Archive for February, 2012

Thursday. Waste. Reflect.

February 27, 2012

Here is a shorthand, non-poetic summary of my Thursday evening:

Night off, planned to spend it writing but instead
get a call to do something I don’t really want to,
but hey, it’s for the kids at school, so fine,
I get a ride and go.
It sucks and I’m not needed in the end,
though that was clear as soon as I arrived.
So I’m stuck there, grumbling to myself,
drinking with money I really don’t have,
getting mad at anything and everything,
not least of all myself.
I put $10 bucks on a dog that comes in 5 to 1,
so I’ve got this winning ticket
but it’s too late to cash it.
Get a lift into town, drinking ciders all the while.
Hang out at soul night for a bit,
making an ass of myself.
Heading over to the pub to cash my ticket,
50 bucks quickly becomes none, shouting drinks
for friends and strangers alike.
Walk to someone’s home with some other strangers,
spill some red wine on their floor.
Wake-up early and get a lift home,
tongue parched, headache, self-pity and self-loathing.
Hate the world as well, just for good measure.
Want to spend all day in bed, but drag myself
out of it in time to teach a lesson at 4 PM.
Collect my money and go home, and straight back into bed.
That song remains unwritten.

Besides being not productive, I found some comfort in the following lines, as I am wont to do…

The first comes from T. S. Eliot, in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

“I have measured out my life in coffee spoons”

Then my favourite Morrissey line from my favourite Smiths songs, “Half A Person”:

“And if you have 5 seconds to spare
Then I’ll tell you the story of my life”

And lastly, a line from Youth Group’s Toby Martin, from “All This Will Pass”:

“But you’re talking to yourself,
you’re as lonely and as desperate
as a kettle boiling with no-one there to get it.”

I shall not compare T.S. Eliot with Morrissey, or Morrissey with Toby Martin, or any other configuration of some non-existent trivalry.  That would be pointless, besides sheer folly.  All I will say is that I love each of those lines in my dark, brooding hours and look upon them as being very, very spot on.  What they describe, they do so very well.  It almost hurts how perfect they got it.

Cheers to you all.  Better days ahead, I hope.

Happy Valentine’s Day/Junk Theory/Drifting with Nada Surf

February 14, 2012

Yeah, yeah, yeah…another commercialized holiday brings another apology + stab at self promotion.  “Junk Theory” has been kicking around for a while on paper, but we didn’t put it together until Matt and James heard it and championed getting it together.  We’ve only played this live a few times recently, and when we do Matt is on guitar and all I have to do is sing my scattered lines and hit a solitary drum at the appropriate time.  In keeping with a romantic streak that runs towards the primitive, we thought we’d help craft a day in our own small fashion by releasing the song on Valentine’s Day.  If you’re keen you can grab it from bandcamp.com and hear Royal Chant is a slightly subdued mode.

Junk Theory

Happy Valentine's Day from Royal Chant

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Junk Theory

Junk, trash, rubbish, waste,
dirt, dust, throwaways
lost, gone, waifs, strays
broke, bare, bent
what’s left of ours to
cast into the wind?

White knuckles for days on end
and we’ve been squaring this circle
over & over again
it started with a missing glove
and turned into a week into a month
and what’s become of us?

 Does failure make us look bad
or is looking bad the failure?
It’s not, it’s not, enough…

Tea-stained hearts & old soup tins
we’ve been climbing the walls
and the floor’s worn thin
it started with a missing month
turned into a year
hang on to love and
throw the world away.

Does failure make us old
or is being old the failure?
It’s not, it’s not, my love.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To keep this latest from being completely selfish I thought I’d share a band + one of their songs that came across my radar recently.  I had no idea Nada Surf was still around.  In fact, I barely knew Nada Surf existed at all.  Somehow I missed their infamous hit “Popular”, and didn’t hear it until possibly 10 years after it bestowed one-hit wonder status upon the band and left them for dead.  Well, that’s what would have happened to most bands, but if you have integrity, desire, and honestly just don’t care about 99% of the music business then you can keep on truckin’ like there’s no tomorrow, which is exactly what Nada Surf has done apparently.

NPR in the U.S. was streaming their latest LP in it’s entirety for a while, and after hearing it a few times I started nosing around and trying to learn more about the band.  The next time I head into Sydney I’m going to grab a few of their discs, even if I have to order them.  God knows they might appreciate some overseas sales.  I know we always do.  After doing a bit of snooping I came across their current label, Barsuk Records, and it seems like the sort of label that bands would want to be signed to, and they offer heaps of free downloads for the curious & discerning music lover.

I stumbled upon “See These Bones”, and have been fairly rapt for the last few days.  If you like your music on the rough and raw side (as we often do), it may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re all over the map like many people you might hear something you like, maybe even what I’m getting at.

I’m not sure if I’m transcribing the lyrics correctly, but it sounds like the chorus goes something like:
Look alive
see these bones
what you are now
we were once
just like we are
you’ll be dust
just like we are
permanent [????]<—I couldn’t quite figure out the last line, but if I had to be I think that’s what he’s singing.

There’s something in both the delivery and the substance of these lines that makes me quiet and start to leave my skin and drift.  I can’t explain why any more than that, but maybe it will make sense. Maybe it’s the line about becoming dust.  A simple line, but it works.

That’s all from me.  Happy Valentine’s Day.  I hope you spent it with someone you love, and if not, don’t worry–It’s an overrated holiday anyways.