Thursday, January 08, 2009

raw dashed-off Merriweather Post Pavilion notes

In the Flowers - first instance of theme of escaping the body, being bigger than one's body, maybe (cf John Mayer). "if I could just leave my body for a night" in this case it's a matter of being able to be with loved ones despite being away on tour I think. Underwater sound/feel - wavy/fluttering acoustic gtrs exploding into electronics as if to symbolize the escape from a corporeal body as a spirit form, to symbolize an intense longing that brings about that result somehow.

My Girls - Opens with a flickering grid of synths. Which repeats through out, joined by handclaps and deep bass beats. "There isn’t much that I feel I need/A solid soul and the blood I bleed" "I only want a proper house" "I just want/Four walls and adobe slats for my girls" Shriek of ecstasy seems more Michael Jackson than usual, somehow? Lion King (vocals)? Being able to properly house one's family.

Also Frightened - reverb out the ass, Alice in Wonderland, the sense of creatures rustling leaves in some enchanted forest, pools of sorcery. Again: lion king. This one's fairly paternal: "are you also frightened"? Wishing/hoping for the best for one's offspring but unable to tamp down the sense of dread for them because the world's a fucked-up/scary/unpredictable place, etc.

Summertime Clothes - Standout track, like a revving engine/bucking bronco rarin' to go, and then it goes, and it's a beautiful thing to behold. In a sense this is an improved version of "Peacebone" from Strawberry Jam: high-caliber indie-clever lyricism yoked to sonics/ad-libs that actually have that euphoric classic AC feel everybody wants (which SJ had only in spots, which is why nobody really repped for it). Thump, thump, thump of that graphite bass (drum?) Again with the flashing synth mattrice/matrix. Infinitely quotable, essentially bringing us summer in the winter (take that, Hova!). Love the chattering voices in the background, makes this seem less like a great song than a "happening," a band of friends wandering the city naked at night in the dog-days of August or something, skipping and singing and just totally weirding out everybody who happens to be awake. Did I mention the Lion King yet?

Daily Routine - Here the momentum of all that came before starts to slacken - we tumble into a wowed daze at the slush-slides of broken-Lite Brite sonicz and vacuum-tubed vocal fuckery. Making sure the kids have what they need, etc: this is becoming a core theme along with disembodiment. Gets awesome when it trances out towards the end. Seriously, this song could've been waaaay longer, that stretched-syllable Lion King shit could've been extended to give the stoners time to re-pack a bowl/hookah and for the rest of us to just bliss bliss bliss ouuuuuuuuuuut. I have a weird feeling that AC will release a killer live version of this album officially sometime soon, and that it will make me even more happy that this disc already does - as if that's actually possible.

Bluish - Warp Records? A hint of Aphex Twin in there, which sorta comes outta nowhere. (there's a song from Richard D. James that's totally being ripped off here.) through a scanner darkly. No, through a clouded lense darkly. The verse/chorus style reminds me of somebody else but it's hard to pin it down. Maybe early Smashing Pumpkins, at their most candied? "Beautiful"? I think that's it. This one's about love or adoration. "Bluish" = blue balls? Maybe.

Guys Eyes - Beach Boys-esque! But they all are one way or the other. In-the-round-robin, vocal turns on a weird lazy susan, there's a sense of turning, of revolving, of a pleasant self-inflicted dizziness here. Thoughts spinning maybe. "I really want to do just what my body needs to/I keep it locked/I really want to show that I want her." BRIAN WILSON, BABY! LADIES AND GENTLEMAN: BRIAN WILSON! All the voices conflicting get a bit disorienting, but in a nice way. There's no sense of moving the album forward, again suggesting that after "Clothes" we're sorta in a gulch pace-wise. But I could care less.

"Taste" - LION KINNNNNNNNNNNNG! heh. This is on some petal-pretty candycane lane shit - w/r/t the punctuating synths spritzes - could be a Person Pitch outtake while simultanously being better than anything on that record. Also some rapper will totally spit over this on a mixtape sometime this year and it will work fine. Eminem could flip this into some bizaree and amazing. When the ejaculating synth evaporations kick in "taste" just shoots up a few notches into holy shit press repeat range. The beats/drums get tangled up in the synths, hard to tell everything apart, just kind of a hot mess, and that ensnarement mirrors the question that's asked over and over in the chorus (and which is in keeping with the album's concepts): "What I really want is a simple place/With no flashy clothes/Cuz you can't eat those" and "Am I really all the things that are outside of me?"
Let down by chicks in the past bullshit (I think) here and there, but it's beside the point now, right?
"Do you appreciate the subtlies of taste, girl?" Another improved gloss on "Peacebone" - snarky lyricism done right in the perfect sonic context, the trippy frocks muting but framing the edge in the words. Delicious, no pun intended.

Lion in a Coma - wordsallsmushedtogetherinabigashurry, horrid chorus lyric (Sometimes I feel well-to-do/Even though I don't know what to do, etc), spring-sprong effects everywhere which are neat, but. There had to be a downer here somewhere, a b-side, and this is definitely it. Should've been cut, thrown on a comp or a soundtrack.

No More Runnin' - Retirement, relaxation, the clearing at the end of the path, and so forth. The perfect ending - very calm and inviting and - I know, I know: LION KING-ESQUE.

Brothersport - Classic case of wrongheaded sequencing, because this shouldn't have ended this album. Don't get me wrong - this is a spectacular song that should be about 4 minutes longer, but the energy level's too high for this to be the endgame (check my prev writings about this song)

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