About that cowbell...
I think the cowbell comes in as a wake up call. The singer initially sees her across the room and is so taken with her that he can see her breathe. Then I hear the middle, dreamy spacey portion as a fantasy where he imagines going up to her, they leave together, it’s amazing… then the cowbell… no, actually he’s still just at the party, watching her dance. And maybe feels a little foolish, like a kangaroo.
I enjoyed the analysis more than the song. I feel like a terrible person.
I love this.
Mindful listening is a lost art in and of itself. Hearing the "ROOM" that these old recordings were made in. It really brings out the human connection aspect of music. It's fun to dance and to have something on in the background to keep your mind occupied, between the hustle and bustle....
But to actually LISTEN and FEEL what went into the craft of transforming a moment in time to something tangible and replayable. Knowing in that instant, as the button on the tape machine clicks and the rest, well the rest is history isn't it?
Thanks Colin! Great track sir!
Shambolic shuffling on a dimly lit street on a cold dark night thinking about something that was or might have been but too tired to keep it coherent. Cowbell is a garbage truck making a racket nearby that gets amplified by the chill and fog.
I just last week read an interesting article from OA about Lesa and it dovetails nicely with this: https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/issue-83-winter-2013/the-muse-of-memphis
I enjoyed this post a lot.
Thank you for this, Colin. I went through the whole lesson with you. I found Big Star because of the Replacements - much like I found the Velvet Underground because of REM - later I found Sonic Youth all by myself. There is nothing better than a song or performance or band that just barely holds itself together on every level.
I discovered this song via This Mortal Coil. Their cover version is wonderful, by the way. Guess you know it, of course.
Wow! Your analysis fits the vibe of the song so well. I’d never heard the vocal/guitar track isolated before. Instantly, I can’t imagine any other direction for Dickinson to while also having no earthly idea how he knew to go there.
Such a lovely song. Thanks for bringing it back Colin.
This song (new to me) and the walk through really happened to fit my mood tonight. Gets me in the feels somehow. Dreamy, slice of life, it's the kind of song I would write if I could write songs. 😭
I’m super late to this party (this post over a year old), but I superbly enjoying reading and following along with this. Also the first time I’ve ever heard Kanga roo. Very cool to have been lead by the hand!
Wow, so you know how some music you can place... "Oh this is definitely a 60's vibe " Or 70's 80's take your pick, I can't with this song. I had to look up when it came out while listening to it. It was fuzzy, grungy.... at times it felt like the guitar was actually a sitar. Kind of almost a trip out moment, Beatles like, then the cowbell wakes you up.
Excellent analysis and expression of affection for the song. Love it.
So I learned a couple of things, first off This Mortal Coil covered this song and I listened to it blindly without knowing that at some point in college but def appreciate the OG version. But you’re right that cowbell lol, it is out of place—or is it? That fine line between abrasive genius or ridiculousness.
The drums also remind me of Jeff Airplane a bit or shoegaze (which I know is an annoying term to throw around) but it seems unavoidable.
I really liked this exercise.
This is just SO wonderful. Can't wait till next April 1st.
Wonderful. Thanks for the guided listen... I wonder if Bennett and Tweedy had this track on a playlist while recording Summerteeth? Thinking of “Via Chicago” in particular.
I enjoyed both and definitely looking forward to more of these! <3 (cowbell being optional)
This song really pervaded my classroom this morning after the students left. Rather than turn straight to grading their work, I though "How about a glimpse of Colin Meloy's favorite track? That oughta brighten my eyes"
Not a bit brighter but my heart is broken open anew to the distortion that is always at the edge of my school day, the abrasive and soft are always clashing here, where joy and depression and cruelty and creativity pile up on each other under the authoritarian eyes of the school, so desperate for order