Sep 22, 2020, 12:20 am

If It Smashes Down

Started by eiseyrokker, Nov 16, 2006, 03:21 am

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tomEisenbraun

Can I just draw some attention to how beautiful this song is?

Everynow and then I'll put on At Dawn and not be able to figure out why (though I do love the 1-2-3 punch of the first the three songs with every musical in me) and then I'll remember this song and just smile. I used to think it was horribly depressing, and then just sat and listened last week and realized how absolutely beautiful it really is. There's something so beautiful in that bare-bones banjo and shoe on the floor approach to it that makes it just perfect. It captures a time and a place that I'm discovering is not so much a lonely one for me, but a strangely joyous and beautiful place. A faintly glimmering carousel and a humid night right on the edge of fall's first frost.

Either that or snow. Everywhere. Good lord, this album reminds me of snow. And this song of everything covered in it at 1 in the morning down the back roads of my overgrown chicago suburbs. Complete solitude in the middle of one of the craziest worlds I've ever lived in.

I don't know. I ramble. Just give 'er a listen, will ya?
The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

Kory

I completely agree, I just listened to the song 3 times in a row...
beautiful!
Visit http://www.37flood.com for Louisville music news.
Also, http://www.koryjohnsonphotography.com

primushead

Yeah, I'll usually use this song as a lullaby.  And, yeah, it (along with Kid A) reminds me of snow too.  I don't think this song would've worked with anything else besides a banjo.

sweatboard

This songs a good example of how the production on this record is just as much a part of the songs as the instruments and the song structures, lyrics etc. etc.  When Jim repeats "In The Air" over and over again at the end the way it's recorded takes that line and makes it even more powerful.  I just absolutely love the lyrics on this one, the words are simple enough but what they convey is so emotional and powerful.  Jim's so underrated as a lyric/poetry writer.  The juxtaposition of the slowness of the tempo and the rocking chair and a ride at a fair is brilliant.  "On these lovely trips, the conductor likes your soft brown eyes on his hair."  Lovely trips indeed!!!!  
We Could All Be Lovers & Friends

tomEisenbraun

As I'm digging through the older stuff, I'm finding more and more about how brilliant Jim's writing is. And because of the juxtaposition against the current stuff, it's causing me to take a look at the more recent material, and understand how his writing style has changed and also to look at what he's saying now. It's the same man and the same brilliance, but it's a different form of it on Z. Z is a lot more blatant, but it still has those beautiful Jim touches.

The weird things like his inversion of "box of boom" and his interesting phrasings ("to an artificial tune, I see you swoon") just go to prove his lyrical abilities, that he sees the language a lot different the regular constraints. I think as taken aback by how new and different songs like "Off The Record" were when we first got Z, we really have to go back and listen to that early stuff and realize how beautiful it is, but also listen hard ot the lyrics again, and realize that whatmakes them so beautiful is a mixture of Jim's touch of simplicity and his adeptness with the language, and also his quirky sense of humor. I think what's caused me to love this band most in the past week has been figuring out the lyrics to "That Someone Else Was You" from Ch. 2, and the end segment:

matted hair, unconscious sighs
and Levis on your big white thighs...

it's such a beautiful song, and that almost doesn't fit, but it's not necessarily vulgar, it just feels like this innocent sort of statement of facts, though it's a bit overly-honest.

Sheesh, that was way too many words for all that, but do you guys understand where I'm coming from? I don't mean to be some purist elitist about the band, but I think that, with the early recordings, if you really dig into those originals that are on there, you get this brilliant sense of Jim's beginnings, almost the unpolished root of his musical beginnings, and I think it's from there that we can really begin to understand where he's come from as an artist and how he's grown into his style. He's more succinct now, I'm sure, but we also can go back and understand the kind of importance he puts into his words, and how he understands that it's not just the words, but the whole of the song that makes it beautiful. "If It Smashes Down" would not be "If It Smashes Down" had it not the banjo and the creaky chair and the foot and "in the air..." slightly out of tune and out of breath in the middle. But that song, that song... I think I may be getting close to entering grounds I don't fully understand, and I am excited to discover more about how this works and to look more and more at Jim's song-writing.

Anyone else have any thoughts? I hate to dominate this. Let's have a conversation.


