This is not the optimal time for me to be writing because it is almost 2am. But I also know that if I don’t write this now, I never will.
The Grammys were held tonight. And as much as I’d like to say that the award ceremony doesn’t speak to me anymore, it would be more honest to say that it never did. No matter my musical taste of the moment, the Grammys never matched it. From my earliest days of Rush, Led Zeppelin, and Kiss to my teen years of Ozzy, Dio, and Triumph to my early alternative years of R.E.M., The Smiths, and The Cure to my more mellow 40s of Wilco, R.E.M. (again), and Ryan Adams.
(I think the reason I love R.E.M. so much is because their trajectory seemed to match mine. Young and brash turned to political – though subtle – and then retrospective.)
But my musical heroes are 3 dudes who happened to never “make it”. You could say there is a reason for that, and you would not be wrong. But that doesn’t make the reason right.
Music is funny, man.
There were local bands (DFW area) that I thought were bound for greatness, yet never saw it. One – pop poppins – came damn close. Or, if you consider MTV play a measuring stick, made it. But then grunge happened.
I’m not going to disparage grunge, though, because I got sucked in (unapologetically) with everyone else. Nirvana was the shiznet, and Pearl Jam still is. But grunge, and the thoughts of record companies at the time, swayed what was played for the masses.
It would not be long before pop poppins, who were way ahead of the curve when it comes to modern music, were pushed out in favor of bands from the northwest with distortion pedals and angst.
Again, nothing wrong with those bands. I liked a lot of that shit. But I also had room in my musical medulla for more than just grunge.
Decision makers did not, however, because they were slaves to the bottom line. And grunge was sex, and sex sells.
So here I find myself tonight, listening to a band through YouTube videos. A band that opened for pop poppins several times. A band that also opened for Guadalcanal Diary. A band that opened for another band whose name I can’t remember, but whose claim to fame was the song “Long Haired Guys From England”.
“When I Lie” is a great rock song, and one I didn’t really appreciate when I first heard it. But now, with age and the supposed wisdom that comes with it, I get it. Man, do I get it.
When he sings “when I lie, I think of you” is he saying he thinks of (presumably) her when he lies down at night? Or when he tells non-truths?
“Here on the floor, I sit weeping” is a clue. Maybe. “She don’t know what I’ve been thinking.” We’ve all been there, but not with this kick ass bass line straight out of a New Order song.
This is a great rock song because it can mean whatever you want it to mean. And it is catchy as hell.
But it isn’t grunge, so it was forgotten.
Not by me, it wasn’t.