Jun 23 2010

A Couple of Songs I Wish I’d Written

I’ve been listening to these songs for a while now, and they just don’t wear out.

The first is from Pearl Jam, whose Backspacer album was released last September.  I have been fascinated with this band since moving to Lapwai and listening mostly to the local hard rock radio station at work, and getting a good second listen to most of the Seattle bands in the process.  The first single from Backspacer was a rocker called ‘The Fixer’, which had me from the first riff.  It’s joyous.  Yup, and from Pearl Jam.   Then a heartbreaking beauty called ‘Just Breathe’.  This one I first heard soon after Calvin passed away, and my sister-in-law Sue Seven was in the hospital, later to die of a pulmonary infection.  I never shared the song with her husband Ed Levene or with Leslie; I feared it would be too painful.  This disc is full of songs about love, aging, being a friend, loss, acceptance, sometimes all at once.  The band has never sounded better:  rock-solid rhythm section,  Vedder’s impassioned vocals (and you can hear the words), guitars flying high, and the acoustic moments that can take the breath away.  But the one I wish I’d written is called ‘Amongst the Waves’.  It, too,  makes me weep.

Amongst The Waves
Artist: Pearl Jam
Composer: Pearl Jam

What used to be a house of cards
Has turned into a reservoir
Saved the tears that were waterfalling
Let’s go swim tonight, darling

& Once outside the undertow
Just you & me & nothing more
If not for love I would be drowning
I’ve seen it work both ways, but I am up

Riding high amongst the waves
I can feel Like I
Have a soul that has been saved
I can feel like I
Put away my early grave

Gotta say it now
Better loud
Than too late

Remember back the early days
When you were young & thus amazed
Suddenly the channel changed
The first time you saw blood

Cut to later, now you’re strong
You’ve bled yourself, the wounds are gone
It’s rare then where is nothing wrong
Survived & you’re amongst the fittest
Love ain’t love until you give it up

Riding hi amongst the waves
I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved
I can see the light
Coming through the clouds in rays

Gotta say it now
Better loud
than too late

My other new favorite (favorite new?)  song is from a young band I know next to nothing about, an Australian three-piece called Sick Puppies.  (I Know!) This is from their second album, called Tri-Polar. Most of their stuff is quite aggressive hard rock,  so when this one came on the radio, opening with one of the sweetest bass riffs in ages, and then the line ‘Odd one, you’re never alone. . .’  Well, the whole thing works for me on just about every level.

(Just follow the link to the vid — EMI disallows embedding.  Available concert videos were just too low quality.)

Odd One

Odd one, you’re never alone
I’m here and I will reflect you
Both of us basically
Unattached to anything or anyone unless we’re pretending
You live your life in your head
Some call it imagination
I’d rather focus instead on anything except
What I’m feeling
What I’m feeling
Odd one….

Hey, it’s gonna be okay
Hey, we’re gonna laugh at this one day

Odd one, I wish I was you
You’re never concerned with acceptance
We are all desperately seeking out, and fitting with anyone
Who will accept us
But not you, odd one

Hey, It’s gonna be okay
Hey, gonna laugh at this one day

Don’t let someone tell you you’re no-one
Don’t let someone tell you you’re no-one
Odd one…