Sunday, March 08, 2009

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

The podcast show notes are in the post before this one

Two songs again, instead of the usual three. I'm still not feeling all that up to snuff. In fact, since I've been so tired for so long (at least the last month), I may start doing two songs instead of three more often. We'll see how I feel next week.

James Yorkston, "Tortoise Regrets Hare"

I have a feeling I could spend years trying to parse apart these lyrics. I'd still hear new things in the lyrics even then. Whereas a lot of lyricists rely on "ooh ooh ooh, yeah baby" to convey most of their story, James Yorkston is interested in actual story-telling, using so many words it sounds like they may fall off the end of the sentence. The words are visceral: a woman asks him if his "hands were untied, would he consider [her] wise enough to find out if [his} fear of heights were real or imagined". The breathlessness and rush of his words help convey the rattling motion. There's a sense of urgency--a sense that he's rushing towards something, but then sometime around the middle of the song it's disippated. The tortoise has lost. The headiness, the intoxication fills the first of the song. She'll show him "what the city has taught [her], she'll "bowl him around the city's boundary." He quickly jumps to the after-euphoria, though. She tells him, in a note slipped to him, that she's the "same infinite girl he knew". She still sleeps "with his songs running up her sleeve". I hope she has earphones running up her sleeves so her new husband doesn't hear. Her husband seems to be worthless to her, though. He doesn't "understand her beauty". Soon the singer finds himself with a second chance. He says he was a cruel man, but he "presents himself much warmer, anxious not to lose out on a year or two's favor, for the sake of [his] red temper". In a cruel twist, though, the storybook ending still alludes him. He doesn't think that she's really the ideal person he's been scampering after. He's waiting while she "presses sea shells into the sand, spelling out her cruel, cruel, demand." It looks like something got the tortoise.

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James Yorkston is meeting with his secret informant, "Daisy". If "Daisy" is her real name...


The Dears, "Disclaimer"

Hello, saxophone opus. How I've missed you. it's been since, what? The 80's since you were in popular music? Today's a day for heady music. I just need the smoky club. The smell of anticipation, the flash of interest...yes, I'm channeling a scene either from an MTV video or a from Miami Vice episode. Shhh..let me have my fantasy. The guys are all in white suits, the tables are all in white tableclothes. It's late at night, the club is emptying. I'm nursing my fifth (what drink was popular in the 80s?) martini, swirling the little straw around in the glass. I'm waiting for the saxophonist to finish his solo and come rescue me from boredom and the burden of having so much money and beauty, and nothing to do with it.* I have very high-stacked hair. Shoulder pads. My dress is very scifi looking, all angles and sharpness. Okay, so I look like Sean Young in Blade Runner. Except my makeup is very glittery--like a girl from a Duran Duran video. Yes, Duran Duran...this kind of reminds me of one of the instrumentals Duran Duran ended their early albums on (Ex: "Tel Aviv", "Tiger Tiger") . Ah, early Duran Duran. How I chase you in my dreams, and apparently the fantasies I make up while trying to explain how a song makes me feel.

*This is all fictional, FYI. I have no money and a sort of beauty that can only be obtained by falling asleep face down on the sofa cushion.


*In this fantasy, I'm played by whomever posed for the Rio album cover

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Hmmm...none of us knows how many licks it takes to get the center of a tootsie roll?

1 comment:

Justin Guarini said...

This post is really interesting hope you post more regarding this..