“Different types of love/are possible.”
Radiohead, “Desert Island Disk”
“Whenever I’m alone with you/You make me feel like I am home again.”
The Cure, “Lovesong”
“And nobody’s falling in love/Everybody here needs a shove/And nobody’s getting any touch/Everybody thinks that it means too much.”
LCD Soundsystem, “Beat Connection”
Friday, October 12th, I was driving to pick up my daughter from the last full team cross country team dinner. It was a twenty/ twenty-five-minute drive. I was listening to LCD Soundsystem and thinking about a couple of the albums released early in the day. I wanted to write a review about one of them. I listened to Kurt Vile’s Bottle It In and Young the Giant’s Mirror Master. I listened to Matthew Dear’s Bunny a couple of times, and it made me want to immediately listen to more of his albums. However, I didn’t. Instead, I chose an album I have heard many times.
“This album, again,” Syd said when she got into the car. “Give It Up” was playing in the background, but by the time I pulled out of the driveway, “Tired” started.
“You’ll like this one,” I said.
She listened. Music is a connection I have with her, and we can listen without talking. Finally, she said, “It sounds like a Frank Iero and the Patience song.”
We listened to the end of the song. “Yeah (Crass Version)” came on.
“Do you hear that?” I asked Syd.
“The change in sound. ‘Tired’ is ‘punk’ and this is ‘disco.’”
“It’s why I gave Trench a three out of five.”
“I thought that was because of the Logic album.”
She called me out. I had told her that, but both reasons were true. In my review, I explained that Twenty One Pilots held back. They started a new direction but always went back to the safety of a familiar style. After “My Blood,” I wanted the shift of the intro to “Chlorine,” but Tyler Joseph’s voice pulled me back to the reality of the situation; they do not what to shake-up their fans too much. However, I did not write that I couldn’t give Trench a four because Logic’s YSIV was released the week before. Neither have anything to do with the other, but Logic’s album made me want to listen more, and Twenty One Pilot’s did not. That makes YSIV a solid four.
“What’s a five then?” Syd asked me.
“One that will be played by people for years, not just for a song but for the entire album. Like this one.” “Yeah (Pretentious Mix)” had come on.
LCD Soundsystem is in a small grouping of albums I can say “I love.” Lady Gaga’s Joanne, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, most Radiohead albums, Pink Floyd’s Meddle and A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service are examples of others. Medeski Martin & Wood’s Tonic, Daft Punk’s Alive 2007, Phish’s 3/13/1992 Campus Club show, and Pink Floyd’s 4/30/70 Fillmore Auditorium San Francisco are a couple of live shows and recordings I love. This is a small list, although I would say there are not more than thirty or forty albums.
Sometimes I am looking. There will be a lull in excitement. The “Tribulations” of being creative and feeling that the world had run dry. No good movies, tv shows, books, stories, sports or albums. I pay attention, listening and watching for something, and if I get the chance, I’m all in. That dissatisfaction creates an “Instant Crush.” I say, “Yes. Let’s do this.” LCD Soundsystem is an example of this happening. I needed something. The “Perfect Illusion.”
Others come out of nowhere. Whether it is timing, my mood, a favorite friend’s suggestion or the moon, an album catches me by surprise. Gaga’s Joanne happened that way. I wasn't watching for it. It just appeared. I was strongly attracted, and I wanted more.
I am eager, over-excited, and aggressive. Interest becomes an obsession. I know this, so I have to fight urges and play it cool. I limit my interactions and only listen while I am working because then it’s just background music. A couple of days later, I listen to it in the car. Oh, Gaga, I think, fanboying. My heart is light, strong, and pumps testosterone and endorphins through my body. I should be focused on the road, but driving alone with music, with the vehicle’s acoustics, is my favorite. I linger with Gaga, take the long way, and hope for a mile-long train as I drive up to a railroad crossing. Gaga has my undivided attention, and I hang on to her every word.
I surrender to my untamable desire and invite Daft Punk on a long, purposefully pace run to show my endurance. I am not in a hurry, and there’s no route. We explore. Take our time. The next time will be fast and hard. To show my strength.
Back to Black and Come Away With Me spend time with me in the shower. In my memories of basic training, Meddle comforts me while I try to sleep in the barracks. A Moon Shaped Pool strokes my fragile ego. I am vulnerable and exposed. This is who I am. Love me as you will.
I try other music, but none of it lands. I am infatuated. My love is focused. I learn every note and cord played by every instrument. Lyrics are memorized, analyzed, and personified. Even without earbuds, “Big Black Furry Antelope” is in my head when I am running, pushing me to dig deeper. I give all the energy I have.
And then…without warning…my attention fades. I become involved in the Netflix show a friend told me to watch, the playlist Apple Music suggested, or that Shirley Jackson novel I’ve needed to read. I still love the album, but my interest is waning. The lyrics have been dissected and put back together. The music has become common place.
I ghost The King of Limbs.
Time creates distance, but one listen brings back the love. The proof is in the first blog I wrote for AltRevue.com. I have gone through many stages with TKOL. Sometimes I forget about it for months. But every time we revive our relationship, I find something new. Time and distance tame my aggressive desire but leave behind something quiet and sweet. The greatest type of love I have to offer.