Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Divorce soundtrack

In any relationship, there are events that carry significance greater than what one would expect or predict. Greater significance than is realized at the time. Going into it, you don't realize how much is riding on this particular moment. If you had known, well, things might have been different.

One such event in the story of my marriage involved an Okkervil River concert in Austin. I'll spare you the details, but the bottom line was, I didn't attend the concert. Would have liked to have been there, but I wasn't there. However, the CD purchased at the concert ended up in my hands, and the more I thought about what the Okkervil River show meant, the more I listened to the CD, and the more that the CD - The Stage Names - became a kind of soundtrack for the breakdown that was taking place. (I also love the Okkervil River album The Stand Ins, but it isn't a part of the soundtrack.)

This song in particular, "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" just spoke to the confusion I was trying to wade through; the song's premise is that things do not always wrap up in a tidy fashion. Will Sheff, the lead singer, gives it his all too. He just lays it out there in his signature wail.

How can you not love a band whose name comes from a Russian short story? 

p.s. I like this song even better NOT live, but feel a bit reluctant to post the band's video because I don't want to offend anyone. 

It’s just a bad movie, where there’s no crying
Hand in the keys to me in this Red Lion, where the lock that you locked in the suite says there’s no prying. 
When the breath that you breathed in the street screams there’s no science. 
When you look how you looked then to me, then I cease lying and fall into silence. 
It’s just a life story, so there’s no climax. 
No more new territory, so pull away the Imax. 
In the slot that you sliced through the scene there was no shyness. 
In the plot that you passed through your teeth there was no pity. 
No fade in: film begins on a kid in the big city. 
And no cut to a costly parade that’s for him only. 
No dissolve to a sliver of grey that’s his new lady where she glows just like grain on the flickering pane of some great movie. 
It’s just a house burning, but it’s not haunted. 
It was your heart hurting, but not for long, kid. 
In the socket you spin from with ease there is no sticking. 
From the speakers your fake masterpiece is serenely dribbling. 
When the air around your chair fills with heat, that’s the flames licking beneath the clock on the clean mantelpiece. 
It’s got a calm clicking, like a pro at his editing suite takes two weeks stitching up some bad movie.

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