Posts Tagged ‘The Pogues’

Shocked & Shaking

May 2, 2015

I don’t know if it happens to everyone, but do you ever get those phases of sheer music fatigue? It’s not as if you’ve fallen out of love with your favourite music, but it’s just those rare times when everything loved & familiar suddenly become too familiar? It may only last an hour or a few days, (although I do recall one friend who seemed struck by the apathy virus for a few months), but either way it both a sign and symptom of weakened spirits that only compounds the problem.  If music is your bedrock, best friend, & bible, how cruel is it to be unable to turn to it when you need it most.

Of course I am well aware that “there is a world of music out there at your fingertips”, and this is certainly not a post about how “there just isn’t any good music out there!”. That’s complete rubbish, as anyone involved with music in any way, shape, or form can attest. The problem is simply that sometimes you don’t have it right here and now. Sometimes we find music, sometimes it finds you, and sometimes those paths are circuitous and meandering since we all don’t have access to an amazing radio station or a best friend or an older sibling to guide us in this wide world of musical thorns and wilderness.

And really, this has been one long introduction when all I really meant to say is that I stumbled across a song that has shaken me to the core and made all of the above somewhat irrelevant. I don’t know how long I’ll feel this buzz, but it’s wonderful while it lasts, and it’s amazing that when your spirit gets shaken out of its slumber that the rediscovered rosy glow is cast over your entire world, INCLUDING YOUR RECORD COLLECTION THAT YOU WERE JUST MOANING ABOUT.  Like a music rebirth or sonic baptism, all is right with the world.  All it took was the right kick and you were away and running.

I was wasting time over at Grantland, which would seem somewhat odd since I don’t much like Sports and have little idea about what constitutes Pop Culture, but….they seem to write about it so well.  Writer Steven Hyden had a piece on Titus Andronicus which I initially didn’t click because I’m a jerk (and probably jealous in some irrational way even though I’d not heard much of the band aside from the name), but once I had read anything that looked like it might interest me, and then everything else, I eventually got hit over the head with this:

What does one say to that? I wanted to hug the band. I wanted hug Steve Hyden.  I wound up hugging the cat instead, and then just sat there in awe, reeling in the beauty and steeped in envy. A simple (but amazingly clever) song, a simple  (But cleverly amazing) video that brings the brilliant verbal barrage to the front, and a voice that punches and aches at the same time.  The second verse killed me to the point that I felt like a helpless fraud. I don’t want to dissect it much more than that, because it’s enough that it just is. 

It’s hard to say why this song made me so happy, not just because of the thing itself, but I suspect it’s because I find comfort in knowing that people are still writing songs like this and are unafraid to say it in such a straightforward manner.  Instead of couching ourselves in modesty and self-deprecation (whether real or not), it would be nice to simply say Yes: this is me and this is it.

On a final note, I felt like a complete tool for not knowing what the term “Dimed Out” meant, but thankfully by the end of the song they had explained it so easily and obviously that even I managed to get it. That’s rare.

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Gutter Sensibilities

December 31, 2011

The Pogues – White City

Here a tower shinning bright
Once stood gleaming in the night
Where now there’s just the rubble
In the hole here the paddies and the frogs
Came to gamble on the dogs
Came to gamble on the dogs not long ago

Oh the torn up ticket stubs
From a hundred thousand mugs
Now washed away with dead dreams in the rain
And the car-parks going up
And they’re pulling down the pubs
And it’s just another bloody rainy day

Oh sweet city of my dreams
Of speed and skill and schemes
Like atlantis you just disappeared from view
And the hare upon the wire
Has been burnt upon your pyre
Like the black dog that once raced
Out from trap two

+++++++++++

Shall I explain why I love this song?  Is there really much more to say other than you either get it or you don’t?  Buy me a cider and maybe we shall talk for hours on end.

Happy New Year.

-m

Sing, Singing, Singer, Singed, Sang , Sung….

July 7, 2009

It’s a very old observation, nothing new here, but I was indulging myself with watching an old Pogues video, “Dirty Old Town”, and I somewhat solidified something for myself (and probably ONLY for myself): there are those that sing because they have nice voices, and those that sing because that HAVE to.

Bob Dylan is the obvious, and far too easy, example of this, but really, it does seem somewhat true far beyond that.  I’ve never been all that impressed by a good or great voice, and maybe that is because I don’t have one myself.  BUT, I would like to think it is because I am waiting for something that involves or reflects the human struggle/soul.  A good voice?  Blame God, but don’t take credit for it.  Personally, I have always thought of a good voice as something akin to a pretty songbird–something to adorn the sitting parlor, but nothing to get attached to.  A good voice does not change lives.  A good message does.

I wholeheartedly admit that my own singing voice is somewhere between a scratch and a warble, so don’t go calling sour grapes, coz it just ain’t true.  I want to be moved, and the only thing that seems to do that is hearing something that is singular, something that no one else can give me.  I want to be shattered to my foundation, not entertained.

Enough….for now.  Godspeed Shane McGowan, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, etc….sometimes, the message is the music.

To my ears, anyway.

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