Thursday, November 22, 2012

That exquisite realization that a band you love has created your New Favourite Record. (And you wonder how they read your mind.)


I bought it that day.  It's been in the CD player ever since.  I've switched it between cars and played it in the house.  It's been all "King Animal," all the time, for a week.  I'm like a kid with a Disney video.  "Again.  Again.  Again."  Memorizing, hearing something different each time.  Loving it.

I've been so excited about this, I had the release date in the iGadget calendar.  I mean, this is HUGE in my world. Some of their songs are personal anthems of mine.   I've loved this band for twenty years, and they broke up, and I dealt with it because at least they had the sense to call it quits before the suckage set in and I appreciate that!  When they toured last summer, it was like a dream come true.  Then hearing that there would be new music! Could I be so lucky?

Now, when you get that hyped, you have to be prepared for a letdown. What if...!

Well Soundgarden never lets me down.


This rocks like I fully expected it to.  It's got all the grit and messed up time signatures and stunning vocals and clever lyrics. It's everything that makes them unique. It's current though; they did not cover Badmotorfinger here, they picked up where they left off, bringing with them over a decade's worth of growth and experience.

As a bonus, the packaging is gorgeous - snow and skulls and sunshine, lilies and frosted leaves and teeth.  Beautiful.  Or maybe I'm weird.  Nah, it's beautiful.

(I'm pretty much stealing these images off the net so in compensation, please go to Josh Graham's website, Suspended In Light.  Fantastic, spooky surreal, worth checking out!)

Here's the thing that is knocking me out about this record: I didn't even know how much I NEEDED it.

(I'm going to copy lyrics out of the booklet without permission so in compensation please go to the official Soundgarden website.) (Order the box set, accidentally get a size small T shirt, and send it to me!)

(Also, I'm not spacing these lines the right way - looks much more cohesive in the booklet. The words and visuals works so well together.)

I'm well into my 40s now and as much as I look around and think this is not where I expected/ planned/ dreamed we would be after two decades of hard work and sacrifice, I remind myself to put it into perspective.

an excerpt from HALFWAY THERE (music & lyrics by Chris Cornell)

And how far 
is halfway there?
I didn't see you 
on the trail
did almost
become good enough?
Should a good life be so hard won?
Is that what our dreams have become?

Have you got a car?
Somewhere to sleep?
Someone who loves you?
Something to eat?
I would say you're doing better than most
though maybe not as well as some

So there we are.

I'm middle aged.  I'm halfway there. So, thank you Chris Cornell for summing it up.

One of the beautiful experiences of music is the way each of us take what we need from it.
Soundgarden's music has always felt wild and dark and rural to me. I'm sure I'm influenced by knowing that they're from the Pacific North West, the land of trees and clouds and plaid.  I love that stuff.  I mean, come on, the video for Rusty Cage involves dogs, forest, an old truck and a shack.  Yep. I can relate.

Here's a verse and chorus from a song that damn near breaks my heart. It's in minor and has all kinds of imagery that reminds me of being lost in the metaphorical spooky forest.

(Ben Shepherd explains.  Sort of.)

TAREE (music by Ben Shepherd, Lyrics by Chris Cornell)

Though I can't put my hands on you
I can feel you now
In the bones and the blood flowing
needles on the ground
In the ether I sail to you
floating on the fumes
Run aground on the shore for you
Simple wreckage

Taree walk out and raise the road
To my tilted shadow
I only know I've made it home
When I drown
in your ghost light

It makes me think how much I miss my husband.  We're apart during the week.  Somehow this song comforts me.

And then there's this, beautiful haunting song that has almost made me weep a couple times, just from the way it reminds me of the fragility and harshness that makes up life and death.  It makes perfect sense that this song grabs me.  I was the kid with a collection of small skulls hidden away in the barn. I've never found them.  Probably got destroyed when the back half of the barn was demolished.  I also have the dried carcass of a hummingbird I pried out from beside the VW emblem in the grille of the car.   Is that weird?  Or sad?  Blackly humourous?  I can't tell.  I just feel.

BONES OF BIRDS (music & lyrics by Chris Cornell)

Time is my friend
Til it ain't and runs out
and that is all that I have
Til it's gone
Try to build a home
Bones of birds
singing in the cold
and fall to earth
Hey, sometimes she won't cry
When the smallest one is drowned
Too weak to survive
Probably... maybe 
Try to look out
through a hole in a bag
circle above
looking down
bird of prey
Try to build a home
bones of birds 
singing in the cold
and fall to earth
Hey, sometimes she won't cry
when the smallest one is drowned
Too weak to survive
probably... maybe.

(Matt Cameron and Chris Cornell discuss the song.)

And then there's this.

Which just flat out rocks.  In a weird time signature.

Things to note about this last commentary video:
-Matt Cameron is wearing a gingham shirt.  Heck I have that same shirt in pink.
-He is not aging.
-The beginning of this video, with the music and the backlit wind machine smoke machine photo shoot?  SWOON.  I am such a loser.  They don't even have their musical instruments and I'm all, "AHMAHGAWD AH LOOOOOVE YOOOOOO" because I am a complete drooling moron when it comes to musicians.
-seriously.  Chris Cornell.
-no really.  Even his speaking voice.  
-honestly, I'm just saying.

I have to stop working on this blog post before I get sucked into a youtube time warp vortex of interviews and live performances and anything else I can find.  My daughter lost a few days like that when Muse dropped their new album in October.  It was all "The 2nd Law" all the time.  She was like a kid with a favourite video.  Again.  Again.  Again.  Because that's what it's like around here with our favourite bands.

They're back and I'm so happy to have them back.


Paul Tee said...

I knew it!

When you weren't feeling so good, I wanted to prescribe being wrapped tight in a velvet comforter, two squirts of pomegranate extract, and wall-to-wall Soundgarden. Then I though under the circumstances, the advice might sound insensitive.

Tristania/Rammstein/Pink Floyd does the same for me.

Heidi the Hick said...

Luckily my ears were ok when the headache was bad! Can hardly read the lyrics though. Again luckily, this guy knows how to enunciate when singing!