Silver Springs

Got some heartbreaking news through the grapevine the other day, and just felt like sharing one of my favorite performances of one of my favorite songs as I thought it was apropos.  I swear, I can’t make it through this tune without weeping like a damned fool.

So here’s a beautiful song for everyone who’s ever allowed themselves to lose the best thing that ever happened to them.

 

Silver Springs

You could be my silver spring,
Blue green colors flashing.
I would be your only dream–
Your shining autumn, ocean crashing…
And did you say she was pretty?
And did you say that she loves you?
Baby, I don’t wanna know.

I’ll begin not to love you,
Turn around, see me runnin’.
I’ll say I loved you years ago…
Tell myself you never loved me, no.
And did you say she was pretty?
And did you say that she loves you?
Baby, I don’t wanna know.
Oh, no…
And can you tell me, was it worth it?
Really, I don’t wanna know.

Time casts a spell on you, but you won’t forget me.
I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me.
I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you–
You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.

I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you–
Was I such a fool?
You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.
Was I such a fool?
I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you–
Give me just a chance…
You’ll never get away (never get away, never get away)
from the sound of the woman that loves you.

You could be my silver spring,
My blue green colors flashing.

Sing Me Back Home (R.I.P., Hag)

[NOTE:  I set out to write this post yesterday, but I was so damned sad that I couldn’t do it, so I decided to postpone it until tomorrow.  Well, tomorrow is here, and I’m still so goddamned depressed that I don’t want to write it, but if I don’t write it now, I never will, so here goes– I’m gonna’ keep it short and sweet.]

Merle-Haggard

One of the all-time greats, Merle Haggard, died on his 79th birthday yesterday.  The Hag had always been a musical hero of mine (second only to Johnny Cash) and truth be told, there are very few singer/songwriters (country or otherwise) who could hold a candle to him.

Speaking of birthdays, the best birthday present I ever received was for my thirtieth a few years ago.  Merle Haggard happened to be playing a show in Branson, Missouri, of all places, on the day after my birthday, and my brother bought me a ticket.  So he and I (and our respective exes) braved the bullshit of Branson in order to see our musical hero perform.  It was a great show, and I’ll never forget the experience.

Strangely enough, I’ve had a Merle Haggard CD stuck in my car stereo for the last couple of weeks.  Well, not stuck, exactly– I just haven’t felt the need to switch it out with anything else.  I reckon I’m gonna’ have to soon, because it’s a sure bet that I’m gonna’ cry every time I hear “Sing Me Back Home” from this point on.

Nobody could sing a song quite like the Hag, and nobody could write a song quite like him, either.  There are roughly seven-and-a-half billion people on this earth, and not one of them will ever be able to emulate both the pathos in his lyrics and the sincerity in his timbre.  The world lost one of the best its ever seen, and so I’d like to share this live performance of one of my favorite songs, performed roughly the same time I got to see him in concert:

 

The warden led a prisoner down the hallway to his doom,
and I stood up to say good-bye like all the rest.
And I heard him tell the warden just before he reached my cell,
“Let my guitar-playing friend do my request.
Let him sing me back home with a song I used to hear–
make my old memories come alive…
take me away and turn back the years…
sing me back home before I die.”
I recall last Sunday morning a choir from off the streets
came to sing a few old gospel songs.
And I heard him tell the singers,
“There’s a song my mama sang…

could I hear it once before we move along?
Sing me back home, with a song I used to hear,
make my old memories come alive…
take me away and turn back the years…
sing me back home before I die…
sing me back home before I die.”

Road to Nowhere

Heard a fun tune from the Talking Heads tonight and felt like sharing, because for the last long while I’ve felt a lot like the mini Muybridge-esque David Byrne awkwardly running in perpetual motion in the bottom corner of the music video.  I’ve always liked this song despite the strangely optimistic defeatism conveyed in it’s lyrics and melody.

Well we know where we’re going,
but we don’t know where we’ve been.
And we know what we’re knowing,
but we can’t say what we’ve seen.
And we’re not little children,
and we know what we want.
And the future is certain,
give us time to work it out.

We’re on a road to nowhere–
come on inside.
Taking that ride to nowhere–
we’ll take that ride.

I’m feelin’ okay this morning,
and you know,
we’re on the road to paradise–
here we go… here we go.

We’re on a ride to nowhere–
come on inside.
Taking that ride to nowhere–
we’ll take that ride.

Maybe you wonder where you are–
I don’t care.
Here is where time is on our side–
take you there… take you there.

We’re on a road to nowhere…
there’s a city in my mind,
come along and take that ride,
and it’s all right, baby, it’s all right.

And it’s very far away,
but it’s growing day by day,
and it’s all right, baby, it’s all right.

They can tell you what to do,
but they’ll make a fool of you,
and it’s all right, baby, it’s all right.

We’re on a road to nowhere…

Free Time

I’ve just started watching the Netflix animated series F is for Family, and while I’m not really sold on it at all yet (tremendous vocal talent, but uneven writing and unsympathetic characters), I did discover this one gem in the second episode.

This is EXACTLY how I feel when I have “free time.”

 

I like cartoons ’cause they’re funny.

