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Saturday, August 1, 2009

"My fathers and brothers raped your sisters and mothers"

  • "Mama, I'm Satan'
  • How we perceive crime...
  • Potential of the horror genre in a TV environment
  • What defines art..
  • Heroes and Villians (some even of the 'super' nature)
  • The New Media (Twitter, podcasts, etc...) and the future of how we get the news
  • Michael Vick
  • The constructs of family (continued)
  • The Dead Weather - Horehound
  • The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
  • The Fiery Furnaces in general...
Cursive - Mama, I'm Satan
You're gonna do what I say
And say what I say
You stretch your peacock feathers
You're always on display
Don't act so God damned conflicted
You wouldn't have it any other way

You're gonna write down these words
And pass them along
You're gonna fill your book
With your rights and wrongs
You're going to tell your lurid world
The true intentions of these songs

I'm writing out a confession
Every record I've written has left me smitten
A career in masturbation
All in all we're pawns
The ego of mankind stirs in us all

You wanna wipe that slate
And start all over again
You wanna hide your face
In shame of what your grandpappy did
Pretty soon here we'll all be grandfathers
And our offspring will sing the same shit

The world was built on ego
It was built on slaves
The world was built on a tickle
Between our legs
Come on you big strong man
You wouldn't have it any other way

I'm writing out a confession
My fathers and brothers
Raped your sisters and mothers
We are the sons of butchers
All in all we're pawns
The darkness of mankind stirs in us all

I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out
I cast you out

I'll drag you out
I'll drive you out
I'll drug you out
I'll tear you out
I'll cut you out
I'll kick you out
I'll push you out
I'll pull you out
I cast you out
I'll curse you out
I'll shut you out
I'll shit you out
I'll clean you out
Grab a rope and hang you out to dry
Now I'll damn you out
I cast you out
I'll shove you out
I'm stayin'
All in all we're pawns
The darkness of mankind stirs in us all

So a few months ago, a band I listen to quite often, Cursive released the album Mama, I'm Swollen. Now, a quick Cursive history lesson. Around 2001 they release Domestica, which was literally a walk-through the painful divorce of primary songwriter and lead singer, Tim Kasher. In 2003 they released The Ugly Organ, which was a brilliant record containing some beautiful cello throughout what is mostly a hard rock album. The Ugly Organ is all about sex, and the empty meaningless relationships that we fill ourselves with after a serious relationship ending. Basically, it's the rebound record. In 2006 it was Happy Hallow which is about God, or his absence, throughout a quintessential Bible belt small town and the sins of all of it's highest ranking citizens (you have one gay minister, another who sleeps with minors, a gigolo, etc...) Multiple songs openly question God's existence ("Rise Up, Rise Up" and "Big Bang" in particular). They even go as far to say that if God does exist, to not interfere because everytime his name is brought up, only bad follows ("Retreat!"). They replaced the gorgeous cello from The Ugly Organ (the cellist went solo?) with a bombastic horn section which works wonderfully with the lyrical content. This is one of the best trilogies of music I am yet to come upon. Thematically, they play great together as the progressional thought of life. From the ripping apart of a relationship, to the emptiness that follows, to the search for God. I see it as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, a progression through one's complete soul as we all have this in us...this mature, but deeply sadden individual, this immature, but lonely individual, and this lost soul seeking answers and comfort in the heavens and so rarely hearing a response. So how do you follow-up such a complete trilogy of music? Thematically, those albums evolve...musically, those albums evolve. Everything about each album flows into the next and it fits, like puzzle pieces, and I don't think it was possible for me NOT to be disappointed by whatever they choose to release next.

Here comes Mama, I'm Swollen. The entire album is an evaluation of the human condition, essentially, how we are all sinners regardless of how we try to see or carry ourselves. In "From The Hips" we hear the argument that man was happier when sex wasn't about social parameters, but just did what felt good (a topic well covered on The Ugly Organ). In "Caveman" we question the advancements of man, if they were actually advancements, etc... By no means are these poor songs, by any means, and the album is perhaps a great album out of context versus the previous three by Cursive, but thematically and musically (they return to being a straight rock band without any "non-traditional" rock arrangements), it doesn't hold up to the previous three. Contextually, it seems almost out of place, although somehow fitting in the questioning nature of the lyrics.

That all being said, there is a particular gem on the album and I've posted the lyrics above (if you haven't already figured that out). "Mama, I'm Satan" is about we, as a people, and how there is a killer or a rapist, in every single one of us. What's more, is that every great injustice throughout time - slavery, the inquisition and the crusades, the holocaust...every single one of us is capable of terribly great things. So how can we at any point in time, justify any actions we do and think we are right? How often have we been right in the past? We may feel something is right, but we're wrong, we're always wrong. Humans are evil, is basically the bottom line. So I guess, what are your thoughts on lyrics and on mankind - are we as evil as we are made out to be? I'll go see if the song is on Project Playlist...that's a negative. Oh well, I can send it out to anyone interested, as well as a selected Cursive collection...or the entire trilogy (I need more early Cursive, but that's neither here nor there).

Anyways, what do you think of mankind? Ta.

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