The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Why I Love Music


The Kinks (circa 1966)

I've reached the end of my five Ws and one H, with this image, of my favourite musical act of all time. Why the Kinks? Their best music simply strikes a chord with me, romantic without being maudlin, sentimental without getting sloppy. Songs like Waterloo Sunset and Days were a gateway to nostalgia for me, and led me to understood why we should cherish the past without wanting to live there. (Village Green Preservation Society may contradict that, but Ray Davies--ever the satirist--may have been taking the mickey out of that attitude, although I still say God save Sherlock Holmes and Desperate Dan.)

Davies' ability to reach out to that music loving loner is what's kept the Kinks legend alive for so long, whether singing about a tryst with a convincing transvestite or a stroll with the ghosts of Hollywood royalty. I feel like Davies has spoken to me in a way that few songwriters have been able to (although a lot of Pet Sounds is a lightning bolt to the psyche) and for that I am eternally grateful.

God save the Kinks.

8 comments :

Tom Sutpen said...

Beautiful tribute, Stephen. As both friend and co-blogger, hoewever, I have one request:

More W's!!Recycle them babies and give us more 'Whatses' and 'Whoses' and 'Whyses'. Forthwith!

Do I has to beg?

swac said...

Wow...fast with the comment!
Okay, more Ws...I haven't done wherfore and whither yet. Although at the moment I'm labouring under the burden of a fair bit of whiskey. Damn that cursed letter.

Tom Sutpen said...

Talk about serendipity!

So am I (hic).

Sam said...

Gotta love that drunk blogging, huh kids?

swac said...

My MSN icon is a picture of Captain Haddock from Tintin comics...and at the moment not only do I have a beard (and a jaunty nautical manner) but a fair bit of Canadian Club and Canada Dry burning a fire down below. Well, I'm nothing if not patriotic.

swac said...

Sam! Go to bed!

Tom Sutpen said...

Canadian Club?

I'm currently running on Vodka meself.

I've yet do do any blog entries while on weed, so that might make for an interesting experiment

swac said...

I don't normally do whiskey, I'm more of a vodka man myself, but I was at a party, and it was in the freezer, and....well, any port in a storm, as Captain Haddock might say.

As for weed, haven't touched the stuff since I was 14. Long story there...but it hasn't been for lack of opportunity.