this just might be the best search referral I've ever seen 'round here: hurting whilst pooping. so terrific, and apropoop.
I've just listened to the new Flaming Lips and Pearl Jam albums. the Lips definitely do come through with a couple songs -- "The Wizard Turns On..." is "Breathe" as rewritten by the Flaming Lips -- but overall the album seems like they're either not quite there yet, or over it already. but good. Pearl Jam sounds a whole lot like they did on Yield, which is to say good but uninteresting. there ain't no "Betterman" here, no "Evenflow", even. a couple times they sound almost like My Morning Jacket, but not as mellow, or not as something. I do like the last song "Inside Job" though.
and I'm struck with the thought that it seems as if the great artists of my generation are struggling to make a huge artistic statement. I don't know what sort of statement there is to make, of course. or even if there is one. but it sure seems like something better needs to come out of this difficult and upsetting decade than all the retro craprock coming out, stuff that serves as posture more than power.
I know it's hard to compare, but when was the last time there was an artistic achievement that galvanized the audience, impressed critics and made people feel the appreciative awe of a soul who's made better by hearing this new musical moment? I understand such a feeling is entirely subjective, but it's amazing to me that there hasn't been more of an artistic, cultural outcry in the same way there was with Woodstock and so many songs of protest. and I don't necessarily mean more protest songs should be out there -- I just mean that culturally, the things that aren't being talked about are becoming more noticeable, at an equal to or greater rate than the amount people ignore them. I mean the small problems people have with their government, the bills, the quiet desperation of a future in which individual contentment will be removed from a sense of belonging -- the plurality of peace and comfort that reigns over the leaking faucets and broken roads that are starting to spread -- the disconnected spirit of duty that the nature of living now makes all the more real. is each individual genre going to cannibalize itself, become more self-centered? or will music fans become more and more dilettantish and omnivorous, enjoying only the best artists in each field but always feeling slightly left out of the scene?
I also mean, why does the TV have to be there, as a member of the family -- do you think the couples who watch TV together, stay together? what does it mean when more and more people retire to their own room only to seek out other people, who are in their own rooms elsewhere? do the couples with an equal amount of MySpace friends, an equal amount of MySpace paraphernalia, make the best match? where is the real community, and how will this sense of self and togetherness shape our society? and not in the future. I mean, now, five years from now. what happens when the world becomes entirely virtual, entirely distant and nearby and interconnectable? will anyone leave home, will anyone be able to? will anyone want to?
I don't know if it's always been like this, or if I'm the only one who believe this is a great and growing shift in our society's behavior -- and if I'm the only one who views it all with a general pessimistic passivity -- but I suspect not. I suspect earlier people didn't have time to stop and regard their lives with wonder and awful lonely glee. but doesn't that seem interesting, then, too?
on that note, I like the lyrics to the new Lips song, "Goin' On":
We hold our breath 'till the morning comes
And at last the sun shines through
But the night's so hard and it seems impossible
But what else can we do?
Listen, you'll hear it
We're gettin' near it
It's gone and I can feel it
'Cause I know you are going away
Listen you'll hear it
We're gettin' near it
I know I really fear it
But we pretend it's just another day
We tell ourselves it's all just normal
The worst of it is gone
And you get up
And you get up
And you just can't take it
How we keep goin' on