Thursday, January 05, 2006

One Cool Cat

Piss, piss, moan, moan. Most Emo music, a la Dashboard Confessional or early Bright Eyes, bores me to tears. Just die already. But not when it's written from the point of view of an Emo kitty with poetic sensibilities.

Why don't you ever want to play?
I'm tired of this piece of string.
You sleep as much as I do now,
and you don't eat much of anything.

I don't know who you're talking to
I made a search through every room,
but all I found was dust that moved
in shadows of the afternoon.

And listen,
about those bitter songs you sing?
They're not helping anything.
They won't make you strong.

So, we should open up the house.
Invite the tabby two doors down.
You could ask your sister
if she doesn't bring her Basset Hound.
Ask the things you shouldn't miss:
tape-hiss and the Modern Man,
The Cold War and Card Catalogues,
to come and join us if they can

for girly drinks and parlor games.
We'll pass around the easy lie
of absolutely no regrets,
and later maybe you could try
to let your losses dangle off
the sharp edge of the century,
and talk about the weather, or
how the weather used to be.

And I'll cater
with all the birds that I can kill.
Let their tiny feathers fill

Lie down;
lick the sorrow from your skin.
Scratch the terror and begin
to believe you're strong.

All you ever want to do is drink and watch TV,
and frankly that thing doesn't really interest me.
I swear I'm going to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood
if you don't stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating
since the day you brought me home.
I know you're strong.
-- The Weakerthans, "Plea from a Cat Named Virtue"


Anonymous said...

I think Emo died when Chris Carraba started Dashboard and MTV discovered they could market Emo to the masses. Post-hardcore, however, will never die!

Joel said...

I cannot tell you how much I have loved this song since the first time I heard it! It stopped me dead in my tracks. The whole Reconstruction Site record is full of so many beautiful gems, musical and lyrical.

Chris -- correct, they're not an emo band, & Andy knows that. He's letting them speak for him, yes?

Andy Whitman said...

Hi, Chris, and hi, Joel. It's great to hear from you. Bryan, it's great to hear from you, too, but I can always tell you that in person, unlike these other two guys.

Yeah, the "Emo" comment was a bit tongue in cheek. If Emo even exists these days as a musical category, it certainly doesn't do much for me. But I see John Samson (lead singer/songwriter for The Weakerthans) operating more from the venerable introspective singer/songwriter category, although he often does so loudly and aggressively, unlike the navel-gazers of the '70s. Which is great.

I'm a big, big fan of Samson and his band, and I think he's near the top of current songwriters. Most songwriters can't really cut it as poets, and although every song loses something when it's removed from its musical context, most of Samson's lyrics hold up quite well. Anybody who writes lines about "the sharp edge of the century" and "the easy lie of no regrets" clearly has a lot more going for him poetically than the usual "life sucks, love sucks, and I'm gonna moan about it" approach of the Emo hacks.