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Television Personalities – Look Back in Anger Lyrics 3 years ago
Definitely not Bowie's track from his Lodger LP (one of the Berlin trilogy).

TV Personalities were a great band, indeed. Bettie Serveert: an indie rock band from the Matador label—who, admittedly, I know only from their mid-'90s work—did a worthy cover of this song.

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Shriekback – Achtung Lyrics 3 years ago
Distribution of the Jam Science LP had been cocked up: by vacuous, vile record companies fighting over who possessed the songwriting royalties. Something like that.

Avoid the cover with the giant screw. The Arista LP from Europe is genuine.

Let's hope this situation isn't permanent. Oh, a handful of tracks are available on compilations—themselves OOP, mostly—but not proper album in its entirety.

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Yes – I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People Lyrics 3 years ago
@[xlr51:30570]: Call any vegetable / and the chances are good / awww, the vegetable will respond to You / Standing there shiny and proud by your side / Holding your hand while the neighbors decide / Why is a vegetable something to hide?

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Yes – I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People Lyrics 3 years ago
@[PinkLolita:30569]: Yes, there are references to Lewis Carroll here: "the Red Queen," for example. The complex, intertwined themes are not unlike a 'rabbit hole.'

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Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love Lyrics 3 years ago
@[steve82c:29399] :Though I don’t share your viewpoint, I find your interpretation engrossing. This sort of yearning you express: it feels lovely but (to me) hopeless.

During rare, semi-delusional episodes? Suddenly the Christianity of my childhood feels warm and comforting again. That is, from the congregation I first encountered, at age four.

After my parents refused to drive me downtown, I went to a VBS with a lurid (almost sadistic, for such small children) emphasis on suffering and blood. As a prodigy whose search for (any and all!) knowledge had been inexhaustible, I asked questions. Many of them. Adults at Bible School assuming I’d been sowing doubt among the other kids, ultimately asked me not to return.

Already, I’d been wondering whether God was punishing me for my wicked thoughts. Now this: a terrible sickening lurch, deeper into self-hatred. Desperate for solace—from loneliness, solitude (and much worse—for years, I worried. All of this: was it deserved?

Three or four years later (at age eleven) I reached a decision. No omnipotent, loving God would permit this. Unimaginable.

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Can – Pinch Lyrics 3 years ago
Damo Suzuki’s inchoate inward spirit: was he emitting outpourings of glossolalia? Word salad? Or…merely an endless source of mondegreens, the cynical might opine.

“She gotta puts on bad” could well be It. I heard it as, “She gonna piss on your bed.”

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Can – Vitamin C Lyrics 3 years ago
@[cinder1fk4:29398] : in the British Isles they pronounce "vitamin" with a short Eye.

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Can – Vitamin C Lyrics 3 years ago
@[futatorius:29397] : turning up the volume on “Halleluwah,” while all my neighbors are at work? Makes me think of Tago Mago’s previous track. Not that other one: a stellar (Stella?) but overplayed song—of the same title—by Yello. Must be I’m clearing out the cobwebs today.

Most of Can's recordings feel brilliant, and only a few (“Mary Mary…” ugh) dated. Particularly on SACD.

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The Field Mice – It Isn't Forever Lyrics 3 years ago
These direct, plain words hardly need explication.

It's among my favorite of their songs because of the feeling it conveys. Also how the music slowly builds to—well, it's the Field Mice—what do you expect?

Less is more.

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Randy Newman – Last Night I Had A Dream Lyrics 3 years ago
Someone has a confusing and disturbing dream—in which you appear, behaving in what seems to be an unusual manner—but hey, whose fault is that?

Yours! For being weird in someone else's dream. How dare you.

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Randy Newman – Lover's Prayer Lyrics 4 years ago
It's on the LP Sail Away, from 1972. My guess: the guy is old and uptight, and the girl is a young hippie.

She wants to discuss the Vietnam War: a subject way beyond his scope.

