Sunday, February 15, 2015

Black peter




Indulge me.

There is a song I can't get out of my head these days. I wander around the backroom of the library singing it. I am unreasonably loud, but terribly earnest. It plays in my head at every moment of the day, into the night, on my walks, in the air. If someone steps away from that one computer we have, over by the phones, the only one with speakers (my speakers!), I immediately slip in and set the song playing. I just have to hear it one more time. I gather my co-workers around. No, this is it, I say, pretending that somehow they might care. In that moment I can't imagine how they can't, just, technically it is beyond the power of my imagination. I am riveted. 

Fever roll up to a hundred and five
Roll on up
gonna roll back down


This sort of fever happens to me occasionally. Usually it involves songs that hit some kind of piercing moment of intensity, songs with a peak. These sometimes involve a short string of broken, raggedly, perfectly harmonizing voices. That's what it is this time. It's the rhythm, that thudding, moseying, bouncing guitar, that cracking apart voice, and something about the words, those words, but mostly it's that peak, or not mostly, fundamentally. I can hear the song straining to be released from the song itself. I can hear the song starting to come out  of the song. I can almost believe it will tear it open.

And then, no. Just the song. A sad song. And it's over.

Of course, I can point out the peak to you at precisely 3:39, but to get all of it you'd need  the time from 3:00 to about 3:50, but, fairly enough, it probably works best if you just listen to it over and over and over and over. There is no portion alone that can tell you about my fever for it.

Tonight I listened to every live version of the song I could find, but the band could never again seem to hit that 3:39 thing in any of those live versions I heard. Ragged and beautiful harmonies are things of fate, and the Grateful Dead, as any fan will tell you, have always been at their best in the studio.






No comments:

Post a Comment

If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.