next to "i love how you love me") ; david bowie, "starman"; johnny nash, "i can see clearly now"; the charlatans uk, "the only one i know"; saint etienne, "he's on the phone." & so you see i didn't have to speak--i could sing. the song that best sums up how i feel now is peter bjorn and john's "objects of my affection" (listen) (buy) : and the question is: was i more alive then than i am now? i happily have to disagree. i laugh more often now, i cry more often now, i am more me. of course, that's just part of it, & written it doesn't seem like much--perhaps that's the peril of trying to speak sensibly at such times. but, of course, it's a song & the music sings far more forcibly & expressively.

to think, there are people out there to whom music means nothing or v. little. hm!)
(a real treat. keep this one under your hat & near about your heart.)

18 August 2006

(here is a link to a mix made for a friend. it's called scandimania. it contains tracks by the knife, i'm from barcelona, envelopes, junior senior, josé gonzález, lo-fi-fnk, jens lekman, acid house kings, moonbabies, sondre lerche, the concretes, the radio dept., peter bjorn and john, serena maneesh, dungen, marit larsen, love is all, kings of convenience, annie, bobby baby, and loveninjas. it's a celebration of the v. amazing music coming from northern europe in recent years. it's so much more, you know, than porn & gonorrhea--or even ikea, for that matter. enjoy.)

16 August 2006

(this, this is what is wrong w/ the world.)

(apart from, you know, war & poverty & screwdrivers & vaseline.)

15 August 2006

(sorry, jake, but i feel like dancing. this is my favorite song in the world to dance to, this side of anything by james brown. james inspires really intent dancing, especially deliberate dancing; this, though, this is pure joy & delight in one's ability to move. i don't know if i can dance, if only b/c i don't know how people dance nowadays; i hear diddy is bringing dancing back so until i see the results, i'll hold judgement. i can move, most assuredly, & no other song can get me to move so. i think that'll be the moment when i realize that i've aged, when i can't move like i do now w/o pain & accident. poor fred astaire, how sad the day must've been when he understood that he could no longer leap into the air & land ably. let us not think of it or any other potentially sad thing; let us all dance this evening even if no one can see. )

(& when we're done, let's buy this cd.)

(i know what i said. don't get used to this. tonight, well, i don't know why, but i felt like dancing ... & since i've got a lifetime lease on this here hall, i thought i'd play dj. repeat : this is a one-off, this is a one-off. go back to eulogizing & visiting the consistently--& constant--fine sites on the sidebar.)

(shouldn't you be dancing?)

06 August 2006

this is the last post.

i finished the magic mountain today. i started it months ago--this date, exactly--when things were so different. but i had a feeling, i had a feeling that it was inevitable that once i finished the book, that this site would come to an end as well. maybe this is why i tarried so.

but i'd never have guessed how it would end, either the book or the site. i was drafting this in my mind today; i had the tone down & i had the song chosen, but something interrupted it, something completely unforeseen, & now the tone & song have changed--but not the need to end.

i'm ending b/c i need to, not b/c i'm downhearted over a girl or b/c i fail to see the point. i'm not downhearted over a girl--indeed, i feel, at the risk of immense hyperbole, like i've seen the stone rolled away from the crypt; i am a believer, but it's not a belief anyone else can understand, nor would see good reason for such a belief. they may be right, but my faith is unshakeable at this moment. i feel like a pilgrim on his way to a shrine.

nor do i fail to see the point. i know that a number of you really enjoy this site, that i've helped at least a few of you through some difficult times, just as surely as you've helped me. i'm sorry to be giving it up, but i'm not vain enough as the title of this site suggests to believe that it'll affect you all that much.

i'm leaving, simply, b/c there's not enough time. i'm going to be v. busy & i relish that idea. it's been quite some time since i've been occupied. this is where the magic mountain comes in. if you're worried about me "spoiling" plot points of mann's book--if "plot" can even be considered a part of the book--i'd advise you to leave now. thank you so much for reading. i appreciated it immensely. try hard to stay well.

