Monday, June 25, 2007

DOUBLE FEATURE: "international small arms traffic blues," from tallahassee / "golden boy," from ghana

today: like picking my teeth with a sword!

i got a call from someone who i didn't think who would call. someone made me think of this song, which is just, you know, a standard folk-blues with lots of overwrought metaphors about how unbearably dangerous and explosive their love is. weird thing was, though, we had a normal conversation. time passes, i guess, but the myth kinda hung in my mind. a photograph of a bomb. is this how these conversations go? i'm not sure. you tell me you're thinking about buying a house, i tell you i exercise more, you tell me you're going to a drawing class tomorrow, we shoehorn in a hushed 'i miss you,' i tell you dad's cat died, you tell me your mom falls down the stairs every day, we careen into something shadowed, something neither of us really want to put our hands on. both of us have learned something, and i can finally return to the line, in my mind, 'the way i feel about you baby can't explain it, you got the best of my love,' because darnielle says it in the past tense. it dawns on me that "ISATB" is a quiet song. one of the quietest. in the future, i will tell my grandkids, "i once knew a girl who wore yellow and had an extra muscle in her leg," and they'll bring me some more mashed carrots. nobody will get dashed against the rocks.



a mountain goats song for every season. i need a banner to fall under. i need a lot of phantom power. "golden boy" is...well, i have a lot of deep theories about how the song is a cynical portrait of consumerism and how we have replaced it with true spiritual enlightenment in our everyday lives, but hell, i'm wearing mesh shorts and drinking tea and writing and staring at birds. fuck all that, seriously, for a minute. "golden boy" is a song we can live under. one man, a monolith. darnielle never plays it live, i don't think, because he doesn't want to blow the whistle for the rapture too early. that's just a hunch though. so we can enjoy it here, on earth, as some sort of sign of strength. a hilarious sign of strength. a hilarious, strong song; a testament that human love has the capacity to RAIN LIKE ROCKS for something as simple as a peanut, that a guy would do more than one take of it just to channel the spirit. screw feelings, i'm going swimming.


Housewives? said...

It's funny in Traffic Blues I never took that "you got" to mean past tense, for some reason I always assumed there was an unpronounced “you’VE got” but listening to it again it’s not there. Really makes me listen to the song in a new light.

mp said...

i mean, i can't believe i'm about to dork out like this, but if you think about tallahassee as a narrative, 'isatb' comes after the big climactic moments ('no children'; 'see america right') and is sandwiched in between the sober songs songs ('peacocks'; 'have to explode'). i think it's a reflective moment more than anything--the worst stuff has already happened (sure, we get 'oceanographer's choice,' but the damage has been done).

anyway, yeah. it's a wrecker.