The two boxes of books and CDs I sent home in early June, when I didn’t know whether I was staying or going (cue Clash song in the soundtrack of my life, ha ha), have arrived. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed Source Tags And Codes until it started distracting me from Enduring Love, which I’d been hunched over till very late the previous night.
Perhaps it was strange coincidence, but just as the album started getting better, the book started losing its momentum. An uneasy balance between ears and eyes had been maintained for the first five songs, which are “merely” catchy, but then Heart In The Hand Of The Matter came along, with its bells and crashing pianos and amazing drumming, and from then on Trail Of Dead started majorly kicking Ian McEwan’s ass.
By the time Relative Ways began, I’d become thoroughly annoyed with the book’s protagonist for his whining and paranoia, which I do think then begat more reasons for whining and paranoia for him than may originally have been likely, and I was getting depressed by the way the relationship in the book managed to spiral so suddenly out of fairly idyllic conjugal bliss into a minefield of recrimination and bitterness. On a personal level I wasn’t feeling great either. But there was something powerfully persuasive about those It’s okay passages, a sudden hushed drama in the music and the chord changes, a heartfelt earnestness in the vocals akin to how in Tonight Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins) Billy Corgan beseeches us to believe. And I always find myself believing, and so too, yesterday, everything really did feel okay for a while.
Every now and then something always manages to get under my skin sufficiently to manipulate me (even if just temporarily) despite all the cynical rationality I think I epitomize. It’s good when that happens.