now, for the rest of you. the magic mountain was the culmination of all of my concerns of the past year. (it's now been a year since i returned from new york; it's almost a year since i kickstarted vs&l.) i've thought about love, time, despair, purpose, society, &c.--all covered in mann's book. indeed, i had to put it down for a considerable stretch of time b/c it said too much to me about me, mirrored too exactly events in my own life.

hans castorp goes to the sanatorium to visit his ill cousin. there's nothing wrong w/ him--or so he thinks. he plans to stay three weeks, but not long after he gets there, he is diagnosed w/ a "moist spot" in his lungs. in a sense, none of us is completely healthy & given the rigor of berghof, all of our healths would be found wanting.

three weeks eventually becomes seven years.

but what ails hans is nothing physical; kierkegaard would have seen it from the start : he suffers from despair. he is, as herr settembrini surmises, one of "life's problem children." he becomes enamored of berghof, where he has nothing to do but study & read & take nature walks & pine for frau chauchat. if he did push-ups & sit-ups--strictly forbidden!--this would be the recipe for my life over the last several years. i sat around, observed mankind, read up on everything imaginable, worked a piddling job, hid out in academia as surely as hans hid out in the sanatorium. i performed what binx bolling called a "vertical search" : i examined life from high up in a tower, looking down, as opposed to the "horizontal search," which involved actual living.

as i made my final descent down the mountain, trying to find the way out of my tower, i worried that hans would never break free of his despair, that he had become the perfect patient, embracing his role as a problem child. i'd already made up my mind at this point to make serious changes to my own life : i wanted hans, so much my doppelgänger, to do the same--i almost felt as if i needed him to do it. he lost his cousin; he lost friends; he lost family; he lost his ties to the world below; he even lost frau chauchat, for whom he waited years & years. i wanted him to gain something, to make a choice.

something does happen, "the enchantment was broken, ... he was released, set free--not by his own actions, as he had to admit to this shame, but set free by elementary external forces, for whom his liberation was a very irrelevant matter." what happens is world war i; everything is turned upside-down. but he does make a choice, a peculiar choice given what we know of his character : he chooses to fight in the war. i am proud of him, as proud as my friend was of me, simply for making a choice.

the last chapter of the magic mountain is called "the thunderbolt." i read it on my lunch break at work today. today ... it was a day for seeing ghosts. i saw old college friends; old customers; old co-workers; and i saw her, i saw x, i saw my "beatrice," my frau chauchat. she was as surprised to see me as i her. we had little time to talk; she asked for book recommendations & i made them.

i did not foresee this. i planned on writing this post today, on ending it; i knew how it would end, i knew the song. & then i was struck by a thunderbolt ... again. i thought based on how i'd been treated lately, that i'd sufficiently gotten over her, that i was ready to go. i dare not speak for her, but for me the effect was the same as ever. draped in stormclouds, she brought w/ her confusion; she issued thunderbolts from her bitten nails. i was confounded & perplexed; elementary chores became difficult. i was reminded of why hitchcock called his greatest love story, vertigo. i felt precisely like james stewart as he watches kim novak for the first time : the music swells at her approach; the lights brighten to illuminate the profile; the camera angles used in successive shots create a vortex--into this maelstrom, jimmy & i fell together, helplessly & happily.

let me not deceive you : like vertigo, a happy ending seems unlikely. she was v. polite to me, complimented me; her body language indicated that she was pleased to see me & she waved as she left. but she's given me no hope, since i saw her, of responding to any of my calls. but that doesn't mean that there is no hope. regardless, i feel like kierkegaard's independent lover, barthes' man who doesn't wish to possess--all the things i'd written about months ago. what i understand now, what i've reclaimed is a sense of the future--that it will exist, that it is nothing to fear, that she & i will both occupy it & as long as that is so, no one knows what may yet happen. & while one cannot know the future, what i do know & remember fondly is the past--& what we had together is something that would cure the lovesick troubadour, that will be a source of warmth & light as fall approaches & both start to become scarce.