The man (the unreliable narrator, a favorite Newman technique in those days) only wanted to get laid. Not to Talk Politics, FFS!

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Yo La Tengo – Detouring America With Horns Lyrics 4 years ago
I had wondered whether the words "[You're/We're] on [our/the] way to Miami" were in there.

Perhaps the ambiguous title made me think not only of arranging studio recordings, but also of road trips. Never felt certain of any words in the lyrics; this transcription only raises new questions.

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T-bone Burnett – Shut It Tight Lyrics 4 years ago
No one else looks in the mirror and speaks the brutal truth like T Bone. Here's one example among many. Reading these lyrics on the page, they don't seem to scan. Yet it works: with pristine rhythm and phrasing, somehow never calling attention to itself (like the simple, direct words he chooses).

I tend to forget about this one; it's a gem. He's hardly the first to take notice of deep, unavoidable life-and-death paradoxes. But beautifully f-ing illustrated.

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John Lennon – Look At Me Lyrics 4 years ago
I'd enjoyed the song as soon as I heard it.

But only on a superficial level.

Until I noticed these words and took time to think about them:

Who am I?
Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows but me
Who am I?
Nobody else can see
Just you and me
Who are we?

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Richard Thompson – Night Comes In Lyrics 4 years ago
One crucial verse—the one which tears apart everything preceding it—was omitted:

I may find that street tomorrow
Leave the shadows of my lonely room
See my one: my one and only
Heart and soul; I'm coming soon

The evocation of deep, meaningful ties—of friendship, and love—remains. But only as an imaginary and desperate hope.

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His Name Is Alive – Chances Are We Are Mad Lyrics 4 years ago
One imagines Defever coaching his vocalists (on this LP, that'd be Karin Oliver and Karen Neal, I think) to maintain abstraction and emotional distance in their vocal work.

Even if only during a brief passage, it's an atypically passionate performance.

This set of peculiarly-beautiful tracks (Home is In Your Head) remains sufficiently complex to offer attentive listeners further secrets and surprises throughout a couple of decades, or more.

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His Name Is Alive – My Feathers Needed Cleaning Lyrics 4 years ago
We're presented with three tracks, grouped under the name "Song of Schizophrenia"

"Hope Called in Sick" begins with a ticking clock and faintly-audible sound collage: suddenly erupting into heavily-distorted guitar.

The latter two songs are more melodic. "My Feathers Needed Cleaning" is the only one with lyrics, in a pleasing melody but oddly lacking in phrasing. The overly-regular delivery and rhythm lack emotion. Imagine hearing a voice. Initially, you may have understood it wasn't real, but (over time) you've come to accept its presence.

An unknown force intends to bury you alive (no matter whether you want it), but assures you it’s for a purpose. Difficult to think of being "taken" deeper underground as anything but a terrifying prospect. No matter how urgent it might seem "to better hear the thunder."

Immediately after, "The Well" begins. The third song’s gorgeous melody—wordlessly vocalized—is accompanied primarily by acoustic guitar.

Taken together? One gets the impression madness is filled with sudden changes: perplexing, terrifying, but occasionally evoking a soothing and unearthly beauty.

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Yello – Domingo Lyrics 4 years ago
The eccentric manifesto of an religious anti-religious cult: shouted by the proud inheritor of their late charismatic leader's role, at a meeting. Shortly before their predicted apocalypse is slated to begin.

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Magazine – Cut-Out Shapes Lyrics 4 years ago
We met at a psychiatric unit
She was in for having habits no one else would try

Fucking brilliant.

Love the way the song sorta decays and folds itself up into a flatpack, punctuated by Devoto's repeated, barely-audible warning

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Beck – Fume Lyrics 4 years ago
@[yowza_bean:26307] : you should check out "Satan Gave me a Taco." Beck's ongoing references to Satan (and decay, and death) seem hard to miss. But I'm listening to Mutations way too often, probably

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Elliott Smith – A Question Mark Lyrics 4 years ago
@[_christina:25994] : wonder whether the title is a bit of wordplay. What might have been his friend's name?

