Wednesday, May 05, 2004

May I borrow the crowbar, David?

Or, On Why I Like David Byrne's "Grown Backwards."

"I think [the songs] were the crowbar I used to open myself up emotionally and vocally"-DB

Note i: I suggest you put the disc on now. Otherwise, reading the following will be much less entertaining. The numbers indicate which track I was listening to, while writing a particular paragraph.

Note ii: Don't worry about the government; for the time being.

Note iii: I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. Dylan

Note iv: I think most of these songs are variations on one simple theme: be glad you're alive and in love. And perhaps, also able to dream. Some of the political references are probably there because of the times. Everyone who has some bit of humanity, anyone who celebrates life and love, must also acknowledge the devil. Treat the politics as what you have to deal with, must actively defend against. Only then can you reach the bliss Bryne is currently rolling in, like a big happy dog in stink.

My favorite records inevitably have a welcoming sonic vestibule. What better 'aloha' feng shui is there than lots of space, interleaved with clear, concise, instrumental mantric riffage? The intro to Glass, Concrete & Stone develops that 'floating pleasantly above a sunny garbage dump' feeling. A mildly narcotic, yet innocent bliss. Like TM, when it's working. And so our journey begins, away from a house of building materials (more songs about buildings!), to the sound of marimba.

The gentle playfulness of the opening measures is obvious irony, as this is really a fable on the state of our current discontent. The string section keeps stridency at bay though. An illusion to the only appropriate response to violence is nonviolence. Understand The Man Who Loves Beer, but do not meet him in his killing field of compassionate conservatism.

Bizet - Au Fond du Temple Saint. The strings are mic'ed, Rufus is in the house... why not? Dreams work, thanks to DreamWorks.

Empire. A tongue, making flippy floppy, from cheek to sticking out of mouth. The monument stands before us. Imposing, seemingly invincible, a dangerous miasmic awe crawls along the floor and covers our ankles. You can no longer see your feet (how did I get here? Note how grotesque the buildings medieval gargoyles are.

Tiny Apocalypse is a great song. Perfectly in the moment, all senses operational, the mind aware of the good and the bad. This is how you get, when you successfully grow backwards. A beautiful moment of composure and awareness. There is hope for humanity. Or, Byrne could be writing about the morning after a really great orgasm.

Speaking of - we get lovey-dovey next, with She Only Sleeps With Me. An erudite Harry Connick tune (if that's possible). Isn't this a nice expression of humble confidence in a relationship: She can have it all, that's the reason you wouldn't believe, that she only sleeps with me?

So funky. A genuine smile, the Renegade style. David as The Jack of Hearts. I'm a rich man, I'm a poor man, but the main thing I'm alive. Dialog Box- still with the same answer, eh david?

The Other Side Of This Life. A Beatley, Jackson Monk & Rowe sort of frolic. Searching for heaven in so many places. It's the trip, not the destination that's important. Chins up and legs akimbo.

This could have been a Wizard Of Oz outtake, if that had a true love interest. How and why do things work out the way they do? Fate and Randomness have equal probability, in our stringy universe. The musical arrangement is pure Great White Way. Which reminds me - aren't Byrne's vocals easy and wonderful, throughout this CD? Languid...Rufus is rubbing off on him. Pardon the gay pun.

Pirates is the kind of song ol' Sofa would have liked, I bet. I wish I had such pleasant dreams - and the same ability to gradually phase into wakefulness. Keeping a touch of the dream-time hallucinations, enough to last me, until that first cuppa joe.

You don't have to still be dating to relate to Civilization. Ah yes, I remember it well. Not that I'm fixating, but this one is also very Sofa. If you don't smile to this song...well, I just don't know.

Astronaut is DB's 'Comfortably Numb.' Escape - who can deny it sometimes feels fine? A short song, a simple idea, next please.

I'm ok, you're ok and be Glad for... everything. It's easy to think you're alright when you're glad about all the good things. But he's also glad about all the muck; even glad about otherwise nondescript nothings. Well, they are part of it all too, aren't they? I'm kind of beginning to envy David. If these emotions are real, I salute you! You're clearly on The Path.

Verdi. Must keep Operaman out of my thoughts. Try to translate the lyric. Done! (sorta). The mysteries of love and the universe are one in the same. Gawd, how ugly that sentence. Rewind and just listen to his voice. Floating up and into the light. That's better. Much better.

And we close with da mega bomb. A full throttle spin of international soundscapes, carefully selected for the beat that must be put round. Disco down and check out this show. Good god, even a Stones reference. Pure Lazy sexy! The restraint, the control. A master of the moves, the king dervish is at work here and doing it full-on fine. I have adopted this song - I relate. Every bit of the lyric and every ounce of the vibe. Too good and I'm left wanting more. Music sweet music, I wish I could caress and kiss kiss...[punchline:] but I'm LAAAAZY!

Rating: THIS RECORD IS - The Lazy Dope!. The laziest!


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