fall approaches! september's coming soon! september's not so far away! &c. w/ it, i will be busy peddling books & molding young minds, showing them, as much as possible, how to write. i will continue to write, which is one of the reasons i'm looking at a future of teaching; i will also continue to listen to music, naturally. i will be buoyed by both, my twin enthusiams, as well as by the enthusiams of all those i know. i'm v. excited. knowing myself as well as i do, i know this feeling cannot last & so this is why i've chosen to write this, to memorialize this moment, as well as this site.

thank you all. thank you all. thank you all. i cannot say it enough; but if i said it too much, i'd truly give the lie to this site's name. thank you for what you've given me; thank you for what you allowed me to give you.

allow me to give you one final thing. it is the song hans castorp sings to himself on the battlefield, the prayer he recites to keep himself from harm as his fellows fall beside him.

franz schubert - "der lindenbaum" (baritone, dietrich fischer-dieskau) (from the winterreise lp, available for purchase here.)

the lyric, translated from the german :
at the well by the gate
there stands a linden tree;
i dreamed in its shadow
many a sweet dream.
i carved in its bark
many a word of love;
in joy and in sorrow
i was always drawn to it.

again today i had to travel
past it in the depths of night.
there even in the darkness
i closed my eyes.
and its branches rustled,
as if they called to me:
"come here to me, friend,
here you'll find peace!"

the cold winds blew
right into my face;
the hat flew off my head,
i didn't turn around.
now i am many hours
distant from that place,
and i still hear it whispering:
"you'd find peace here!"
i remember carving names in wood, names that still find a way to haunt me (though they're so small!)--& i know i have to get past that point. i've started down a path : i hope a friend has the courage to come along ... but i hope i have the courage, should she not, to keep walking past the whispers & the calls; i hope i have the courage to turn away from what's easy, what's merely comfortable, so that someday i might truly deserve both ease & comfort.

mann writes :
it was truly worth dying for, this song of enchantment. but he who died for it was no longer really dying for this song and was a hero only because ultimately he died for something new--for the new word of love and for the future in his heart.
to love, then, & to the future! i thank you all again for walking w/ me this far. perhaps our paths will cross again in the future.


04 August 2006

maybe just one ultimatum ...
the long winters - "ultimatum" (from the ultimatum ep, available for purchase here.)

no, this isn't just rank cleverness. i had been thinking of posting this awhile now--it says a lot about so much--& i was reminded of it when i saw that the album came out last week (the album version is crap, i'm sorry to say : stick to this one). that is, i had been thinking about posting this long before i thought of using the word "ultimatum" in the last post.

or had i? the magic mountain, which i should be finally finished w/ soon, has made me aware of the fact that i'll never have a good handle on time, or other things.
the beach boys - "the little girl i once knew" (from the today! / summer days (and summer nights!!) lp, available for purchase here.)

my life is filled w/ unlikely confluences.

i was reflecting on a girl i know today and w/ some sadness the phrase "she's not the little girl i once knew" came to mind. i thought of the beach boys song of the same name, the last single they released before pet sounds--or maybe it was the other way around, i thought of the song & then i thought of her. the order, as we shall see, is no trivial matter.

i had just the other day asked her if she owned a copy of pet sounds. no reply. the beach boys are my favorite band, as some of you know; i own about three copies of the album & could part w/ one. i thought to ask her b/c so many of her favorite artists & bands use the template set out forty years ago by brian wilson; but it came to my attention b/c earlier in the day i had been reading about another reissue of pet sounds on nme.com, this time for, yes, that fortieth anniversary.

