Friday, April 05, 2013

Everlong



I once told a friend of a friend that just as I liked New Order more than Joy Division, I like the Foo Fighters more than Nirvana. It isn't true, of course, but I said it because the guy was tedious and I wanted to say something terribly outre which would make him go talk to someone else. It is amusing that that was what I came up with as it didn't succeed in getting the guy to go away, it just made him more condescending and pretentious. I really should have gone for broke and said I preferred Wings to The Beatles, but I didn't think of it and, besides, I am not sure I could have pulled that off as there are limits to my acting abilities. Had I been more interested in conversation, I probably would have said what I really feel, which is that while comparisons are understandable, it seems not only unfair, but somewhat dishonest, to place these bands next to one another. It seems like something we do to elevate one person's genius at the expense of another and, often, there is the unspoken critique of the later band for "selling out." As if the original band, or at least the genius of the band, was completely uninterested in success, that they lived for their art alone and their subsequent deaths are proof that they were too good for this world. It denies the reality that a rock band, when it works, is more than the sum of its parts and a reflection of its time and place. It denies the role serendipity plays when a piece of at, be it a song or a ballet or a film, becomes the agent of cultural change. Worst of all, it denies the notion that the other members of a band may want to have an artistic life beyond that one moment, suggesting that after the original group disbands they should never have the audacity to create more art (so if they do, it is by default, less good).

Having said all that, I don't really care for most of the songs by the Foo Fighters that I have heard. I mean, they aren't bad, but they don't hit me in my solar plexus and make me briefly forget to breathe.

Except this one.

This song, for me, captures that jumping off a cliff and not caring how hard the ground will smack you abandon that one feels when they are in the early stages of a relationship, when infatuation and lust are at their peak and everything that other person says or does is a revelation, when you would swear your heartbeat is in sync with that one other person's. "Breathe out so I can breath you in"has to be one of the most achingly true romantic lines ever to appear in a post-punk song. It was the hook which drew me in as it perfectly captures that moment when you are so close you inhale the exhalations of another and realize how singular and individual the interior of one's lungs is.


Which is also kindof exactly the way it feels in an artistic collaboration when everything clicks into place. 


So when I read that every human has a "breathprint" I immediately thought of this song. In particular, the fact though the exact composition of a person's breath changes day to day, "these variations were still well within each person's very distinct "core" breathprint."

Don't you love it when science confirms what our hearts and our art have been saying all along?



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