The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

sweatboard

When the crowd screams along "Waking Up Feeling Good And Limber" we are screaming about a certain kind of waking up.  It's that kind of genious that makes Jim so special.  When he says "Is There A Doctor In The House Tonight" we can't help but think "yes, Yes there is"  Then you take that line and compare it to the cover of Z and it makes even more sense.  Then you think about the name Z in terms of being asleep and the album cover comes even more into focus.  Then you think about the bands name.....It's like everything just fits together the more and more you look.  The Bear vs. Hybernation.  etc. etc.  
We Could All Be Lovers & Friends

ycartrob

what's truly a trip is to figure out what the music touches in you. Finding out the subconcious and unrealized thoughts and feelings which that certain banjo, creaking chair, breathy "in the air" touch. I feel (and so do many others)there's a universal chord in music that's inbedded in our DNA. And for whatever reason, a certain artist is able to find and release some of those primordial goodies in all of us. So, we're drawn to what got us here.

It's easy to pin down why most lyrics move us (you know, "take me out of this dead end nightmare"), but sounds are what trip me out. How can pure sound elicit emotion? Elicit euphoria? So much of this is in our subconscious and cannot be described (perhaps only through dance).

Great thread Tom. I really appreciate how much Jacket fans appreciate music.


tomEisenbraun

Perhaps through dance, or perhaps through three advil before before bed for a week straight after the fact...

The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

Mr. T.

This thread might be the best one there is on these boards.

It is great how everything you people are writing just makes perfect sense to me.

We all have been longtime fans of this band, and we all know how important this music is to our lives. It is wonderful to find my almost exact feelings in the writings of people I've never met.

Too bad my English isn't all that fluent, which makes it hard to express the deep emotions that I feel when listening to a breathtaking song as If it Smashes Down...
But inside, I know you know what I'm feeling...

 :-*
We are young despite the years,
we are concern,
we are hope despite the times

sweatboard

"what's truly a trip is to figure out what the music touches in you."

Yes, it is a trip and it's also something that's not easy to express in words or talk about, I also feel like sometimes the more you try and explain it in terms of words the less magical it becomes.  I guess that's what makes Jim so special, he's one of the few that can express these things through his songs, it seems he plays and writes from a very organic place.  I love it on the It Still Moves trailer when Jim is explaining the song in terms of "dum dum dum still going dum dum dum" but when Jim is beating the Life out of his guitar........."It's a meaning that I understand"  

I think Carl said something once to the effect of........."Jim isn't concerned with how the band functions as far as playing specific notes but that each band member is getting off.  I think that pretty much says it all.  You can see the diffrence in the way Carl plays now and the way he played when he first joined the band.  Jim is a liberating force and I would say Carl is a good example of that.  


I mean let's take the ending of Phone Went West it's a D-A-G chord progression, there is no explanation for how something that simple can move me that powerfuly......right?
We Could All Be Lovers & Friends

BH

I am also loving this thread.  I am having a hard time forming my thoughts on this subject.  I don't think I could do a better job than you guys have already anyway.  

By the way, have you guys watched the Phone Went West from that Austin show that has been circulating?  Holy shit fire piss.  I havn't had the urge to "mosh" in years but that makes me want to bounce off of something.
I'm digging, digging deep in myself, but who needs a shovel when you have a little boy like mine.

EAZYE

Quotewhat's truly a trip is to figure out what the music touches in you. Finding out the subconcious and unrealized thoughts and feelings which that certain banjo, creaking chair, breathy "in the air" touch. I feel (and so do many others)there's a universal chord in music that's inbedded in our DNA. And for whatever reason, a certain artist is able to find and release some of those primordial goodies in all of us. So, we're drawn to what got us here.

It's easy to pin down why most lyrics move us (you know, "take me out of this dead end nightmare"), but sounds are what trip me out. How can pure sound elicit emotion? Elicit euphoria? So much of this is in our subconscious and cannot be described (perhaps only through dance).

Great thread Tom. I really appreciate how much Jacket fans appreciate music.