"I've got a question, Mark."
[becomes]
...A Question Mark

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Elvis Costello – Green Shirt Lyrics 4 years ago
@[ddirks:25784] : Yeah, you're right: the 'dot dot dot dot' drumming does remind one of the aforementioned typist. Somehow never occurred to me. (Maybe because I hadn't touched a manual typewriter since I was six years old.)

I'd been thinking of the rhythm of soldiers marching. Or their automatic rifles: which might suddenly be turned on whoever's "gonna get it."

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Guided by Voices – Liquid Indian Lyrics 4 years ago
What initially seems abstract and formless? Closer examination reveals broad, intricate levels of wordplay most songwriters wouldn’t attempt.

For example, having words + lines in the first verse “rhyme” (several times) with those in the second:

arcane => soft clay

offices => orifice

quivering => delivering

structures => deluxe

information => formations

skips flips sips => stamps cramps

More challenging than abcb? Hell yes.

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Electric Light Orchestra – 10538 Overture Lyrics 4 years ago
Referring to the central figure only by digits: it lends a dystopian feel to this peculiarly nebulous composition. Even by today's standards: the overdriven, upper-midrange screech of the guitar drone feels unearthly.

Not sure whether the song was recorded after THX 1138 hit the theaters. Maybe slightly before.

From hearing their first two LPs: who'd have predicted ELO would become a consistent source of symphonic pop confections? WIth a desperate isn't-it-Beatlesque sheen dripping from every groove.

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Robyn Hitchcock – Autumn Sea Lyrics 4 years ago
Bewildering and delightful, how English names—biographical or geographical—might be pronounced: Featherstonhaugh and Cholmondeley for example. As for their spelling: a sort of exercise, for those with time to kill?

Whoever said Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language? “Common!” Poppycock and piffle. Anyone who’s lived an extended period in both lands will know: half-a-lifetime attempting to grasp and recall their differences? Not sufficient.

Imagine Londoners weary of Americans asking how to get to Lie-chester Square. Often I do, when hearing “I Something You”: though I wonder about
the lines: “In Leicester Square/it’s the place to be.” Mildly facetious, I suspect: but who knows what’s on Robyn’s mind.

Or in it. Those fortunate to have seen Robyn live—or familiar with Storefront Hitchcock—know: he possesses talents beyond guitar, lyrics, voice and harmonica. Not sure whether I wish more of his monologues were recorded. Hearing them only occasionally, they’re akin to a delicacy. You wouldn’t eat caviar every day. Nor century eggs, scrapple or lutefisk. (That’s a digression, not a critique.)

Extended CD versions of Fegmania! include a live version of “Heaven.” Which begins with a tale of lonely prospectors huddled around campfires, waiting for the floating prairie cathedral to arrive. An improvisational gift? Can’t imagine anyone laboriously scribbling out meta-Lewis-Carrol-via-Syd reveries, then memorizing and performing them.

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Bruce Springsteen – Blinded By The Light Lyrics 4 years ago
@[lozz588:25597] ...and, they left out three of the verses. That is, if you’re comparing Springsteen’s with Manfred Mann’s LP version. As opposed the AM radio hit: which leaves out even more. Like the middle eight, which treads around the edge of, “Can I do it until I need glasses?”

Song has plenty of subtext ‘bout sex—and a bit of drugs, and lotsa rock ‘n roll—more obviously so, in Springsteen's version.

The verses cut by Manfred Mann include the phrases:
“fleshpot mascot”
“...kidnapped handicap was complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap”
…which, I s'pose, is a sop to those from the record company who found those scary werds weird like a rainbow beard?

The one with:
“some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer, playin’ backyard bombardier”?
Well….don’t know why it got left on the studio floor, so to speak.

Does anyone of this matter? The whole song has a seriously trippy vibe. But it’s not as that makes it different from much of anything else written during the era.

