Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lb4Lb#6: Music for Recuperation

I've written before about the way my body reacts to over the counter cold remedies. People have told me, "People pay good money on the street to feel that way," but I'd rather keep my money and NOT have to deal with the "side effects". As amusing as it might be to have my bedroom furniture talk to me, or to sit and watch the ceiling fan turn rainbow colors while lofting little fairies into the air around me... I'd just as soon stay in control of my own imagination.
Cheer up, honey I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
Radio Cure
I've been told that certain albums are improved by having your mind artificially expanded.Radioheads keep telling me I'd "get" some of their more obscure stuff if I'd just take a little something to help out, but I like The Wall just fine when I'm cold sober, thank you very much. I think music should stand up on its own, in general.

I have to admit, though, that being wired on cold meds has given certain albums more impact that they would have otherwise had on my cynical brain. Sometimes I don't let them work on the dark, secret parts of my psyche that they are intended for.

So while I won't go seeking them out, my few brushes with the High Life - at perfectly legal and unmodified dosages of Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine - have given me some appreciation for "pharmacologically enhanced listening experiences"... a "radio cure", if you will.
I wonder why we listen to poets
When nobody gives a fuck
Ashes of American Flags
Experiencing physical weaknesses, along with the usual emotional or spiritual crises, leaves one with time to think about the less obvious ailments. If art has to have a purpose, isn't that a good one?

I was down hard when Wilcocrossed my transom; life was demanding a lot of us, and on top of the long hours of work and commute, I got hit with a pretty serious sinus infection. So, out came the drugs.
I am an American aquarium drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I'm hiding out in the big city blinking
What was I thinking when I let go of you
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Is there a better way to start an album when you have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and are whacked out on decongestant? I swear I could taste the aquarium water, and the fever was causing flashes of light behind my lids anyway.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has an interesting story behind it, anyway, which you can track down elsewhere easily enough. For me, the first impression was of a man trying to battle down the dazed delirium of his life and seize the flashes of beauty and joy that he hoped were real before they evaporated into the dream. The teetering balance of breathless harmonies and pleasant pop with the odd and disturbing sound scape creates an effective picture of someone exasperated with his situation, but determined to fix it.

I could certainly relate to that.
Every place around the world it seemed the same
Can't hear the rhythm for the drums
Everybody wants to look the other way
When something wicked this way comes
Jeremiah Blues
Sometimes, even if you feel it coming and take precautions, sickness can carry you out to sea. Waves of nausea crash over, capsize you and leave you wishing for that blinking city. That's where I was when I ran across The Soul Cages near the end of my college career.

Introspective reflections on his father, and cerebral ocean metaphors were not what the critics wanted from Sting's second solo outing. A lot of Police fans considered this a sign that Sting had "lost it", or had gone soft.

It gave me something to float on while I was drowning, though, and helped me smooth the emotional seas I was navigating. (It didn't hurt that I was recovering from some kind of allergy attack with the help of some anti-histamines, of course.)
Men go crazy in congregations
But they only get better
One by one
All This Time
Nothing is a panacea. There is no "one-stop shop", no "one size fits all". Every drug affects everyone differently. These are just two examples of good medicine, taken as needed.

Next time you're down, try these out, and call me in the morning.

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