Death By DJ and Imaginary Friends.Let me start by saying that I have written and re-written this review way too many times. I've avoided and procrastinated about as long as I possibly could. Well, according to my last blog post that's been . . . um . . . I'm a bit embarrassed to say - 602 days. Uh, yeah, that's 1 year, 7 months, and 21 days. Would you believe I've been busy? OK, fine, the real reason is . . . it's Kyle's fault.
No, really. Let me explain. I was told that I should listen to both of these CD's together as they really were meant to complement each other; a packaged deal of sorts. OK, no problem, I'm down with that. But little did I know that one line in one song would make such an impact on me and my perceptions and understandings about myself that it would take me 602 FUCKING DAYS to be able to come back around and reconcile myself enough to be able to get past the simple request: ". . . to understand it, even conceive, the beauty of chaos; balance in everything." Beauty in chaos? I think not. Chaos makes me twitch. It makes me frown and grind my teeth. My brain just prefers things to be nice and orderly. (Yes, my CDs are in alphabetical order. Shut up, don't judge me.) But chaos kinda jacks that shit up.
I have a good friend who has nicely summed up that my control issues stem from a need to make order out of chaos. A.Need.To.Make.Order.Out.Of.Chaos. Sigh. I had never looked at my control issues from the other side. The chaos that I despise so much is really an integral part of my need for order and control. So integral, that I cannot have one without the other. (Really, I am grinding my teeth right now at this co-dependent relationship!) So it was about a year ago that this epiphany hit me and I realized the reason I have had so much trouble with this review is based one simple request quietly placed in one song out of 22. Now, mind you, I haven't just been ignoring it all this time. It has been lurking about in my subconscious (and sometimes not so subconscious) all this time. It really has just taken me this long to work it out and finally agree to have a love/hate relationship with chaos. Also, I think it bears noting that this particular shadow lurking around in the back of my mind all this time chose yesterday, the Spring Equinox and a day of balance, to rear its head and demand attention. A cosmic 2x4 to the back of the head, if I ever felt one.**
Wait, is this still Kyle's fault? Damn personal accountability and growth. OK, so maybe it's not his "fault" per se, but he started it. [Kicks him under the table like a 12 year old and then quietly mumbles, thank you.]
So let's try and pickup where I left off so many, many, many months ago and take it from there and tie this all in.
I stated in my last post that music falling anywhere near the 'electronica' genre isn't generally my cup of tea. (Um, hey, stop looking at my CD collection. No, Howard Jones is synth, which isn't even remotely similar to electronic.) So I'm going to get the genre issue out of the way and say I don't dislike these albums. Of course, saying that might be perceived to imply that I don't necessarily like them either. I know, it sounds a little like a backhanded compliment, but that's not actually what I mean. So what the hell do I mean? Well, for example, there are a few songs that I find myself unconsciously frowning over and I’ll even go so far as to say there are bits in some songs that I annoy me. (Yes, I said it.) And, yet, still, I don't necessarily dislike those particular songs. Instead, I find myself wondering why am I frowning over music? I don't like frowning over music. Music makes me happy. Music makes me feel good, even euphoric sometimes. Music has the ability to make you feel all kinds of emotions -- oh, hmmm, yeah, well even annoyance apparently. And I have decided that's OK, too. Because sometimes it can lead you on a very long journey to reconcile your relationship with chaos.
And while we're on the subject of chaos, "Seeing is Believing" is full of it. Chaos, I mean, not the other idiom you're thinking of. How so? Well, did that line say "everything we think we see" or "everything we think, we see?" Where is the punctuation here, because I'm thinking someone is intentionally being vague. So either it means that we have the ability to be swayed into seeing what's not really there or that if we dare to think it, we can therefore perceive it. Or it means both; or neither. See, chaos. How beautiful . . . and annoying. Chaos, I mean. Not the song. I like the song. But chaos pisses me the fuck off.
There are 22 songs between both of these CD's so I won't go into every single song and what I like or dislike about each, but I'll cover some that seem to have impacted me.
Death By DJ
Death By DJ: Catchy tune and I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. No vague opinions there. I like it.
Seeing Is Believing: Uh, yeah, so I think I covered this song in full detail above. It's a good listen and I like it a lot, but make sure you're ready to be open minded and maybe spend a year and half contemplating chaos. But that could just be me.
Open Source Future?: A little bit of an angry vibe which is fine by me. The opening line? "I don't know what you've been told, but the shit in your brain ain't true." Just so we’re clear, I'm not taking the bait this time, Kyle. I have more CDs to review and I don't have another year and half to spend second guessing what I believe to be true or not true. Just saying.
The Black Car: I like this one. It's got a dark, secretive and a sometimes creepy/menacing sort of vibe to it that I often like in my music. (Come join me on the dark side – we have cookies.) I just wish the driver would open a window and let that damn bee out of the car before it stings someone.
Sunrise Over Water: Uh, yeah, that ship horn noise? Totally annoys me and takes away from the rest of the song that I do like. Sorry. I mean I get the point of it, but I don’t have to like it.
Defractions: I think there is an unstated pre-requisite that you take acid before listening to this song. I mean I'm not really certain because that's not the sort of question you ask in polite company. Also, I might be breaking some secret druggie rules here that I'm not aware of. Sort of like how the first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club. Well, the first rule of druggie club is you don't ask what the rules of druggie club are. Seriously, people, you're just supposed to know that shit. Wait. Did I really just end a sentence in a preposition? Now I'm breaking the first rule of grammar club. What.The.Hell me? (It's probably Kyle's fault.) Either way, I like this one. It's kinda trippy, even when you aren't on acid.
Strange Shapes: Pretty much my favorite song from both of these CDs. I love this song. Musically and lyrically. Poor Mr. Carson. You just have to be careful what you wish for, or look for as the case may be.
Finite Diamonds: Another one I really like. It's got a nice beat and flow. I usually find myself moving to this one in some manner or other when it plays.
About Five Minutes Of Your Time: I feel like I need a beer. I don't even particularly like beer, but this song makes you feel like you're just on the cusp of joining the “in” crowd and probably you would be . . . if you just had a beer or two. Of course, I've probably missed the entire point of the song, but it has a melancholy "I'm missing out on something" feel. The video for this song would end with the party goers walking off, laughing, beer in hand as it fades to sepia instead of black and you're left saying "Wait! Yes, yes, I do wish I could go with you."
Mars Canyon Tour: OK, I do really like this one. Mostly because it's just so "WTF?" Also, I am a sci-fi nerd. I mean a tour of Mars would be cool, right? Of course, with my luck I'd get stuck in traffic and run out of oxygen before getting back. I am ALWAYS stuck behind the slow rover in traffic! So this way I can just close my eyes and pretend and not worry about how much oxygen I have left.
Medusa: I really like this song, it's got a catchy beat and I like to sing along in the car. I don’t get the connection of Medusa with the song other than the fact that her name flows really well lyrically, but I just try to look past that and enjoy the song.
Imaginary Friends: This is also one of my favorite songs. Unfortunately, it reminds me of a friendship I lost a few years back. I guess I didn’t really lose it. I know where it went, I just don’t know why. She pressed stop and it wasn’t until I heard this song that I realized we were only imaginary friends after all. So I love this song, but it makes me sad, too.
Overall I think I prefer Imaginary Friends over Death by DJ, but basically, any CD that has songs about aliens or causes you to spend a year and a half going through some personal growth (or two days or ten years for that matter), is a valuable CD to have in your collection.
Yeah, that's what I said.
**"This is the kind of shit we have to face every day for the rest of our lives," right?