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The Police – Miss Gradenko Lyrics 4 years ago
@[sillybunny:25546] : @[sillybunny:25546] : During work on “Maxwell's Silver Hammer” Paul McCartney insisted on an extraordinarily-large number of takes. John, George and Ringo somehow resisted the impulse to bestow upon Paul the same ultimate fate as anyone who’d been a minor annoyance to Maxwell.

Anyhow, that’s what I’ve heard. But who knows. All those rumors…

Abbey Road is my second-favorite Beatles LP (after Revolver). Despite being unusually consistent, relative to the band’s other post-Sgt. Pepper efforts? Upon hearing the first seconds of “Octopus' Garden” I’ll always press the Skip button...urgently.

I have similar feelings about another track on Side A. Damn though, but everything on side B—from “Because” onward—sounds as if they were capable of continuing, sustained genius.

Which is odd, in retrospect; anyone could tell what was going to happen (with no need to rely on gossip). Aside from the occasional gem? The White Album and Let it Be are the sounds of four individuals (not a collective whole): absolutely confident they'd be praised for anything they did. No matter how clumsy or ill-advised.

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T. Rex – Jeepster Lyrics 4 years ago
@[FranknFurter:25488] : Precisely. She's got the sleek lines of a Jaguar, and he's nothing more than a dumpy little Jeepster...but he'll do anything for her, 'cause that's all he's got.

Kinda like a glam-rock variation on Cole Porter's "You're the Top." Granted Porter's lyrics are also suffused with an idiosyncratic subtext. Some of them make this particular T.Rex song (by comparison) seem almost tame. But even though it's been a l-o-n-g time since 1934? Most folks still can't figure it what he was on about.

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Sonic Youth – Society Is A Hole Lyrics 4 years ago
@[whiskeyclonehotel:24706] : For many years I've wondered whether the title of this song was a variation on the phrase "...society, as a whole..." but this is the first I've heard any facts regarding the specific source. Or, maybe this was nothing more than my own peculiar mondegreen.

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Can – Deadlock Lyrics 4 years ago
@[tomalder:24612] : transcribing Damo Suzuki! I admire the effort. In many instances, you can't do much better than guess.

It's sorta like trying the same with Michael Stipe circa Murmur (the first full-length LP by R.E.M.) Often they don't "make sense," not to mere mortals. So what's more difficult to decipher? The language/culture barrier, or an even-more deliberate intention to be obscure and non-linear?

Most of the time I prefer to think of their voices as abstract sound. However it's difficult to "turn off" the mind's attempt to wring actual words from the material.

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Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited Lyrics 4 years ago
@[BlindBoyGrunt:24554] : I'm guessing you mean the Hay Wain triptych by Hieronymus Bosch? (There's also the Hay Wain painting by John Constable, but I can't imagine how it'd fit into this.)

Not that Brueghel the Elder wasn't a painter of tremendous importance. But if you want scenarios of human cruelty (and universal absurdity) to fuel your most-peculiar nightmares? Bosch's mastery is indisputable. Or Garden of Earthly Delights: another triptych (and in this instance, title) with a brutal sting in its tail.

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Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home Lyrics 4 years ago
Ever watch Synecdoche, New York?

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Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home Lyrics 4 years ago
@ plainkey,
who says:

' The "take the long way home” that immediately follows is now an admonition- it is saying "hey, take time out to think about your life". '

"Why should you care if you're feeling good." The line cuts two ways.
1. Why should *I* care, so long as I'm feeling good?
2. I shouldn't give a damn whether I'm feeling good or not. My LIFE is ♬❍♍☩ and I *KNOW* it.

Excellent analysis. Thanks for sharing it!

