Archive for July, 2004

but i knew exactly where i was

I’m listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness this afternoon.  I found the first disc while Neil was cleaning out the mudroom and, after a vague attempt to get my other recently found CD (The Verve, ‘Urban Hymns’, quite possibly one of the best rock albums of the 90’s if not the history of music) to play, I popped it in.

I’ve been listening to the Smashing Pumpkins since I bought ‘Siamese Dream’ in, oh, I don’t know…1994, maybe?  I hadn’t really owned an album like Dream before.  I had begun to dabble into teenage angst and woe and somehow, Billy Corgan voiced my rage like a pro…something my long-time love, Adam Duritz, had never been able to do.  Adam would sit in the rain on a park bench  and gaze longingly into space while he lamented his sadness.

Billy would jump onto the bench, whip out a can of gasoline and set the world on fire. 

It was this blatent ‘fuck you’ attitude that drew me to the Pumpkins.  I wore Siamese Dream out.  This was, of course, in the days before I owned CDs.  The paint wore away, no longer indicated Side A or Side B.  I didn’t care.  I listened to it until I knew the words better than Billy himself, knew the rage in his voice, the longing in his words.

Mellon Collie came out in 1995 and it BLEW ME AWAY.   I was fifteen, pissed off and misunderstood, unhappy with every aspect of my life.  I was writing at my most hard core then, just beginning to write on a computer.  I listened to it as loud as my little RCA crap-stereo from Kmart would go.  Believing and feeling the words…despite all my rage, I was still just a rat in a cage. 

It was truly, in my opinion, their last great album.  Now, I know, ‘adore’ is simply beautiful, but for the pissed off angry teen brain, you can’t get any better then Mellon Collie (and ‘machina’, did anyone really even listen to that).  ‘Siamese Dream’ was the angry childhood of the Pumpkins, their slingshot and cherry bombs era, something I think this generation (which is STILL my generation, but I don’t feel any of the angsty teenage anger bands had that strange, sumptous rage like Billy and Co. OWNED on ‘Siamese’.  No one nowadays has what they had).  I feel Mellon Collie was their record where you realized they were SERIOUS.  Billy had the genius of a musician that I don’t think the real world will really recognize until much later.  Although I feel that Mellon Collie really thrust the Pumpkins into that much-dreaded “mainstream”, I don’t think that the casual listener really delved into the rest of the Pumpkins’ opus.  It was an EPIC album that suddenly burst forth as one of the finest creations of rock on the planet.  I always say it’s better to burn off than to fade away.  And the Pumpkins did just that (save the cartoonish position Corgan know holds as the headman of the feel good, ultra crap rock band Zwan.  We’re not even going to go there.).  They honestly went down in a blazing, psychedelic ice cream truck, safe into the part of brain who forgots about them for a while.  Until they poke through again, reminding me off things that I hadn’t thought of in years.

“i fear that i am ordinary, just like everyone

to lie here and die among the sorrows adrift among the days

for everything i ever said and everything i’ve ever done is gone and dead

as all things must surely have to end and great loves will one day have to part

i know that i am meant for this world my life has been extraordinary blessed and cursed and won

time heals but i’m forever broken by and by the way

have you ever heard the words i ‘m singing in these song? it’s for the girl i’ve loved all along

can a taste of love be so wrong as all things must surely have to end

and great loves will one day have to part i know that i am meant for this world

and in my mind as i was floating far above the clouds some children laughed

i’d fall for certain for thinking that i’d last forever

but i knew exactly where i was

and i knew the meaning of it all

and i knew the the distance to the sun

and i knew the echo that is love

and i knew the secrets in your spires

and i knew the emptiness of youth

and i knew the solitude of heart

and i knew the murmurs of the soul

and the world is drawn into your hands

and the world is etched upon your heart

and the world so hard to understand

is the world you can’t live without

and i knew the silence of the world.”

-‘Muzzle’, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

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exile on main street

Hi.

It’s been a year and nearly two months since my last post. I lost jenlyn.com last summer and haven’t had the gumption to start again. I found myself needing a place to put my thoughts, other than in my head. Summer always does this to me. I find myself needing an outlet, online or offline, to store every thought that has built up in my head since last summer.

I’m listening to the Stone’s ‘Exile on Main Street’ this afternoon. It arrived in the mail today and, I have to say, I enjoy is immensly. That’s another thing. I’ve found myself seeking out the music of my youth.

Well, not nessacarily MY youth. The bands that have been spinning in my CD player lately are mostly those of my PARENT’S youth…even what the may have listened to when they were my age, an age I am beginning to refer to less and less as “youth”. I find myself drawn to this kind of music. Maybe because it’s a precious relic from another age, a simpler time, a time that I never experienced but I time I yearn for increasingly every day. I don’t know what it is. The last couple of weekends, I’ve been playing Zeppelin II and the Who’s greatest hits on a loop. I needed, no CRAVED more. The way it makes me feel…I can’t describe it. It makes my soul feel quiet and still. Since our record player is on the eternal fritz, I went on HALF.COM and bought more to assuage my craving. They don’t make a patch for this kind of thing.

Maybe I need something to hold on to. Throughout the winter and spring, I listen to electronica CONSTANTLY. And Coldplay. That’s it. On a loop in my car. For weeks. I was starving for something with a little more substance, something that would stick to my ribs (not that Coldplay is not substantial. Sorry. They are my favorite band on the planet…but I find either a.)I need to enjoy them in moderation, as Chris’s heartbreak and sorrow will drag you down into a blur of Radiohead-like shrills and pining or b.)they NEED to put out another album, stat. I have worn both Parachutes AND ROBTH down and the live CD is great but…one can swallow only so many tears for loves lost.). Electronica can bring you higher emotionally and mentally, but sometimes, especially this time of year, it feels like a Snickers bar to me. You eat it when you’re hungry, you dance for joy and you end up feeling empty 20 minutes later, with a headache and an urge to brush your teeth.

So I found something with a little more meat on it’s bones. There’s something incredibly sexy and seductive about listening to Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan. I like the way each of them makes me feel. Sure, they sing about the same things as our modern “artists” do: lost love, found love, drugs and love. But they do it BETTER. More sincere. There’s something hugely enjoyable about listening to an album and knowing that it is incredibly organic (ok, ok I know there are synths on a lot of Zeppelin’s albums, the Who, too). I think I could compare this music to pulling a tomato from it’s vine in the garden and biting into it, letting the sunwarmed tangy flesh to melt on your tongue, having to brush off the dirt from the skin before taking another bite. It’s feels like the dust on your shoes or the wind through your fingers as you’re driving down the highway. It’s achingly raw and real and true.

Probably explains why I was kind of cranky this afternoon when I returned from the dump this afternoon to find Neil listening to the blaring, Euroshit techno babble (it has a name: Chumbawumba) that was nearly turning my stomach. Granted, they are a really inventive and interesting group (they are NOT a band), but it was giving me an aspartame headache. It grated on my nerves until he finally tired of it and threw Blur in the stereo (not a bad choice but a bit rich for my tastes today). So sue me for being a bit frowny all afternoon. I threw Exile in when he left and I feel much better now.

Quite a long post about practically nothing at all. Life has remained painfully normal these last 14 months. Neil and I kicked Mikey (see previous posts) out the week of my birthday. We moved into the downstairs apartment in June when Lora (also see previous posts) moved out. I still work where I used to work. I actually quit the last week of December (I couldn’t do it anymore. My Christmas was LITERALLY ruined and I was pulling my air out) but they offered me a new position, which I do enjoy. I feel more comfortable there these days, probably because I’ve worked there nearly four years. Feels like home.

Talk to you soon.

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