Thursday, March 18, 2010

Try to save a world that doesn't want to be saved

Another gem from Quasi today, this one from 1999's Field Studies. More roxichord driven goodness, extremely cogent lyrics, and even a string quartet which enters at 2:22. Sam Coomes' former Heatmiser bandmate Elliott Smith plays the bass. This was the my introduction to Quasi from when I was living in Seattle, and I have been hooked ever since. Little did I know then that I would be moving to their base in Portland, Oregon three years later.

Sam moves beyond the heart-tugging relationship struggles from their previous release. As the lead off track All The Same expounds a world-weary attitude.

"frayed at the edges, busted at the seams
i can walk with a song, sleep with my dreams"

When he does touch on relationship troubles his take is much more adult than in previous lyrics. The decision of whether to suffer or move on is now within his grasp.

"you can get out with it clean or prolong the agony
which ever you prefer, it's all the same to me"

And perhaps my favorite bit of lyric from Quasi is a poke at starry eyed do-gooders. I count myself in that group from time to time. But as an environmentalist and realist I know the chips are stacked against us.

"you worship the future like it's some kind of saint
but it's just like the past with a new coat of paint
try to save a world that doesn't want to be saved
stolen like a child, the one you think is misbehaved"

Friday, March 12, 2010

We purchase pleasure, and pay for it with hurt

I have to admit that I have found the perfect CD to represent the break up of my long term relationship. It has been here right under my nose for years. If I promise not to continue down this road, then please indulge me this one time with a dose of super melodic pop that is juxtaposed with the most downright bleak and pissed off lyrics ever. My hometown band Quasi just released an awesome new CD, but today's post goes way back to their 1998 release Featuring "Birds".

The CD is chock full of bright roxichord-driven pop songs with broken hearts sprinkled liberally throughout the lyrics. There will be no tragic 19th century romantic subjects here. The sentiments expressed come from deep inside a wounded heart for sure, but there is no gothic vision nor tragic barely missed opportunities. Long time fans like myself have always wondered if Sam Coomes was writing about his failed marriage to drummer Janet Weiss. Only the two of them know for sure, but in a wicked twist of fate they journey on in the band now entering its seventeenth year. If she is indeed the antagonist of these tunes, it is an amazing resolution that they continue to make great music together.

So for your listening please here is I Never Want To See You Again.