Friday, February 04, 2005

i'm yours, omaha, nebraska.

these people from omaha, nebraska, they got me under their spell.
it's that saddle creek clan to be exact.
maybe they have hidden messages that speak to my subconsciousness. whatever. they got me. like totally.

it started with "son, ambulance" on that free rolling stones new noises cd.
i never buy rolling stone, ever. i just bought the december edition because i was at the newsagents buying a lottery ticket (for the first time) and happened to see u2 on the cover and read that there was that 16 page special on god (bono for the rest of you). i couldn't resist bono. never have. never will.

i put that cd into my cd-carrier and took it home over christmas. i didn't listen to it though until i was creating that "privatkopie" cd for christopher, trying to find something worthy within the limited cd choice i had access to.
and there it was.

the perfect song.

"paper snow flakes/they don't melt in the sunshine/plastic roses won't wilt/they'll be alright/paper snowflakes don't melt in the sunshine/glass tears don't dry"

that piano intro went straight from the ears into my heart and my stomach and made something melt in there. the melody carried me away.
yay. wonderful.
it happens rarely, that.

under usual circumstances. when the saddle creek people are not involved, that is.

i listened to that song for the rest of my stay whenever i had control over the cd-player. i even made a tape of the "privatkopie"-cd so that i could listen to it in the car and on the train ride home.

simultaneously, there was all that talk about "bright eyes", everywhere.
conor oberst looking at me from every single alternative music mag cover. every. single. one.
every single music journalist wetting their pants in expectation of his two new cds. everyone mentioning his hybris in bringing out two full length cds at once, everyone saying that that was fine though, if one was as talented as conor oberst.
apparently, he once shared a flat with one of those knapp brothers from "son, ambulance". hell, all these saddle creek people seem to be related. and to have at least 3 bands each. and to collaborate at all times, too.

back in freiburg a few weeks ago, the first thing i did was head off to aktiv! (the cheapest and bestest cd shop in freiburg) to buy "son, ambulance's" "key".


in that little saddle creek catalogue, the album is described as "a lyrically vivid, musically rich, structurally mature, and sexually frustrated album of youthfully euphoric pop songs and triumphant eight minute blasts."

i can't say it any better.
if i tried to, i'd get lost in the middle of references with and comparisons to radiohead, late 1970's pop concept albums and coldplay.
i love those grande (and grandiose) musical gestures. wowie.

so this week, the "bright eyes" albums comes out.
i manage to restrain myself for a day before dragging my sick ass to aktiv! to ask to please listen to them.

"i only got one each left", the always-in-a-slightly-grumpy-mood-guy at aktiv! tells me "right now they sell as if they were better then sliced bread".

the first cd he puts into the player for me is "i'm wide awake it's morning" and after that long intro talking, conor oberst sings into my ear.

"we must take all of the medecines too expensive now to sell/set fire to the preacher who is promising us hell/into the ear of every anarchist that sleeps but doesn't dream/we must sing/we must sing/we must sing/and it will go like this: while my mother waters plants/my father loads his gun/he says death will give us back to god,/just like the setting sun is returned to the lonesome ocean"

it's instant, my love for this music.
i laugh and i smile and it's that feeling of coming home underneath all that spanking-brand-new-ness that you have with every cd you know that will become a favourite.

i immediately know that i will buy this and so i just skim through the songs.
when i get to "lua", i can't help but be amazed at someone who writes a songs this lyrically smart.
"the mask i polish in the evening by the morning looks like shit" and "i know you have a heavy heart/i can feel it when we kiss/so many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it/but me i'm not a gamble so you can count on me to split/ the love i sell you in the evening by the morning will be gone".

i keep grinning because it's so familiar yet new, this stuff.
it's so smart and and cool and wonderful. this will be my music! yes! i will take this home and it will be mine and years from now i will listen to this and will remember something that is still in the future right now. this song, all these songs will soon carry memories for me. yay!

i tell the guy to switch to "digital ash in a digital urn" and not put the first cd anywhere, i'll definitely buy it.

the intro "time code" comes on. and it is radiohead.
just a hundred times better. a thousand times better.

it's got those weird sub-tones that make my diaphragm vibrate, that stimulate the nerves running down the side of my spine and it's got fascinating structure and noises and beats that are like diving headfirst into a wonderfully crafted auditory motion picture.

it's music i want to listen while lying on a linen-clad bed in a huge empty room at dusk on a summer evening, naked, with a man i want to screw and be screwed by.
call that caro's ideal listening experience for "digital ash in a digital urn".

[i'd program the cd player though so that "the arc of time" and "take it easy" would be skipped. - i'd be too tempted to sing along. not good.]

it's something about the drums that sparks this, i think. give me some drums, a little bit of electro mechanics, make me wild.
i'm easy like that.

30 seconds into the 2nd song "gold mine gutted", the second cd is a sell, too. those beats. that percussion. that wurlitzer.
kill my free will.
i listen to the entire cd nonetheless, standing at aktiv, lost and found, simultaneously.

when i'm finished, i tell the guy that i'm still pondering which one to buy (even though i'm not, really), and he tells me i should buy both of them, "as they belong together, after all."
he, i'd say that, too, if i were him.
i grab both, pat them, hold them, walk through the shop for about 10 seconds pretending to look at other cds, and next thing i know is that i spend 27€ i don't really have to spare on sex for my ears.

tuesday night, all my sick-self does is listen to "bright eyes", letting my ears get some hot action.
the first thing (and only thing) i do on wednesday is drag my sick-self off to the internet cafe to download each and every song available off the saddle-creek website.

i let itunes toggle all those 90 saddle-creek published songs.
"wow. "the good life" rock, too," i say to myself every time i'm served one of their songs. "not quite as scarily effective as "bright eyes", but moody. and cinematic. and with great lyrics."
i let itunes be my guide all day.

last night then, i turn on the telly, zap around, end up at a band playing at sarah kuttner's show on viva.
i never really watch that show, but she always has great musical guests: far more guitarry/alternative then the usual viva fodder.

it's weird looking guys with guitars, and they play a wonderful, wonderful song i've never heard before, and their singer is the kind of unwashed boy with a guitar that i like best. his voice is kinda familiar. lovely.
"they sound like they're from omaha, nebraska," i think to myself as they finish their song. "but there's no way viva would play them then, right? and i've got a saddle creek overdose by now, anyway."

the band finishes their song, sarah kuttner claps and squeaks
"thanks guys, thanks! so amazing to have you! kids, that were "the good life". their new album is called "album of the year", out on saddle creek, and it's mindblowing. buy it. thanks again, "the good life", awesome that you were here, can't believe it."

me neither.
what the hell are you doing here, saddle creek people? are you on an invasion-type misssion of old europe?
if so, let me wave that white flag.

yes, folks, i will buy that album from "the good life", too. just let me wait another week or so, yes? you don't seriously want me to not be able to afford food because i keep buying your cds, no?

in other news, "bright eyes" will play in zürich next month.
"the good life" will play in fucking basel next week!

i'm giving up, saddle creek clan.
i'm yours.

now can you please also supply that man and room and summer i want for that ideal "digital ash in a digital urn" experience mentioned above?
it's all your fucking fault, after all. you're responsible for the products you market.