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Josef K – Forever Drone Lyrics 4 years ago
Not a song I play often anymore, but I just had to create an entry for it. Maybe someone'll come along and reply, "I see what you did there"

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Aztec Camera – Just Like Gold Lyrics 4 years ago
I used to play the 7-inch in my dorm room. I've just now heard this song for the first time in over 30 years and I've got chills everywhere. There's almost no song structure but the melody. No verse chorus verse, almost no repetition. And Still it's Insanely Catchy. what a talent, Roddy Frame. he's younger than me. unbelievable.

why has this never been reissued? shameful.

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Magazine – Rhythm Of Cruelty Lyrics 5 years ago
Compare this—or nearly any other “love song” by Magazine—with the lyrics of their song “My Tulpa,” in which the tables are turned on Howard Devoto. The tone of ambiguous sadomasochism is there, as usual: oh yes. But the song’s narrator debases himself, in hopes of gaining an iota of attention from the target of his infatuation. Who (oh yeah) happens to be male, in that particular instance.

In Devoto’s songs about women, though? He expresses condescension, a desire to escape, and an assumption she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

To be fair, he IS far more intelligent than your average bloke.

Also, it’s difficult to examine this gender dynamic more closely. I’m unaware of any tracks he’s written—other than “My Tulpa”—in which male-to-male attraction is explicitly present.

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Van Morrison – And It Stoned Me Lyrics 5 years ago
How to capture simple pleasures: the evanescence of a commonplace, yet perfect moment? An almost impossible task.

One which Van accomplished—brilliantly so—in less than five minutes of melody and words. On Moondance and Astral Weeks he stood at the peak of his considerable gifts. We can all feel fortunate to hear the results.

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Patti Smith – Kimberly Lyrics 5 years ago
The bit about "the storm settled in my belly" would suggest pregnancy, also.

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The Beatles – We Can Work It Out Lyrics 5 years ago
@[Uncommon:23111] : yes and yes. Dead on target.. Compare this track's attitude to the relatively-mature outlook of "Getting Better," an uncomfortable look in the mirror.

Musically, though? "We Can Work it Out" is stronger. Though the comparison seems almost unfair. A large proportion of the Beatles' work is at a level higher than most bands ever achieve in their entire careers.

For example: I might select Revolver and Abbey Road as their most consistently-great LPs. Though in saying so, I'm hardly intending to criticize Rubber Soul or Sgt. Pepper by comparison.

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Robyn Hitchcock – Sounds Great When You're Dead Lyrics 5 years ago
The whole third verse is a wonder. Lyrically, the deeply-unsettling mega-dysfunctionality has been left behind. Or seems to have been: except for the bit about "searched for everything like you," which expertly unravels the apparent loving devotion. Also the piano part is nearly the same, but Robyn inserts some barely-noticeable atonality, giving it an unbalanced effect.

If you listen to the song, he sings:
"But baby, let me show you"
...which is absolutely crucial to the song's tone of slowly-creeping insanity.

Yes, the other phrase can be found by searching on Google. Having typed mostly from memory (but also playing the song, to confirm subtleties of wording I might accidentally miss)? I listened to the track once again to verify. It's a single syllable, and the word is "show."

Why even bother asking people to submit lyrics, if those running the site will then simply substitute the Google Play version? The participants here are fans, passionate about music. Not data-entry employees "adding value" to cellphone features.

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John Cale – Taking Your Life in Your Hands Lyrics 5 years ago
In Cale's autobiography (What's Welsh for "Zen"), he said he hopes it's obvious enough: Mama is being taken to prison, because she killed several people.

But whether she killed her own children? He wanted to leave that ambiguous

He complained how hardly anyone ever bought Music for a New Society, the LP which leads off with this track. He said, "I didn't write it to make people jump out of windows," but it sounds as if he wrote it for people who are (at least) giving it serious thought.

This—and other songs on it—are memorable. But its lovely sheen is like thin ice; by comparison, White Light/White Heat sounds like a funfair. John has every reason to be proud, but did he imagine people would clamour to buy it?