"caroline, no" is the song that ends pet sounds. it's all about a little girl brian wilson once knew whom he realizes isn't the little girl he once knew--he even asks, "where is the girl i used to know?" BUT. "the little girl i once knew" isn't about that theme at all; i was stunned to realize that i'd long misunderstood a song by one of my favorite bands. so why not post "caroline, no"? b/c you all know "caroline, no." & i thought it more interesting to let my misapprehension stand, b/c i realize that it's not the only thing i've misunderstood recently.

let's pause for a moment & summarize. so far we have 1) reading about pet sounds reissue 2) asking if she had a copy of the album 3) no reply, which should have given me a hint about the direction the wind was blowing 4) my reflection today that she's not "the little girl i once knew," which was the single that preceded pet sounds. which takes us back to ...

i was saying, it's not the only thing i've misunderstood recently, or even today for that matter. i was thinking of a poem, theodore roethke's "i knew a woman," which is not so dissimilar in title to "the little girl i once knew," which is one of my favorite love poems, which is a poem that often called this girl i know--or knew--to mind. (it's a beautiful poem : read it here.) but today i was struck when i realized that the poem was written in the past tense--yes, yes, says the adjunct professor of english, i know, it's something any close reading of the poem should have yielded. but what happened to this woman? did she die, à la roethke's own "elegy for jane"? did it happen one day that he realized that her loveliness was merely in her bones, not expressed anywhere else? that her beauty was not skin-deep but bone-deep? &, really, what was the good in that, unless you had an x-ray machine? i'd written something about bones in an email to this girl the other day : was i thinking of the poem or did my writing about bones make me read the poem today?

so, order, then. in "the little girl i once knew," brian reflects how there was this girl whom he had no eyes for, but w/ the passage of time, he developed interest, leading to the declaration in the chorus. "the little girl i once knew" is, essentially, "caroline, no" in reverse (but remember "caroline, no" was written later--or ... ?) & if you reverse "the little girl i once knew," one gets v. near my estimation of the v. girl i've been discussing in this entry.

it also gets v. near this girl b/c it occurred to me today that she does things in reverse, that whether she's familiar w/ the term, she utilizes backward induction frequently. what is backward induction? it's like taking a quiz on the internet & knowing what you want the result to be & then making it so by answering the questions in such a fashion to get the result you want. i'd sometimes ask her a question & she'd know why i was asking it & what result i wanted & she'd be contrary & give another answer & then have to work backward to support her claim. it's sort of like her behavior to me recently : she treats me as if i've done something wrong to her (when i haven't) & then i act in such a way that would give her reason to feel that way--if she hadn't already made up her mind to treat me as if i had, &c.

order matters, is what i'm trying to say, & sometimes we're surprised & confounded by the order of things. as i said earlier, the song & the poem aren't the only things i've misunderstood lately, as i realized earlier today. but i've got to attempt to establish order where i can. given my standing, i'm in no position to give ultimatums or, well, orders to her; i can however order my own life, get my own balloon off the ground. & if one wishes to come along, well, you're well, you're welcome--but not as things stand now. there was a time when i measured time by how a body sways, but now i find myself singing these lines--yes, from "caroline, no"--instead:
could i ever find in you again,
things that made me love you so much then,
could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone
oh, caroline, maybe?
love - "my little red book" (from the love story : 1966-1972 lp, available for purchase here.)

r.i.p. arthur lee.

03 August 2006

steely dan - "dirty work" (from the can't buy a thrill lp, available for purchase here.)
hans castorp--"head over heels in love," as people say, and yet not in the happy sense of the idiom, but as one loves when it is forbidden and unreasonable, when there are no calm little songs from the flatlands to be sung, terribly in love, dependent, subjugated, suffering and serving--was nevertheless a man who remained shrewd enough amid his slavery to know exactly what his devotion was worth, and would continue to be worth ...

02 August 2006

the horrors - "death at the chapel" (from the death at the chapel single, import available for purchase here.)

i'll tell you one thing : the horrors don't sound like the libertines.

