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I once saw Mark Knopfler support Dylan and it was hands down the worst live show I’ve ever seen. It was already deathly boring when he introduced “the best piccolo player in the UK” and after that, it

Smashed this week’s job, asked the gaffer if I needed to come in tomorrow.  I said no. 

Not a fucking clue what's going on at any point in this album but the guitar work is absolutely class for you lads in that guitar thread.

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Now you're talking. I was going to get that until I realised I've got most of the tracks already, so I ordered the missing two albums for about four quid each instead. Fine stuff.




by Mark Edwards, The Sunday Times



Opposites attract. And I think it's the opposites in Mark Oliver Everett's songs that attracted me. I think it's the opposites that make his work so special.


They're not merely opposites. Some of them are heart-wrenchingly irreconcilable conflicts - the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" decisions that bedevil our lives, those moments when you suddenly realize that you want X but you need Y, and you can't have both, and you beat yourself up so much over the choice that you end up with neither.


But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Perhaps you've only recently discovered the Eels and you've decided to find out more, and so here you are with an album called Meet The Eels which will allow you to do just that. And I'm going on about the opposites and conflicts and paradoxes at the heart of the man's work as if you're already au fait with his oeuvre. And you're thinking "uh-oh, I just wanted some nice songs."


Don't let me put you off. All I'm saying is that there's a tension in Everett's songs that gives them a strength and a resonance that most other songwriters couldn't ever equal. Sometimes the tension exists in the title. Your Lucky Day in Hell. Just how lucky can that be? I suppose it sounds better than an unlucky day in Hell. Although I'm not sure that we should rush out and get T-shirts made, saying "Better a good day in Hell than a bad day in Heaven."


Sometimes the tension is between the lyric and Everett's delivery. "Goddam right, it's a beautiful day," he sings on Mr. E's Beautiful Blues. But he sure doesn't sound like he believes it. Although he does sound as though he's decided that if he says it often enough, he might start to believe it. Mr. E's Beautiful Blues was the big hit single off Daisies of the Galaxy, and yet it only appeared bolted on the end of the album as a "hidden" track. (Sometimes the tension is between the art and the marketplace.)


Sometimes the tension is between the lyrics and the music. Go and put on track 11 without looking to see what it's called. Gee, that piano is pretty isn't it? What kind of sweet, tender lyric would go well with that loveliness. Oh, well, he's ruined it, hasn't he with his foul language? Imagine what a smooth love lyric Paul McCartney might have put in there. Or Elton John.


Except that he hasn't ruined anything. (Goddam right) It's a beautiful song, and it's even more beautiful because he made it a little ugly too.


The French have an expression for it: "Jolie-laid." Leaving the Angelina jokes aside, it means "pretty-ugly." Not "pretty ugly" as in "she's pretty ugly," but "pretty-ugly" as in pretty and ugly at the same time. They reckon that people who veer slightly away from the perfect symmetrical norms are actually more attractive than those people who are, er, more attractive. If you follow. The pretty isn't really pretty until you add a bit of the ugly.


Which brings us neatly to Mr. E's world view. Because sometimes the tension is between received wisdom and Mr. E's world view. As in Hey Man (Now You're Really Living). And I quote:


"Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor

And cry your guts out 'til you got no more

Hey man, now you're really living."


Most people think it's a funny song, but we're not most people. We're cleverer than that. We understand that what E's doing here is taking the whole "jolie-laid" idea and applying it to life as a whole. Life can't be beautiful unless there's a bit of ugliness in there, too. Or, as your Jungian therapist might say (if you had one) "you have to embrace the shadow." "Now you're really living" doesn't just mean you're having a great time, it means that you're REALLY living, and REALLY living involves sometimes having a really bad time (but that way, when you do finally have a really great time, you should appreciate it).


It's a hard philosophy, but E never lied to us. Right back in the first song on this compilation he told us "life is hard, and so am I."


Those with a working knowledge of rock musician's biographies will know two facts about Mark Oliver Everett:


First, that his father was a famous physicist who authored the Many Worlds theory, which tries to make sense of some of Quantum Physics' loose ends by suggesting that every possible outcome of every event exists. Those of us who are not quite as clever as Dr. Hugh Everett extrapolate from this the idea of an infinite number of universes each marginally different than the next one. So in one of these alternate worlds there is a band called Eels and an album called Meet The Eels and you bought it, but you never read these sleeve notes (and what a strange and unimaginable world that must be).


The irony here is that so many of the issues that E tangles with in his songs and in his life might be easily resolvable were he to have emerged in a slightly different world. One where there are no loveless, and where your soul doesn't need any novocaine. One where we humans were more like birds.


The other fact we know about E is that he lost all his family members in fairly quick succession, and that instead of shutting down and giving up, he addressed his feelings in songs -- most obviously on the Electro-shock Blues album. Not in a couple of lines at the end of a verse somewhere, but relentlessly and in an incredibly moving way.


This is one of the things that makes E special. Not that he suffered loss. (That's part of really living.) But that he confronted it head on and made something so extraordinary out of it. There are only a handful of songwriters who have done this. John Lennon on Plastic Ono Band. Kurt Cobain on In Utero. E.


That's the company he keeps.


I haven't mentioned my favorite Eels song yet. It's called I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart. I'm not going to analyze it, because it's already perfect, and any insight I have into it won't make it any better. Anyway, you're already won over by the title -- the amazing title -- or, if you're not, then your life is probably a lot more straightforward than E's, and it may well be that you just bought the wrong record. But don't get too upset about it. Sometimes, as E says, you just gotta let it go.



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Sergej Vassiljevitsj Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2 (Op. 18) - Adagio Sostenuto


Going to use your synth for some 'switched on Rachmaninoff'? :lol:


Fuck that :D


Me and the Drummer done bliss by muse quite well before.


It's class because the synth doesn't go out of time :rolleyes:

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