“Echos Myron” by Guided by Voices
How to trash-compact “the same old songs” into noisy time-cubes of something almost new? Found shreds of melody (“is that the Kinks doing early Beatles?”), shards of lyric longing. Is not the desire to recycle melodies and images (Babel’s fall) a form of nostalgic hoarding, cupidity for the lost?
Most of us are quite pleased
With the same old songs
Then all of a sudden I’m relatively sane
With everything to lose and nothing to gain
This song blends smashed tunefulness and aching disaffection. Though we desire—increasingly, with our years—the music of our youth, it’s not enough. Sometimes one wakes up to the reality of his life and it terrifies him. Call it a crisis. Call it a psychic battle against complacency. This song inhabits the anxious place that midlife (see Dante) brings us to, then celebrates it: we’re finally here. And shit yeah, it’s cool.
Philip Metres is the author of numerous books including Sand Opera (Alice James 2015), Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Poetic Texts of Lev Rubinstein (2014), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), abu ghraib arias (2011), and To See the Earth (2008). A two-time recipient of the NEA and the Arab American Book Award, he is a Creative Workforce Fellow in 2014 and is professor of English at John Carroll University. He can be found online at www.philipmetres.com.
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