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learning love songs

est. 2008

Month

April 2013

4/16/13

Something about new releases from a longtime favorite band speaks volumes about the confluence of the past and present. On one hand, there’s the comfort of the familiar, but on the other, it’s a messy meeting, because here you have these expectations and standards and you have no idea what you’re going to get this time around.

“The way you pull me in sometimes, I almost feel 
The picture in my head is just too real. 
It’s gonna be how it is,
There’s some things you don’t change 
I’m done with telling myself that story

How slowly we built the walls,
In years they pile on 
I will steal you back 
Funny how the smallest lie 
Might live a million times 
I will steal you back

Here we go, here we go, we’ll take on so much pain
To feel secure, or not feel anything 
I only pick a fight I know I’m sure to lose 
So how can I not hold my hope for you?
 

How slowly we built the walls
In years they pile on 
I will steal you back 
Funny how the smallest lie 
Might live a million times 
I will steal you back”
~I Will Steal You Back
Jimmy Eat World, Damages

Personally, I’m excited for new Jimmy Eat World. Something about this track sounds very Bleed American to me, something very familiar in those chords getting held out and those straight-talk lyrics. I also love how guitar-heavy it is, glad that hasn’t changed. But is it recycled? I’m not sure of the reaction this track is getting from their fan base so far, but I recall Invented seem to kind of fall on deaf ears (though I really loved it). A band that means a lot of things to a lot of people always will, but it doesn’t mean they’ll relate to the latest effort. I find I’m able to in this case, though. There’s something mature about this track, a balance of impassioned frustration met with restraint and perspective. Although come to think of it, JEW has always had that feeling mastered (see Clarity). 

Still, this isn’t the same Jimmy Eat World from the early 2000s, because their sound has definitely evolved from its pop-punk roots to something far more adult, far more alt-rock and dare I say mainstream (in a good way!). But hey, let’s face it, I’m not the same either, we’ve all grown. I almost love this band more now than I did then, knowing the growth and change between their albums is parelled in me.

4/9/13

In love with this guy’s playing, and how the recording seems to pick up the wind in the background…


His fingers are so fast. He knows just the right notes to hit. His style is soft, effortless, speaking to the softness of the heart with an intimate, quiet, nearly classical approach. Here’s more that’s not live but exceptionally pretty. I have been quite interested in learning how to pick more and so far I’m a total disaster so I can’t help but watch and learn and want.

Darling you’re with me, always around me.
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you, under my body.
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter, or show me heart
Come on love, come on love.
Watch me fall apart, watch me fall apart.

And I’ll be yours to keep.
A wind in the shadow, a whale song in the deep.
A wind in the shadow, a whale song in the deep.

Darling you’re with me, always around me.
Only love, only love.

Darling I feel you, under my body.
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter, or show me heart
Come on love, come on love.
Watch me fall apart, watch me fall apart.”

~Only Love
Ben Howard, Every Kingdom

4/2/13

“I’m feeling like I’m falling behind”

Sometimes context happens when you’re not expecting it.

It’s not exactly deja vu, it’s not exactly fate or a message from the heavens, but it happens when you’re alone with your thoughts just enough – not enough to drive yourself crazy but enough to find yourself still. Maybe your eyes close and your skin shivers just so and your mind clears just enough that you see yourself from 10,000 feet, your present life in all its context.

Head on the desk, ear next to the speakers, new Wonder Years blaring and stirring my soul, context is key. There’s a familiarity to this, to contemplating aimlessness and mediocrity and ambition and all the world’s pains and possibilities. It’s been there through it all, all the heart-versus-heart decisions. All the family trials, and nostalgia of  knew-them-when friends, all the lessons in the arts and sciences of self-control. It’s all felt very real to me, all of it, but it is all very fragile, like vapor drifting through my fingers. I can see it, but there’s no chance of holding on. It will vanish, and give way to something else, just like the wisps of hope and love and fear and faith before it.

I’m not sure if there’s anyone out there, actively recording and popularizing their music, who captures mid-20s existentialism with as much fury and anger and hope and perspective (or better bass riffs) than The Wonder Years. Yes, they throw down incredibly hard, and yes, if there is a pop punk scene worth examining in full these days, these are the guys are holding up the epicenter, gang vocals in tow. But lyrically, there’s so much to uncover, for more than fans of the genre. Each listen brings out another metaphor, another pattern, another reference. TWY lyrics have a very conversational structure, offering a comfortable disguise for the literary, as they are metaphorical and measured enough to give shape worthy of a story. Just absolutely biting my tongue to see what the rest of “The Greatest Generation” holds after falling in love with this track (and the band all over again).

“Well I’m terrified, like a kid in the 60s
staring at the sky, waiting for the bomb to fall
And it’s all a lie, what they say about stability, 
it scares me sometimes, 
the emptiness I see in my eyes 

And all the kids names I’ve ever liked
Are tied to tragedy
I don’t my children growing up to be anything like me

I’ve been looking tears in the screen door
(tears in the screen door)
I’ve been waiting for another disaster
(another disaster)
I was kind of hoping you’d stay
I was kind of hoping you’d stay

I keep a flashlight and a small knife in the corner of my bedstand
I keep flashlight and the train times
But you wouldn’t understand
How could you understand? 

Jesus Christ, I’m 26 
All the people I graduated with
All have kids, all have wives
All of people who care if they come home at night
Well Jesus Christ, did I fuck up?

I’ve been looking for tears in the screen door
(Tears in the screen door)
I’ve been waiting or another disaster
(Another disaster)
I was kind of hoping you’d stay
I was kind of hoping you’d stay
I was kind of hoping you’d stay.”
~Passing Through a Screen Door
The Wonder Years, The Greatest Generation

God Save The Wonder Years. I am so unbelievably stoked to hear this album, the rest of their catalog has only gotten better with time in my eyes.

(Sidenote: I participated in AP.net’s live chat with TWY this week, and Soupy answered my question! Well, one of them. He did not weigh in on liquor privatization in Pennsylvania, probably because he is straight edge and thus unaffected by the availability of alcohol. I knew it was a longshot, but just throwing this out there so I’m on the written record about it.)

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