Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Verve's Urban Hymns: A sort-of review

The seduction
A lucid dream. Not some drugged out room filled with negativity. A simple fix. Pop the pill, forget about the rest. Let Dr. Robert worry. Butterfly with tangerine wings, caught in the strobe lights, chrysalis confused. Chase it down. In your lucid dream.

The truth
“We are the rolling people. Don’t know why”

“Where all the veins meet...”

“I called the doctor so he could relieve my pain. He has a little pill for me, just a little luxury”

“Weeping willow, pills under my pillow”


“Into the headlights. Another velvet morning for me”


“Don’t you find that its lonely?”

The wisdom
Life is not simple. There are easy ways to arrive at this conclusion. The object of your affection could return the favour with a little less enthusiasm that you would have liked. Like that movie. You could hate your job. Like that song. You could make so many compromises that your every move is shadowed with self-doubt. Like that year.

There are other ways to reach this conclusion as well...

Knowing that someone you love is going to die, and that the drugs will not help this time.
Realising that its not possible to walk through life and avoid bumping into people.
Experiencing that feeling of release. Two guitars, bass, drums. Epiphany...and then poof. It’s gone. True pain captured, sold to a world starving for something real, only to find that they ate it, found it bitter, spit it out.

The pain
"Richard, towering over the rest of the bobbing crowd, looked around wildly. This was a signal for whoever of us weren’t wasted to go to him. Talk to him, reassure him he wasn’t through the looking glass, that there was no giant butterfly in the loo, no rabbit with a machine gun at the door. Today was bad though, he just sat down in the middle of the club floor. My feelings have been betrayed, he kept yelling out. I was born a little damaged, look what they made. Cold-blooded as it sounds, I knew that would end up in a song.

Later, that evening we took a ride home in Simon’s beat-up Chevy. Richard kept putting his head through the window and yelling at the passers-by. We had one serious scare. We stopped for cigarettes, and everyone except Rich left the car for a few minutes. When we got back, he was missing. A few minutes later, we heard a noise above our heads. It was him, sitting up on the roof, saying ‘Bow down’ again and again. We freaked, raced up, persuaded him to come down. He didn’t protest much, seemed more numb that anything else. Was jumping on his mind that day? I don’t think so. Suicide wasn’t his thing..."

The schism
The fact is that I don’t know shit about what I’m saying. I only know sound and the worlds inherent. But that’s not enough. I don’t know uppers. Downers. X. LSD. Coke. Shrooms. Hash. I know not of these worlds, and it informs the fact that I am attempting to write about them. But I still try. I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me, even if I can’t relate to the pain in them.

But there will always be that gap, because I cannot put myself through any of it. There’s too much at stake. But if I were to feel tempted, the only reason I would not do it would be because I don’t have the guts. This will always trouble me.


Unknown said...

is music not a drug? an thing you take a hit off and experience vivid imagery and trip out?

a fan apart said...

you could say that. but there's no point confusing the two. then its just consumer culture.