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The Beach Boys – God Only Knows Lyrics 5 years ago
@[tubesocks:19085]:
I've always assumed he meant, No one but God could possibly know. Technically, this is more clearly expressed by "Only God knows," but Brian is not an English teacher. He's a genius songwriter who knows how to put words (and music) in the right order: that is, the one in which they sound best, and go directly to the heart.

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Patti Smith – Birdland Lyrics 5 years ago
Until hearing Patti Smith's spoken introduction on a live recording, I never knew the song was about Wilhelm Reich's son. What a revelation. For many years "Birdland" had already been one of my favorite tracks.

Few major labels’ legal departments, I'd imagine, would've have been willing to release an LP which told how a prominent (albeit controversial) scientist—a former protégé of Freud—died in his cell: an American political prisoner of the FDA. Particularly, not if the song about his son included an explicit reference to how he became an orphan.

Now, the story is (somewhat) well-known: but not until the end of censorship of a 1971 Serbian film on the subject: Mysteries of the Organism. Both Smith and William S. Burroughs, however, were crucial in helping to prevent the truth from falling permanently into the “memory hole.”

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Everything But the Girl – Easy As Sin Lyrics 6 years ago
The words seem overshadowed when I try to imagine the innumerable possibilities of what's left unsaid.

A superb vocal performance by Tracey.

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Syd Barrett – It Is Obvious Lyrics 6 years ago
"Remember those times I could call through a clear daytime and you would be there."

Syd's intonation on this line: forlorn. Painfully aware of when life had been different. Less confusing. Not so weary of rarely feeling understood when [attempting to] communicate with fellow human beings.

Always thought he referred to a "scar of white chalk," but perhaps merely because it sounded more intriguing. No, I wasn't thinking of the lines they draw on pavement when someone dies. Didn't think of that until I was writing it: only just before now.

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Elvis Costello – You Little Fool Lyrics 6 years ago
@[betch252:15711] :Advocaat. kool...that's the stuff Delbert Grady's ghost "spills" on Jack Nicholson's ax-crazy character in Kubrick's 'Shining." Some folks insist the later mini-series is more true to the book. Maybe, but—for some of us—that's only one more reason Kubrick's version is great.

It's hardly unusual for mediocre books to be adapted into great film. "Adapted"; i.e. not to slavishly mimic. Films are cinematic; books probably shouldn't be (though A Prayer for Owen Meany "reads like a better film" than the damn'ed Simon Birch). I adored Gene Wilder--and yeah, the memes are fine--but I *cannot* enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unless I read it. Would the film have been better had Dahl micromanaged it? Hell no. A bit tangential? Yeah; mea maxima culpa

(are ghosts, uh...built to spill?)

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Michael Mcdonald – Yah mo be There Lyrics 6 years ago
Kill It With Fire

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Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home Lyrics 6 years ago
A crucial pair of lines:

Does it feel that your life's become a catastrophe?
Oh, it has to be: for you to grow, boy

The general assumption seems to be: the song reflects a dichotomy between the protagonist’s art and his personal life.

Perhaps the real question is: are either of these even remotely as important as the journey one takes in life, in a larger sense? One which (hopefully) leads to advancement and fulfillment of the spirit.

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Beyoncé – If I Were a Boy Lyrics 6 years ago
I don't know whether I'd call it sexist. But it's about as subtle as dropping 999,999 pianos (with anvils tied to each their strings) into the Grand Canyon.

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Guided by Voices – Stabbing A Star Lyrics 6 years ago
If I had only the chorus to go on, I'd assume it's a wry commentary on how one can become [in]famous by committing some horrible act like attacking Monica Seles.

I can't make much sense of the remainder; too much "word salad." Not unusual for Pollard. Who I must also mention is truly astonishing in his seemingly everlasting and prolific ability to churn out both killer hooks and vivid imagery.

Unmatched by anyone else, except perhaps Robyn Hitchcock (who ultimately became a far better musician). Any similarities, I'd assume, are from both owing a debt to Syd Barrett: albeit hardly in the same manner.

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