sand is overrated

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Monday, October 02, 2006

swan lake, sunset rubdown, and the power of myth


really quickly about swan lake, since they've already been posted about so much on the internets--they are a bit of an indie "supergroup" comprised of dan bejar, spencer krug, and carey mercer; and their full-length debut, entitled beast moans, will be released by jagjaguwar records on november 21st.

i've taken a particular liking to the spencer krug-penned song "all fires" because of these verses:

there was a flood
a world of water
the mason's wife
swam for her daughter

one thousand people
did what they could
they found a steeple
and tore up the wood

five hundred pieces
means five hundred float
one thousand people
means five hundred don't

and i've said it before
and i'll say it again
all fires have to burn alive
all fires have to burn alive


i really like this last line and i'm guessing spencer krug does too, since, as he says, he has said it before: in the song "they took a vote and said no" from one of his other bands, sunset rubdown:

well there are things
that have to die
so other things
can stay alive
the fire burns
it burns to give
it has to burn, alive
to live


i find this idea of a fire burning alive to sustain itself particularly interesting because it is a concept that i have also found in the power of myth, by joseph campbell:

"now, one of the main problems of mythology is reconciling the mind to this brutal precondition of all life, which lives by the killing and eating of other lives. you don't kid yourself by eating only vegetables, either, for they, too, are alive. so the essence of life is this eating of itself!"

as with most anything, there a number of ways to interpret this concept. i think one of the most important distinctions between humans and all other animals is our ability to conceptualize our existence far beyond the immediate limits of sight. we are all capable of understanding the repercussions of our actions on the lives of others far away both in space and in time. the question then, is do we choose to consider, or do we choose to ignore, how what we do affects the world around us? i think the concept of this "all fires" precondition to life is helpful in remembering our place in the world. remembering that all living things must die in order for other living things to live makes me consider death as a sacrifice of the highest order, and makes me feel ever more grateful for my own continued life. everything we consume was once a natural resource, and so it makes me appreciate the value not just of my life, but also in the value of life in plants and animals, land and sea, space and time. (well, except that i still hate spiders. and bears. i mean, c'mon, bears are still the number one threat to america.) i think if we could all be more aware of these things, we all might be a little more conscious of how much we consume, how much we waste, and how our actions affect the world around us. i am not an extremist by any means--in fact today i just went out and bought some clothes that i probably don't need--but every little bit helps, so take a minute and think about your own life and the little things you can do to be a better steward of mother earth.

i hope that didn't sound too preachy, and thanks to anyone who actually read that whole paragraph. there are obviously a lot of other ways to interpret this, and i wish there was a way to find out what spencer krug had in mind when he wrote these songs. this is an idea that has stuck with me since i've come across it, so i'm sure i'll write about it again in the future. and if anyone else has their own reflections i would love to hear them.

swan lake : "all fires" (mp3)
from the lp beast moans (jagjaguwar, 2006)

sunset rubdown : "they took a vote and said no" (mp3)
from the lp shut up i am dreaming (absolutely kosher, 2006)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Sean said...

interesting post sir!

October 7, 2006 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger tad said...

thanks, i'm glad someone read it :-)

October 8, 2006 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

good read thanks

November 15, 2006 at 6:49 PM  

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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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