I don't think I can top that so yea, what he said. ;)
I painted my name on the back of a leaf
and I watched it float away

evilPaauwe

this could possibly be my favorite thread ever.  A while ago i wanted to start a thread about "if it smashes down" but had mixed feelings, thought maybe i'd be ridiucled for making a whole thread about one single song and i didn't know if anyone else liked it as much as i do...  sweetObard is 100%correct. The such personal production of this song just makes it that much better. Thats why i love tennessee fire and the early recordings, the crappy recordings do nothing negative to the songs for me. Also, i

 instantly had a new love for banjos once i heard this song
cheers.

ycartrob

Paauwe, everytime I see your personal text, I want to go listen to Fearless (and I am not just making that up).

tomEisenbraun

Tracy, how bout you stay the hell on target here, eh?

The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

ycartrob


primushead

Flava Flav really annoys me >:(

ycartrob

QuoteFlava Flav really annoys me >:(


no spamming please

tomEisenbraun

Okay, just in order to keep this from being completely derailed by my own best efforts, here's a little more to chew on...

I just did a big report on French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud, who was a ridiculously crazy guy, but one of the most important contributions he gave to poetry was his naming of this process called "deranging of all the senses." I don't know if any of you guys who are or have been at one time part of the drug culture recognize a term called synesthesia, but it is basically that. I don't know that I can describe it very well without actually having experienced it, but it sounds very similar to stories I've heard from friends who've smoked pot. This synesthesia or "deranging of the senses" is achieved by basically getting your brain to a point where all of your senses experience your life as one sense. They all work in conjunction and react not only to the original stimulus, but to eachother as well. According to Rimbaud, this is the richest of experiences. I would assume it is something to the effect of hearing music and the score being expressed as a color or even a vision before your eyes while at the same time you can taste and smell what it sounds like. When one of my high school friends told me about his first time smoking pot, I remember him describing seeing something on tv and it came out of the tv and began dripping down the walls and it was red, or somehting to that effect. It sounds very much like a hallucinogenic experience.

And this is where we draw back more into MMJ. Rimbaud stood very convinced that there could be a universal language. He thought himself the prophet through which that language would be revealed, actually, and worked his short five years as a poet to achieve the realization of that dream. In truth, he never saw what he was looking for and gave up and became a gun-runner in Africa. However, he had beautiful ideas which still stand quite valid. He wrote a poem called "Vowels" where he took apart all the vowels and gave them each a personality, understanding that there might be more than words out there, but through this universal language, perhaps something could be triggered in any mind not through actual words, but through this understanding of sounds, through understanding not only how language works, but the way these sounds work together to trigger thought and emotion, that would be the achievement of this universal language.

So as I said: back to MMJ. You see where this is going? I firmly believe Jim understands this to some extent. Even if he never studied Rimbaud or Baudelaire in high school or college, he understands that language. Through how much this man can say with so little, and the beautiful way he uses his ooh's and ahh's, and this little phrase right here:

why does my mind blow to bits everytime
that they play that song?
it's just the way that he sings
not the words that hey says
or the band...
i'm in love with his soul
it's a meanin' I understand...

I know Jim understands this about universal language. From the way that he writes, it must be something innate inside him. I don't know what else to say, except that studying World Lit this semester has paid off in the fact that, at the very least, it has shown me how much I can truly appreciate about the music I love. And that this is certainly music worth loving.
The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

ycartrob

Jim Morrison of the world famous Doors was into synesthesia, as he was into LSD (sort of a forced merging of the senses). He talks about a "slow derangemnet of the senses".

LSD was a short cut to this process and I always felt Hendrix was the quintessential purveyor of this synesthesia.
Like in Bold As Love:

 My Red is so confident
He flashes trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria
Orange is young, full of daring
But very unsteady for the first go round
My Yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I'm trying to say that it's frightened like me
And all this emotions of mine
Keep holding me from giving my life to a rainbow like you

A great game I play with my wife is she'll name a color she is feeling and so I put on the appropriate CD, and just about evrytime I nail it. And she smiles and nods.

My wife also sees and identifies people by color.

sooo, is the secret to reach synesthesia without using drugs? I have a hunch that some of those great philosophers and poets back in the day were heavy into the dope. But, some weren't...

It's like the guys who do Aqua Teen Hunger Force (or South Park); either those guys have done a ton of drugs or they are cold clean sober. Brian and I talked about this theory when it come to Wayne of Flaming Lips. He claims to not use and I would say he is very in touch with the "language".

just rambling...