Monday, November 24, 2003

time after time

i thought of that song b/c i got a new album by cyndi lauper in the mail. it's standards, a la rod stewart or something. there is a typically witty cover shot of her in an elegant evening gown, hair dramatically-yet-eccentrically upswept, with the night skyline and full moon in the background. the effect is of her standing in the open moonroof of a limo or something, but she's actually in a manhole (personhole, utility conduit, whatev)! which is super-hot. and wicked funny.

anyway. "time after time." it's a ballad but not sappy. it has this ticking bit of percussion that sort of propels it along, as well as her breathy, crackly, oddly beautiful voice keeping time with its singsong phrasing, so much of her delivery devoid of punctuation ("if you're lost you can look and you will find me" ... "if you fall i will catch you i'll be waiting"), the whole damn song a circle like the sweeping hands of a clock. time after time.

and it's about ... hmmmm ... wouldn't you like to know? it makes me think of a lot of things. certain people i love and wish to stay connected to, although some i've lost along the way or just don't see enough. but it also makes me think of college, of meeting the friends who would help shape me into the freak i am today, and how their influences have lasted. specifically i think of rob, as he so adored cyndi lauper. as did we all, really. her bag-lady look, and all the wild makeup. she was definitely a freak. but her songs were purely pop, as well as representative (even a harbinger) of the era, and they certainly have endured. (and i don't just mean "true colors" getting used as a kodak commercial.) she played a concert on campus, and we went. i wore the most ridiculous outfit. it must have been ... 1984? it was in the basketball gym; i can't remember the name of it anymore. we stood on our chairs the whole time. she entered floating in a hot air balloon. that chick had style. and still does. (btw, she is fucking 50!! looking good, GF!)

it's just a kiss away

last year when i was bartending, i went through a phase of playing "gimme shelter" in the car over and over and over, while driving westside to east, eastside to west, on the way to and from work. daytime or night, it managed to both define and blend into the shifting landscape. it didn't matter how many times i hit "repeat." the hunger to hear it never stopped.

eventually i did quit obsessing, but now i am doing it again. there's something about the totality of the tune that just perfectly captures the unsettling menace, and the deficit compassion, of these times.

why is it so fascinating to me? is it the spooky harmonica? the hollowed-out haunted guitar? the muffled prayer of a vocal? it speaks of dark places you don't want to go. dark things you can barely conceive of. but it also speaks of love. not just how far away it is or how close. not just ... needing it, seeking it, having it. but KNOWING IT IS THERE.

love is the key. i learn this lesson over and over and over. it doesn't seem to quite sink in, or maybe the hunger to realize it never stops.

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