Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pass the ketchup?

Better break out some ketchup - or catsup, if you prefer - because I'm about to eat my words from the past. I just listened to The Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds. I can say with no hyperbole that this album lives up to all of the hype. Moreover, and again as cliche as this sounds, it was inspirational both musically and philosophically.

One of the songs put tears in my eyes. Yes, me, the guy who rocks out to The MC5 and The Who at maximum volume, reduced to gently weeping like George Harrison's guitar.

Once more, thank you YouTube.

I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES
(Brian Wilson/Tony Asher)
I keep looking for a place to fit
Where I can speak my mind
I've been trying hard to find the people
That I won't leave behind

They say I got brains
But they ain't doing me no good
I wish they could

Each time things start to happen again
I think I got something good goin' for myself
But what goes wrong

Sometimes I feel very sad
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into)
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into)

I guess I just wasn't made for these times

Every time I get the inspiration
To go change things around
No one wants to help me look for places
Where new things might be found

Where can I turn when my fair weather friends cop out
What's it all about

Each time things start to happen again
I think I got something good goin' for myself
But what goes wrong

Sometimes I feel very sad
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into)
Sometimes I feel very sad
(Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into)

I guess I just wasn't made for these times
I guess I just wasn't made for these times
I guess I just wasn't made for these times
I guess I just wasn't made for these times
I guess I just wasn't made for these times
I guess I just wasn't made for these times
***************************************************

For the record, it was the "Where can I turn..." line that did it. No reflection on any of you who read this, in fact I would consider m@, Forrest, and Shelley as those who have been there for me throughout a lot of the bullshit I've endured since I started writing a blog at this URL back in January, from the whole Jewish thing to Shelley's parents to our break-up to all the drama with Kate to my reconciliation with Shelley, and for your support of the latter. I never say this enough, but thanks.

Like my discovery of The Kinks, wherein Ray Davies was speaking directly to me about the world not being black and white but instead shades of gray, where it was okay to be uncertain, it was okay to be different, and that the little man always wins in the end, these words seem like they could have written by me.

What inspired me about this musically was the fact that his vocal lines aren't always in a definitive rhythm, one of the greatest stumbling blocks I've encountered while writing is tallying up syllables. Music that comes from the heart is undoubtedly the purest form of artistic expression. Couple this with my recent discovery of Syd Barrett, the superior predecessor of David Bowie with a little blast of Captain Beefheart styled asymmetry, and it really has me looking forward to studying music theory next spring. I'll finally be able to write real songs.

It is that very impact that keeps music alive: art influencing artists. It should also be mentioned that Pet Sounds was a HUGE influence on The Beatles - Paul McCartney especially - and quite frankly from a production standpoint (recorded 1965/1966) it is a seminal work, more so than Dark Side Of The Moon. Brian Wilson did a great job filling up space.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the song, or at the very least could see why it hit so close to home for me.

Alex

2 comments:

Shelley said...

While I knew the song, I never really HEARD the lyrics. The moment I read them, I was reminded of someone. It is a very beautiful song. I defintely would not call this a rock album. In fact, I dont think I've ever considered The Beach Boys as "rock."


Piece.

m@ said...

While I still view the Beach Boys as tripe, your inclusion of a snippet of the work of Brian Wilson has given more credibility to my favorite Bare Naked Ladies song. I appreciate that.
I never gave them a shot before because their sound, to me, was like a drunken Vienna Boys' Choir.