Friday, June 10, 2005

God Gave Bethany Cancer

I've been guilty, I've been Pitchforkian in my speech, I've aped Said The Gramaphone (I did not say imitate, I have never achieved that success, not in my prose) and I think you have, too. But we'll throw away the rules today, you. We'll talk about music. Me writing + you reading = the new talking. Comments, if you need them, can come later. The talk we will talk will be SENSIBLE. There is still time to claim purity for appreciation. There is still time to sway slightly, unselfconsciously, while wearing headphones or hearing good music at the coffee stand. There is still time to feel in your gut, "YES! I really LIKED that song". But there is no more time to justify your like to your ideals, my likes to my aspiration. That's useless. Enough with these outlandish barely-there comparisons and reviews. Out, damned spot!

I like Olaf Bronström. The music, not the man. I don't know the man. Specifically, I really really really like his song called "God Gave Bethany Cancer". I like it for the same reasons and in the same way I liked Wolf Parade's "Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts". It's such a sad strong song. It's misery and unendingness. It mentions gas stations and the impossibilty of saving someone, not because one is unable to save, but because real life splits the would-be-rescuer from the would-be-rescued. "I know that you drink, oh, yeah, and I know your manners. I know that you need saving, but I need to work. It's time for you to choose up or down or around or around." I like the two voices (Olaf, I think, recorded over Olaf), light and dark to each other, dark and darker overall. I struggle to hear their nearly-sobbing voices through the thick static and distorted beats, a single key on the synth lifting up and down with the song. It's the emotion in the lyrics, not the words, it's the hurt which makes it work. There is hard life here. "And ask me why I just don't die, because I cry all night." I liked this song so much I went to Olaf's website and listened to everything I could. Some of his stuff is really strong, some of it not so much. All of it is worth hearing. I like it. A lot. But I really like "God Gave Bethany Cancer".

Reading: The French Revolution + Thomas Carlyle
Listening: "Dear Sons And Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" + Wolf Parade

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