End of the Line

Finally finished one of my favorite television shows tonight.  The final season of Parks and Rec originally aired during a really tough period in my life, and I neglected to watch it at the time.  Well, I managed to catch up on the final season over the last week, and tonight I got choked up watching the last episode.  It wasn’t a particularly good episode, but the writers successfully tugged at the heartstrings of all the longtime viewers whilst wrapping up the lives of the characters we’d come to love (including my personal favorite, Ron Swanson– arguably one of the greatest television characters of all time, up there with Archie Bunker and Homer Simpson).

parksrecfinaleThe gang on the set of the show’s finale

It’s an incredibly cathartic experience to come to the end of the line of a long-running show you’ve grown to love, as it’s truly a bittersweet moment when you invest years of your life following a narrative and suddenly that narrative is no more.  In a pleasant surprise, the series ended on a musical note I hadn’t heard in quite some time:  the song “End of the Line” by The Traveling Wilburys.  The Wilburys hold a special place in my heart, as each and every band member (Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison… hell, even Ringo Starr) was a musical hero of mine in my youth.  Given, with the collective talent of the band, one might argue that they should have produced far better music than they did.  But they weren’t out to make revolutionary recordings– rather, each of the band’s members (some of the best singer/songwriters of all time) had already done that, and now they were simply being honest and trying to have some fun.  And I can’t say that I blame them.

Please to enjoy this simple but poignant song, “End of the Line.”


Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze–
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please–
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can–
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand.

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (at the end of the line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (at the end of the line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (at the end of the line)
Maybe a diamond ring

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong–
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong–
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay–
Well it’s all right, everyday is Judgment Day.

Maybe somewhere down the road aways (at the end of the line)
You’ll think of me, wonder where I am these days (at the end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (at the end of the line)
Purple haze

Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove–
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love–
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine–
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line.

Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive (at the end of the line)
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive (at the end of the line)
It don’t matter if you’re by my side (at the end of the line)
I’m satisfied

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and gray–
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say–
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live–
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive.

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze–
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please–
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine–
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line.

S.O.B.

So I happened to catch this performance when it originally aired last year, but when I finally got around to posting it to my blog, NBC had already taken the video down.  And while the band also has an “official” video of this song, it isn’t half as good as the live performance from The Tonight Show, so I refused to post it.  Well, lo and behold, The Tonight Show video is back, and I’m happy to get to share it tonight.

As soon as I saw this performance, this became my new favorite song.  Nathaniel Rateliff is kind of like if Joe Cocker and James Brown had a country/western rockabilly baby, and his band is one part Blues Brothers Band and one part Village People.  But they’re all soul.  I mean, they’re on Stax Records, for God’s sake- it doesn’t get much more legit than that.

So without further ado, here’s a link to the video, followed by the lyrics:

nathanielrateliff

I’m gonna need someone to help me–
I’m gonna need somebody’s hand.
I’m gonna need someone to hold me down–
I’m gonna need someone to care.
I’m gonna writhe and shake my body–
I’ll start pulling out my hair.
I’m going to cover myself with the ashes of you,
and nobody’s gonna give a damn.

Son of a bitch, give me a drink–
one more night escaping me.
Son of a bitch, I can’t get clean–
I’m gonna drink my life away.

Now for seventeen years I’ve been throwing them back–
seventeen more will bury me.
Can somebody please just tie me down?
Oh, somebody give me a goddamn drink.

Son of a bitch, give me a drink–
one more night, this can’t be me.
Son of a bitch, I can’t get clean–
I’m gonna drink my life away.

My heart was aching, hands are shaking–
bugs are crawling all over me.

Son of a bitch, give me a drink–
one more night, this can’t be me.
Son of a bitch, I can’t get clean–
I’m gonna drink my life away.

 

 

How Soon Is Now?

There are plenty of great rock anthems out there, but there are only a handful of nearly perfect singles in this world, and this gem by The Smiths is one of those tracks.  I’m old school, so I come from the line of thought that, much like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, you have to choose either The Smiths or The Cure– it’s theoretically impossible to like both bands equally, so you have to pick one.  Well, I choose The Cure because when it comes to emo angst, I’ll take Robert Smith’s sincerity over Morrissey’s any day of the week.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now” as one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s and also one of the greatest recordings of the last thirty years.  With Johnny Fuckin’ Marr’s hypnotic reverb riff and Morrissey’s haunting vocals, this is a song that sticks its hand right into your chest and grabs hold of your beating, bleeding heart just long and tightly enough for you to fully comprehend the pain of loneliness.

“I am human and I need to be loved– just like everybody else does.” 

Yup.

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular.

You shut your mouth–
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved,
just like everybody else does.

I am the son
and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular.

You shut your mouth–
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved,
just like everybody else does.

There’s a club if you’d like to go–
you could meet somebody who really loves you.
So you go and you stand on your own,
and you leave on your own,
and you go home and you cry
and you want to die.

When you say it’s gonna happen “now,”
well when exactly do you mean?
See I’ve already waited too long,
and all my hope is gone.

You shut your mouth–
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved,
just like everybody else does.

(apologies to The Smiths)