Friday, May 22, 2009

The low-key war against apathy

Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention - In The Sky - 1968

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Death in the garden

A far away noise woke me up three days ago. I shrugged it off as being nothing. Later that day, after eating and such, I decided to head into the backyard to tend to some plants.

I know the sounds of the wild are still present in the city, regardless of the chiding uncles I have. "The city's void of anything even remotely wild, other than the crackies that go scurrying when a Crown Vic rolls, blaring horn, flashing lights. Let's film that and put it on Current TV." Little do they know of the islands that backyards serve. Death and productivity are measured by the carcasses and juveniles (molting young birds). However, the territories of predators must be safeguarded. Protect: stalk, disembowel, move on.

The idea of tragedy is foreign to the feral feline.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rocket From the Tombs - Amphetamine

The past month has brought unto me many blessings with a few warning signs; successful in defending a thesis, yet still in the limbo that exists between postgraduate school and the "real world" of a 9 - 5 job that may never actually come. While I suppose my every waking hour should be spent looking for some work and finishing corrections on manuscripts, I've afford myself plenty of time for discovering unheard music. In my endless excursions into the depths of rock history, I finally made it to the oddly named Cleveland band Rocket From the Tombs (RFTT). Existing for only a year from 1974 - 1975, or so sources* tell me, RFTT spawned two very important groups: The Dead Boys, and Pere Ubu.

The Day the Earth Met the... Rocket From the Tombs compiles loft rehearsal tapes of the band along with two live performances from 1975. The recordings are nothing outstanding, yet are easy to like. One particular RFTT tune that stands out is "Amphetamine." Culled from one of the live shows, the country-rock tinge of the song is soon interrupted by explosive drumming during the chorus. The lyrics are nostalgic Americana in spirit, though I cannot help but cringe at the lyrics during the chorus. It's an endearing cringe though, since I've felt exactly as what's being sung many times in the past. Below is the song and my own interpretation of the lyrics, written by the late Peter Laughner.

Take the guitar player for a ride
He's never once been satisfied
Thinks he owes some kinda debt
It'll take him years to get over it

When you feel so green
Turn to your movie scene
And you won't know what I mean
But you don't know where I been

I get so easily excited
It's like having a party where you aren't invited

I took a kid down to the Harbor Inn
Oh, but the cops wouldn't let him in
But he's used to being turned away
He's gonna show them one fine day

With your shifted face
And you don't control the ways
And all that purple haze
You're sucked in cuz you're playing and you're playing...

I get so easily excited
It's like having a party where you aren't invited

Judy died far away much too soon
And meanwhile Kevin's shooting at the moon
And Lucy, the princess, would be smooshed
and all the knights just don't know what it's worth

I was standing on the ledge of the bridge
Staring down into the water's edge
It'll roll back and it'll roll away
Don't know why that I feel this way

You got to come on down
You got to come on down
You got to come on down
I'll never hit the ground

I get so easily excited
It's like having a party where you aren't invited

*Ain't It Fun: Rocket From The TombsWikiMerry Swankster (for song samples)

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