Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day Thirteen: Rain Kings

In 1993, I was a freshman in high school when I was introduced to the Counting Crows' debut album August and Everything After.  It was almost instantly my favorite and has remained such in the eighteen years that have followed.  Unfortunately, so many people only know the one major hit from August--"Mr. Jones"--which is the most "mainstream" song on the album.  I, on the other hand, absorbed every word, every note, and listened over and over until the CD was in need of being replaced.  Since then, I've owned three more copies not including the deluxe edition in 2007.  I suppose I should download the tracks on Amazon or iTunes, but I feel the need to own the disc. 

Since 1993, I've fallen more and more in love with the Counting Crows with the release of Recovering the Satellites, This Desert Life, Hardy Candy, Across the Wire and Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, along with numerous live recordings I've collected along the way.  Something about the music and the lyrics and Adam Duritz's voice combine to speak to my soul.  As years have passed, I've grown with their music.  The lyrics' meanings have shifted and changed as I've gotten older and added to my life's palette of experiences.  Every listen brings something new.   I regret I've only experienced them live five times, but each time has been better than the last. 

So for Day Thirteen--my favorite band--I've chosen my beloved Crows.  Instead of saying anything else about them, I'm just going to share some of my favorite lyrics and a few pictures I've taken at shows.  There's no way I can explain exactly why they are so sacred to me.  You can't talk someone into loving the Crows.  You either get it or you don't.  Hope some of you get it if you haven't before. 

"But the girl on the car in the parking lot?Says, "Man, you should try to take a shot/Can't you see my walls are crumbling?"  ("Rain King")

"This time when kindness falls like rain/It washes her away. And Anna begins to change her mind/These seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering for days," she says/And I'm not ready for this sort of thing."
("Anna Begins")

"When I think of heaven (Deliver me in a black-winged bird)/I think of dying/Lay me down in a field of flame and heather/Render up my body into the burning heart of God/In the belly of a black-winged bird...
I belong in the service of the queen/I belong anywhere but in between/She's been dying and I've been drinking/And I am the Rain King."
("Rain King")

"These train conversations are passing me by/And I don't have nothing to say/You get what you pay for/But I just had no intention of living this way...There's things I remember and things I forget/I miss you I guess that I should..."  ("Raining in Baltimore")
"Well, I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow/Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there counting crows...There's a bird that nests inside you/Sleeping underneath your skin/Yeah, when you open up your wings to speak/I wish you'd let me in..."  ("Murder of One")

"I dream of Michelangelo when I'm lying in my bed/Little angels hang above my head and read me like an open book/Suck my blood, break my nerve offer me their arms /Well, I will not be an enemy of anything I'll only stand here/Waiting for you/All my sins I said that I would pay for them if I could come back to you..." ("Angels of the Silences")

"Get away from me/Get away from me/This isn't gonna be easy/But I don't need you/Believe me/Yeah you got a piece of me/But it's just a little piece of me/And I don't need anyone/These days I feel like I'm fading away..." ("Have You Seen Me Lately")

"So why'd you come home to this faithless town/Where we make a lifetime commitment to recovering the satellites/And all anybody really wants to know is when are you gonna come down." ("Recovering the Satellites")

"She is trapped inside a month of grey/And they take a little every day/She is a victim of her own responses/ Shackled to a heart that wants to settle and then runs away...She'll change so suddenly/She's just like mercury/ But she's alright with me."  ("Mercury")

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower/Makes you talk a little lower/About the things you could not show her..." ("Long December") 
"We spent all day getting sober/Just hiding from daylight?Watching TV (fading away)/We just look a lot better in the blue light/Well, you know I gotta get out/But I'm stuck so tight/Weighed by the chains that keep me hanginaround this town on the corner..." ("Hanginaround")

"If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts" ("Mrs. Potter's Lullaby")
"Well there's a piece of Maria in every song that I sing/And the price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings"  ("Mrs. Potter's Lullaby")  
"And there are people who will say that they knew me so well/I may not go to heaven/I hope you go to hell" ("St. Robinson's Cadillac Dream")

"If I could make it rain today/And wash away this sunny day down to the gutter...I would/Just to get a change of pace..." ("Amy Hit the Atmosphere")

"You send your lover off to China/Then you wait for her to call /You put your girl up on a pedestal/Then you wait for her to fall..." ("Hard Candy")

"She waits another week to fall apart?She couldn't make another day/I wish it was anyone but me/I could have been anyone you see/She had something breakable just under her skin..." ("American Girls")

If I could give all my love to you/I could justify myself/but I'm just not coming through/You're a pill to ease the pain of all the stupid things I do" ("Richard Manuel is Dead")

"I love like a fountain/and it left me like nothing/just the memories of walking through Washington Square/"  ("Washington Square")

"I watched all of the same parades/As they passed on the days that you wish you'd stayed/All this pain gets me high/And I get off and you know why..." ("You Can't Count on Me")

"Let's go dance to siren's song/Come now/Leave your damage behind and gone/Some are lost to you/Wasted time running scared///Leave your damage behind and gone/Just come now/Let's go to the dance floor/Come now/Lose your mind at Le Ballet d'Or"  ("Le Ballet d'Or")

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