August 14, 2006

New Love: The Shins "Kissing The Lipless"


I'm not a Shins fan. I'm not sure if this is a product of my age, or not. I like some of what The Shins do, but I'm not even mildly obsessed about this band. I don't feel that allegiance with the music and artists I once held to my chest, stoked in my overheated brain, and trawled for on late night radio. But then I don't feel that way about any musicians any longer. What I do love is the discovery of new favourites. So, still not sure if this is a product of greying and missing hair follicles, but I'm beginning to get an inkling that it just may be. I guess why I don't love The Shins is because they remind me of older music (namely The Beach Boys, whom I can't stand) and, as I mentioned, I love discovering new songs and bands. Or rediscovering familiar songs, such as this Shins track from 2003's Chutes Too Narrow. Music is, was, and always will be, a huge part of my life and falling in love with new bands and new songs (and even old songs) is the sweet junk I'd mug a granny for. And just the other day the junk that stole the tremor from my hands and the appetite from my belly was The Shins "Kissing The Lipless". I think it's likely their best song, although that may just be my dislike for everything Beach Boys talkin' here. Beach Boys influences are a hefty portion of The Shins sound, and for me, a much too obvious part. BUT "Kissing The Lipless" shakes enough sand from the band's Northwestern boots to grab me by the ears, like a sixteen-year-old girl with an ear-piercing needle. Gratefully, that sharp image shatters as the voice of Shins' vocalist Mercer, rises into the ether and pierces the pleasure centre of this music junkie's brain… "You told us of your new life there…". And I'm telling you of my new love here.

+ kissing the lipless [mp3]
[find more shins songs here]

"Kissing The Lipless"
Called to see
If your back
was still aligned
And your sheets
Were growing grass
All on the corners of your bed

But you've got too much to wear
On your sleeves
That has too much to do with me
And secretly
I want to bury in the yard
The grey remains of a friendship scarred

You told us of your new life there
you got someone coming 'round
Gluing tinsel to your crown
He's got you talkin' pretty loud

you berate remember
Your ailing heart and your criminal eyes
You say you're still in love
If it's true, what can be done?
It's hard to leave all these moments behind

Called to see
If your back
Was still aligned
And your sheets
Were growing grass
All on the corners of your bed

But you've got too much to wear
On your sleeves
That has too much to do with me
And secretly
I want to bury in the yard
The grey remains of a friendship scarred

You tested your mettle
On doe skin and petals
While kissing the lipless
Who bleed all the sweetness away

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13 comments:

  1. Alan,

    I love how you say you can't stand the Beach Boys. I've never heard anyone say that before. I thought music bloggers were required to love certain bands without question to get access to Blogspot.

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  2. charlie,

    it's a good thing they don't have such requirements. there are a few indie, or music, gods i don't care for...

    (sonic youth is another)
    (but don't tell anyone)

    anonymous

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  3. Anonymous4:21:00 PM

    God bless The Beach Boys!

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  4. God bless The Beach Boys!

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  5. God bless The Beach Boys!

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  6. jamie? is it you? how's brian?

    god bless the lipless!

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  7. Honestly, Alan, you really should listen to some great Beach Boys tracks like Be Still or Til I Die. Great stuff. They are my favorite band, but I understand people not liking them. But I know that you have great taste and I guarantee you that there are Beach Boys tracks out there for you that have nothing to do with surfing or any of that.

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  8. Anonymous4:49:00 PM

    Ah right-o, I too indeed have a certain disdain for most Beach Boys songs - but having worked a concert of theirs recently I have come to appreciate certain aspects of their music a tad bit more. By no means does this mean I like them, but it was an interesting history none-the-less...

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  9. Al, you once said, and i quote, "i like some of the SMiLE stuff". i'll say it again, god bless the beach boys!

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  10. jamie -
    i did? i don't recall that. i was probably trying to be nice, so you wouldn't hurt me.

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  11. Anonymous7:39:00 PM

    Wow. Timely.

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  12. Wow. Thanks. Maybe if they ever put out another album, I'll find another song i like and after a few years, begin to love. Maybe.

    I didn't say so in the post, but when you get fed up with all the new stuff not being very good, you begin looking elsewhere... and if you're lucky you find something timeless, and that's always timely.

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  13. you mispelled GREATNESS as grateness.. n00b :D


    nah, just kidding, love the Shins....

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