Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How we feel

When you're in an audience of one.

"Well, I'm up in T.O. keepin' jive alive
And out on the corner, it's half past five

But the subways are empty

And so are the cafes

Except for the Farmer's Market

And I still can hear him say

You're all just pissin' in the wind

You don't know it but you are

And there ain't nothin' like a friend

Who can tell you, you're just pissin' in the wind".

For no particular reason but repeated here: part of the lyric of "Ambulance Blues" from Neil Young's 1974 album, On the Beach.

I recall being disappointed by this record at the time of it's release, not enough clever, catchy songs or angry guitar work. Too subdued and almost painfully wistful and political, but I always liked this lyrical segment though I wasn't sure why. Farmers Markets were not a thing in Scotland, we just had the Co-op, pissin' into the wind however was fairly common.

At that time I was clearly unable to understand or appreciate that my heroes might, now and then go and produce something more nuanced or jarring just for the hell of it. I didn't realise that the career trajectory of musicians couldn't be forever rising upwards in terms of pleasing me and appealing to my "judgement". Now I know that there's a longer game going on, it's called life. There's no real need to hurry and it's better to say what you have to say in your own way than trying to please an audience or worse trying to pander to the critical acclaim of the media. Having said that you might also want to earn a living, only a few can make that call. As for pissin' in the wind? No change.

I used to look at this cover and think "those dumb boots just don't look right there". They could hardly look right on the left of the frame.

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