Friday, October 29, 2004

Close My Eyes, She's Somehow Closer Now

This upcoming weekend, I plan on writing what feels like my 90th post regarding the upcoming election. I hope to cover two items: [1] I plan on endorsing a presidential candidate (guess who?) and [2] I’m going to engage in a little armchair prognostication, discussing what the world will be like if Kerry is elected, and vice versa.

But for today, more light-hearted fare:

On a run last night, I was lucky enough to hear Ed Ward’s review of Brian Wilson’s 37-years-in-the-making album, SMiLE. (The review’s audio link is the bottom one on the linked HTML page)

Ed’s review is wonderful, and I’m happy that Wilson has finally completed this work. After the review, KQED played a great big chunk of Good Vibrations, the central track of SMiLE (of course, Good Vibrations was released in 1966, shortly after it was recorded; however, it was released as a single, not as a track in a larger album).

Running to Good Vibrations (iTunes link) felt, well… good. This song profoundly influenced rock music, challenging McCartney and Lennon to produce Sgt. Pepper and the White Album.

But a seminal place in rock history wasn’t why Good Vibrations soothed me. Good Vibrations does something else for me, something important. It manages to incorporate conflict, contradiction, and confusion into a central theme while retaining a hang-in-there inspirational quality.

For so many people, these days feel shifting and dangerous, important and decisive. Good Vibrations reminds me that uncertainty isn’t necessarily negative. Uncertainty can be neutral, even positive. When Wilson penned this song, the times – they were a-changin’. Same as now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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