... which is exceedingly rare for a rock band getting a lot of publicity in the uk these days. "death at the chapel" is basically a motorcycle crash tricked out to sound like early bad seeds, right down to the haircuts, only nick's literary aspirations are replaced w/ splatter film appreciation. it's not quite goth, though goth it seems is on the ascendant again; no, it's more like monster garage, w/ a cover of "crawdaddy simone" on the flip.

&, man, can they scream!
nancy sinatra & lee hazlewood - "big red balloon" (from the nancy & lee again lp, out of print.)

then, one day, one of them tries to leave--and does. but in a most peculiar way ...

"big red balloon" is the damnedest song, i swear.

it's like "send in the clowns" meets "up, up & away," as sad as the former, as sprightly as the latter. it's central conceit is as bizarre as anything from a kafka story & at the same time as ordinary as dirt (admittedly, the combination of these two is what gives kafka's stories their power). it moves, too, in unanticipated ways.

well, not entirely unanticipated : after all, you have the song title. lee, in what's fairly typical for him, fucks around w/ the gender roles. listen to nancy's part; listen to lee's part; play it again & think how much easier it'd have been if they were reversed. "easier," true, but less incredible, in as many ways as you wish to interpret that word.

the music, unlike many of the nancy & lee duets, sounds like it could've come off of any of lee's contemporaneous albums, esp. cowboy in sweden : there's a charging acoustic, swathes of strings & high-pitched backing vocals. it sounds like the opening credits to some country caper or another, filmed in panavision.

i say, it sounds like the opening credits but what nancy doesn't realize is that this is the last reel. she didn't know that he would really go. she figures he'd never leave--shoot, he'd never get that damned balloon off the ground. as he leaves the ground, he gets in his last rebukes : he'll never eat her cooking again and he's headed for heaven (might even touch the moon!). one of his last criticisms is as unexpected as it is tender : "you never gave me children," he laments, "you never had the time."

he's unloaded all of his baggage : his new life has begun. maybe if things had been different, nancy would be in the balloon w/ him; at one time, i'm sure lee would have lassoed the moon if she had asked. but it's far past that point & anyway lee is ten feet off the ground. our ways of escape are unique to us, it would seem, and they're always available whether we realize it or not. sometimes it's just a matter of finding the will to get that damned thing off the ground.

01 August 2006

while we're mining 90s uk obscurities, here's
brian - "you don't want a boyfriend" (from the understand lp, out of print.)

brian ended up at setanta, home to the divine comedy & edwyn collins, when his heart really sounds as if it's w/ sarah--if only the craftmanship & fidelity of his records weren't on such a high level & his lyrics too lacking in bitterness & self-pity.

the more you give yourself away to someone, the less they think of you.

a line that cuts right through to the heart of the matter & vice versa. unlike wah!, brian suggests that there's something to damming up all tributaries that lead to the heart; that a heart that's closed for business might be open to other opportunities.

& maybe, maybe you hurting me wasn't a bad thing, wasn't a bad thing.
wah! - "heart as big as liverpool" (from the songs of strength & heartbreak lp, out of print.)

"heart as big as my hometown," pete wylie sings. his hometown, as you might've guessed, is liverpool; my hometown is here in northern new jersey, about 1/30th the size of liverpool. if you've got five minutes, i can show you everything worth seeing.

oh, but listening to this song, my heart just swells & swells! i want to find old ladies & help them cross the street, even if this means stirring them from the slumber; i want to call up everyone i've ever known & tell them everything is going to be just all right. & if you're not in your hometown, tonight, ah, i bet it's never seemed dearer ...

this must be what bono feels like all the time, except when he's drunk, at which times he's even more sentimental. it's like george bailey running through bedford falls shouting "merry christmas!" that is, it's sung by a man in pete wylie who lost his money & nearly lost his life & he's found reason to celebrate nevertheless.

so what's so sad about you?