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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

(Belly)

You thought this post was going to be about body parts, or potentially the use of sex appeal in advertising. Well it’s not about either, though I have much to say on the subject of both. It’s about the band I’m listening to right this minute. And I’d put a link on my blog sidebar under what I’m listening to, but that’s too much trouble.

I tell you what, though. I’ve been into "King" since last spring. So I thought I’d do a tribute to Belly of the early 90’s, now disbanded. Though their first album, "Star," was the big hit, "King" has me hooked. And according to allmusic.com, this is the album that bombed, like hypercolor shirts did when everyone realized they were stupid (what a concept, a shirt that changes color when exposed to heat). Unlike hypercolor shirts, "King" doesn’t have the excuse of being a stupid album. In fact, I’d say it was the audience that miserably failed the intelligence test (good job to the few out there who got it and kept their "King" albums). I don’t remember what happened because I was only 16 and extremely misled by pop radio stations. Besides, everyone evolves at a different pace or, to be unexpectedly cliché, marches to the beat of their own drum and I was hearing and evolving to the drums of Chicago’s "Greatest Hits, 1982-1989," and the likes. Embarrassing to admit now, but that was the truth for then (not embarrassing: very early Chicago).

So anyway. Lucky for me there are souls who are more misled than I am (now) and while working at the before-mentioned Graywhale cd store (see Sense of Humor: some have it…) my superior (but only in rank. Joke) Bryan, pulled a $5.99 used copy of "King" off the shelf and said, “Have you ever heard this?”

I said, “No.”

And he said, “It’s really good. My friend, Jesse [or Jason, or Bill or something], loves this band. He got me into them. Try them out.”

So I did, try them out, that is. (I don’t know what else it could have been but felt like saying that anyway because I think adding ‘that is’ to anything is extremely funny. Or stupid, I don’t know.) Yeah, I tried them out and at the time thought, they’re kind of cool. Besides, I found one in our store for $3.99, which meant like $1.00 for me because of employee discount and therefore I bought. (I left ‘it’ out on purpose.)

I listened to it during the spring of that year, and before I went to Prague with Matt (the mathematician) and got all weirded out by Isaac (just suddenly, one day I didn’t trust him) I blasted it through my sweet Tacoma stereo driving up to southern Idaho to ride horses in Eden (not really Eden, but a very beautiful area which I liked to call Eden). This was before Stoker.

This story has gone on way too long. The point is, I’ll always associate it with spring/summer music. And the lonely time before Stoker and after arm-band-tattooed-Isaac, because I listened to it a lot before Stoker and after Isaac (self-explanatory really, but I’ve a tendency to over-explain. Do forgive). And I didn’t think it was a great album, then. I listened to it because it was new to me and different from the shoe-gazing emo music (to steal an ‘industry’ description) I’d been listening to for months and months. Sitting at work lately, listening to it very, very often, because I’ve been too lazy to change what’s playing—you know, all the energy it takes to move my arm a foot to my right, grasp the mouse and drag the arrow across the screen and click the little button—I’ve come to realize that it is, after all a great album.

Album favorites: all of them.
Album highlights: probably all of them, at different times, depending on my mood.
Album first-loves: “Seal my Fate” and “King.”

Album favorite lines: from “King” – "Now, I see, you lay your perfect body, down by me..."
From "Untitled and Unsung" -- "I want your pearly little hand in my hair, we make a strange and furious pair..."
From "Now They'll Sleep" -- "You know the breath my shape will take before I let it out..."

Most played song on the album: “Super-Connected.”

What to do if this album doesn’t strike you as excellent at first: Give it time. If you have a cd-player in your car, take all the other albums out. Leave only "King" at your disposal for your listening pleasure. When tempted to take it out, don’t. Turn it up. Continue listening. Learn the words. Sing along. Let the magic eat you alive and enjoy it. How many albums get better with each listening? Not the likes of Maroon 5 (though, admittedly, I like some of their songs). Why? Because it doesn’t have endurance. It lacks, like so many people these days, staying power.

Tomorrow: “10 things NOT to do in the bathroom at work.”*


*I’m building you up. Creating anticipation. Making promises I might not keep.

3 comments:

Stoker said...

So I bought this album as a 311-crazed 9th grader. This was probably about the time you were a graduating high-school senior. I bought it during a time when my favorite activity was buying albums based solely on the cover art. You'd be surprised at how well you can determine the musical contents of a cd by what is on the outside. Anyway, I bought King for $1.99 or something outrageous like that. Well, I listened to it once or twice, or maybe not even that. Then I decided to trade it for something better. I never met anyone who knew either the band or the album, and it sank from my memory.

Until you resurrected it. I feel bad, but I do remember that it was somewhat unlistenable at first. I will give it a second chance. Thank you.

Aries327 said...

Have you read my post about buying books by the cover? I wonder if it's still there.

Erica said...

Thanks for the reccomendation! I will look up that cd next time I am in graywhale...