Song of the Week: “Good Times” by Pianos Become the Teeth

As somebody who thinks a lot about performance, certainly one of the things I love about “Good Times” (and really all the songs) by Pianos Become the Teeth is the seemingly impossible and wrecked/fucked/reckless performance aspect of the vocal (Note: After you listen to this song, imagine doing it night after night on tour—and not just this one song, but lots of them).  One doesn’t “sing” this way without physical consequences.  To do this, one has to approach every performance as if it might be the last one ever.  And yet, musically speaking, and from a listener’s perspective, once we settle in, once we get used to the roaring scrape of it, there’s something almost sweet (and obviously incredibly sad) here.  The song ebbs and flows, as it lurches from the melodic and convulsive to the nostalgic and (most especially, ultimately) cathartic.  It’s a demonstration of what the phrase “difficult beauty” was made for—or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.”

-Matt Hart

Matt Hart is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012).  A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band Travel.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

See all Songs of the Week here.