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The Hammering Heart

Still beating.

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April 2013

My Very Favorite Album – Ignorant Heaven

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I suppose that the net sum of all of Currie’s lyrical admonishments was an impression that the pursuit of love would  yield prolonged misery, and yet would somehow still seem worth the trouble. To be sure, he never actually said it was worth it. But when you follow a guy’s lyrical career and fifteen years later he’s still talking about the same stuff, you make the logical leap.

When you go in with that tempered expectation, though, it becomes a very different kind of game. I may be admitting too much to say that before long, the breakups felt more romantic than the relationships, in the same way that scars become symbols of glory even when you lost the fight.

Maybe I was just bored. Maybe mid-’80s Glasgow and early-whatever-we’re-agreeing-that-decade-was-called suburban America weren’t all that different. Not that I went out looking for new scars artificially like some dudes do with tattoos. But again I cite the kid with the severed arm.

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My Very Favorite Album – Hammering Heart

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There were two things that annoyed me as a teenager: disaffected, cynical teenagers; and just about everything else. The irony of this may have been lost on me at the time, but without  emotional contradiction, adolescence is just one long series of trips to the shoe store. Other annoyed teens in my midst drowned out their own screaming brains and gasping hearts with slacked expressions and screamo punk that to them was the only real music, or else radio rap so over-produced, under-thought, and distant from anything that could be defined in good conscience as music that it would form a glaze of apathy over them, hardening with time.

I couldn’t stand a cliché. At least, not once I’d noticed it. The frustration for me came from lack of recourse. Every type of emotional reaction felt cliché to me. I couldn’t stand the scripted timbre of a person’s voice when they’d say things like, “Apparent-LY!” Or worse, the lines peers would lift verbatim from TV and movies and apply to their own banal lives. “You don’t understand me!” or “You’ve ruined my life!” Fuck off, your life is fast food and field hockey. Some little kid somewhere just lost his arm and now he’s got to find a way to work the fields without it.

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