Sunday, March 16, 2008


So it's been a week since I last had any kind of internet access, and in that week I managed to

a) improve my golf game, but in an amount so negligible that it's laughable.
b) purchase BluBlockers.
c) pour through disc after disc of the lovely and talented Veronica Mars
d) listen to the Mars Volta like I was getting paid for it.
e) miss all 3 of you who read this, as well as the countless that I wish did, like hell.

Thanks for the memories, now, then, and for all the whens. It doesn't seem like it matters...but it does.


I've always felt that some of the best songs I've ever heard are really, really short. Apparently brevity, aside from being the soul of wit, is the lifeblood of pop brilliance. A 2-3 minute song is usually much more focused, clever, and downright enjoyable than the epics brought about by some artists, though by no means is this any kind of solid observation.

The Kinks are a band that are known unknowns, to turn a phrase off a Three-Six Mafia record. Everyone has heard of the Kinks, and everyone has heard "Lola" or "You Really Got Me"...and that is that. The Kinks enjoyed great success in England, and Ray Davies is probably one of the greatest singer/ songwriters of any generation. The song that made me realize how wrong I was to lump the Kinks into the British Invasion Also-Rans is one of the happiest, poppiest, prettiest and most evocative songs I've ever heard, off of their 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village
Green Preservation Society,

"People Take Pictures of Each Other"

Clocking in at a mere 2:12, Ray and the gang take us through a lifetime of photographs, with and without his presence. Using generalizations of occasions when people would photograph one another, and blended with personal anecdotes, the song offers a sweet and sentimental look at exactly what makes one care about the fleeting moments of life. As Ray himself puts it in one of the most poignant and gorgeous verses ever written, "People take pictures of each other/ and the moment to last them forever/ of the time when they mattered to someone." The deceptively easygoing backing track caught me off guard the first few times and found me singing along, completely underlying the powerful message contained in one simple sentence. The Kinks capture a moment of sublime sentiment in telling us what we know; pictures capture what we wish we could have forever. Time flees, people fade, but pictures help us delay reality for the better. No matter what one thinks of him or herself, everyone has had their picture taken, which reminds us of a simple resolution; at some point in time, someone thought so much of each of us that they wanted that fleeting second to last, that one particular moment, for as long as it possibly could. As the narrator of the songs puts it, "How I love things as they used to be/ Don't show me no more please." Overwhelmed by all the energy and fulfillment that a simple object can hold, the narrator finds himself relenting to this emotional tidal wave. The song captures the feeling of stumbling onto old photographs and "time traveling" to periods that mattered to someone, somewhere, enough to grasp tightly.

This song reminds me of "the good times," when people could just be at their most emotionally naked, and when there was nothing more important than the moment. As I'm graduating in just a few months, this song particularly hits close to home, as those of you who personally know me are aware of how notoriously camera-evasive I can be most of the time. A song like "People Take Pictures of Each Other" reminds me that life is too short to let slip, that it's too short to avoid or dodge out of the frame of, and as futile as it seems to try to fit an abstract concept into the inevitably fallible , it'll be worth it someday, somewhere. To someone.

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