Tuesday, June 06, 2006

i shall be released

Y'ever just know you're about to embark on a crap day?

You're not even sure how it happened--you wake up perfectly fine, get out of bed without mashing your toe into your nightstand/dresser/bedframe, and manage to make some coffee without burning yourself and/or lighting your kitchen on fire. And yet...something's amiss. Something goes a little wrong, maybe it's just a little thing, and poof! you're hip deep in a morning grumpus. The entire day's suddenly thrown off its axis, and whatever lay ahead before that moment has suddenly started diverging toward something deeply other, something with Rube Goldbergian contraptions set in place to trip you up, slow you down and, yes, piss you off.

Turn to something good. In this case an old song twice removed, one that not only trumps the master but also reveals a new master's skills to be akin to that kid in the back of art class knuckle-deep in his right nostril:

"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," Them (Featuring Van Morrison)

You know the first few minutes of this song (even if you don't think you do). It's that languid, water-logged intro that Beck snaked for "Jack-Ass." You loved that little guitar or keyboard dither or whatever it was, didn't you? And not to take anything away from Beck, but, well, I'm going to take a little away from Beck. I mean, sample all you want, that's Mr. Hanson's gig, but what's really important is I can't believe that such a weird, warped sound came out of a band that was recording over 30 years ago. Effects pedals are magic. Never forget that.

And also never forget Van Morrison has been nicknamed 'the man' for a reason (and check out rbally's boot of a show of his from 1970 for further proof. No liquidy guitar textures that time around, just That Voice, all butterscotch and nails). Once that intro passes, all that's left is Van's youthful rasp, angry and resigned all at once, poking out above every part of the song like some crazy volcanic formation.

There. Today's not so bad, is it?

ps--I just noticed what today was. Awfully appropriate song to ease us into the End Times, don't you think? Bottom's up, fellow citizens.


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