From My Ears to Yours

I love the cinematic strings forlornly sweeping the love and cobwebs out of the corners of this song. If I listened to this song every day for the rest of my life, it still wouldn’t be enough because I have way more tears designated for this song than even that.  If ever there is a movie made out of my life, this would be on the soundtrack…please use it in the movie in the scene where I make the most self-destructive decision about love.

Do you like to listen to thought provoking music while watching David Lynchesque visuals that make you crap your pants a little? Do you like music that skewers religion, all while occasionally employing the use of the fireball sound from Mario Brothers? Then, boy, do I have the video for you! I have a thing for the whole fallen preacher persona…but that’s another topic for another day…and another kind of profession….

While I love the album version of this song, as it has a beautifully eerie string arrangement-this version totally kicks the album version in the crotch due to John Darnielle’s awkwardly sweet, shoeless vulnerability in this performance. This song is the song I wish I had written about my life experience, with its opening line of,  “If you really want to conjure up a ghost, cultivate a space for the things that hurt you most.” The images of scorpions crawling up out of the sand, waiting for them to find you, crawling under the door, being besieged & beset by them–but also protective of them…is a brilliant metaphor for all those things that can hurt you from your past that you become oddly possessive of. I have a whole garden of scorpions that I would never let anyone else grind into the pavement like a lit cigarette.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a certain gothy sensibility about this pale, gloomy girl.  This song is my favorite off an album celebrating that glorious subset of culture…My favorite lyric: “There’s a club where you like to go/You could meet someone whose lost like you/Revel in the darkness like a pair of open graves/Fumble through the fog for a season or two.” Be warned, if you were ever to whisper these lyrics to me–there may be a Pepe Le Pew situation on your hands that you are just not ready for, my friend.

This song came off the album Carrie & Lowell which I think is one of the most brilliant albums I have heard in recent years. This album is a journey, as grief is. This album is guts-bearing personal but also hands-open accessible. This album is an incarceration of one’s own grief over what cannot be–but also the acceptance of it, by the end.

sandpaper + honey = sexy. listen to the song. it will make sense.

I don’t think this song could be more perfect in any way–from lyrics to his delivery. When I think about my ex, this is usually the song I think of….he told me I had to hear this great song. Behold, lover, gold. I remember one time we were driving to see Rufus Wainwright perform in Albany. My brakes were going on my car-but we were young, in love & foolish–what bad thing could happen to people like that? I had dubbed this onto cassette (my car was old, ok?!). We listened to it and prayed to a God we weren’t sure listened to people like us that we would get to Albany in one piece. I remember Alex kept making me laugh because he was doing this weird thing with his hands, like zig-zagging them to mimic what the backup singers were doing with their voices. I can’t explain it–but it cracked us up. We were just so happy in that moment.  That is how I always want to remember us: windows down, driving in a car with barely any brakes on a sunny day, listening to Jeff Buckley, looking forward to our destination and laughing at something only we found funny…while the rest of the world was jealous of what we had.



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March 31, 2018

… the comparison of the studio version of Outer Scorpion Squadron with the linked live performance is interesting! The studio version has odd features such as dropping the sung voice and finishing stanzas as spoken word, a surreally demotivated tone and consistently anticlimactic dynamics, whereas for some reason the live gig has very little of that and follows more conventional graduations of intensity.

Listening to Jeff Buckley for the second time, and the Sufjan Stevens song, have almost made me feel connected to the human race, but also have made me question whether I’ve really felt anything.

(I’m coming to the conclusion that music is something I love but do not like, and that I think I would actually prefer this to liking music without loving it. It would be best of all both to like and love it though –not sure I’ll ever be that blessed. It seems so simple for others!)

Glad you have those memories of your ex-husband. Somehow positive memories can always be replayed uncorrupted.

(By the way, I actually thought welding antique typebars onto rings was beyond brilliant. That detail stood out for me.)

I anticipate looking through the second round of music commentary that I see you’ve just posted.

March 31, 2018

@notapplicable i also like to compare the 2. i prefer the live, as i said, simply because i feel it is truer to the emotional nature of the song….him taking his glasses off, his body language, the way he shakes his head, leans on his toes as he sings through lines–is all very childlike and vulnerable…the song is about being haunted by the child abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather.

i resisted liking sufjan for a long time because i felt like people were just over-hyping this young guy when he first came out. it was just a little too ironic or something…but after listening to his stuff in recent years, i realized he is as talented as they all said. his album illinoise really makes the instrumentalist in me happy……..and carrie & lowell is one of my favorite albums of all time.

it is such a sad statement that you love music but are unable to like it.  i am someone who likes & loves music…i listen to music about over 75% of my day…i wear headphones at work, at the store, at home while doing housework & while i sleep. it is an almost obsessive need for it. i spend a lot of time thinking about music. i spend a lot of time looking up new music to love….reading music reviews, etc….but i have sentimental attachments to music, so it’s not surprising. during the hardest times in my life, i have always leaned on it to explore my feelings or express them. i used to write music in high school and college–but i can’t afford a piano now & don’t like keyboards, so….nope.

i have had friends who got divorced who just hate everything about their ex and are so miserable when recalling them. i don’t hate alex. i feel sorry for him. perhaps that is the difference. i am glad for the good memories i have of him. it took a while to get to a point where they didn’t cause me pain….but now that i’m there, i think it is a good thing. i think that to hate everything would dishonor the whole experience & i don’t want to do that.

the wedding rings were pretty amazing. he dressed like beethoven. he had crazy curly grey streaked hair….and wore a burgundy ascot with his tux. i wore burgundy & black dress. we had love poems printed for people to read at the tables….neruda, bukowski, e.e. cummings…. it was a pretty cool wedding. 🙂 i’m glad it was so wonderful & i have that–because i don’t think i will ever get married again.

especially because technically i am still married to alex wherever he may be.

anyway-happy easter, if you celebrate. happy april fool’s day, if you celebrate that. rabbit rabbit, if you subscribe to that superstition. 🙂