Welcome to week four of The Accidental Novelist’s “Free Tune Friday” feature! (You can check out the first three entries HERE.) To celebrate the feature’s one month anniversary, I’m pulling out all the stops with a bang-up tune…
Everyone is allowed at least one “Rock Anthem,” so this one’s mine. For about ten years straight (from the mid-90’s through the mid-00’s) about 90% of the music I listened to was Guided by Voices. Considering Robert Pollard and company released a new album practically every other week, it wasn’t hard to find plenty of variety. To this day, some of my favorite GBV tunes are Pollard’s off-beat-but-still-rocking anthems. (Check out “Don’t Stop Now” if you want a sense of what I’m talking about.) There’s nothing better than a balls-out, stand-on-your-chair, wave-your-lighter-in-the-air kind of tune to get your blood pumping and make you feel like you’re alive. That’s what this week’s entry aims for.
In classic rock anthem fashion, the song starts off with a thumping bass drum, followed by a short guitar line. Then, it’s all in. Two verses follow, set to a throbbing pulse of distorted bass, guitar, and cymbals that find their inspiration in Ciccone Youth’s cover of Madonna’s “Burnin’ Up.” The intensity builds before breaking through the clouds and out into an extended solo dominated first by a pair of complimentary vocal lines, then followed by dual (dueling?) guitar lines. I’ve never been much of a guitar virtuoso–bass is my thing–but I somehow stumbled onto something here that I probably couldn’t replicate now if I tried.
Cheesy? Hell, yeah! But it’s the kind of cheese I can embrace–an unabashed, in-your-face, melodic sort of glory. Ween is a master of the kind of uninhibited genre-stealing rock-out I’ve come to love them for, and if I’ve manage to capture even a tiny bit of their anthem magic, the tune is a success.
The lyrics are spare and somewhat cryptic, though I think you could call it a love song of sorts and stand on solid ground. What is “the breeze that turns the world”? It’s primal, like Whitman’s “original energy.” It’s futile and absurd, like the rock to Camus’ Sisyphus alluded to in the second verse. But it’s also necessary and useful, if only we can keep the proper perspective.
The Breeze That Turns the World
The breeze that turns the world
Swept me up as I stepped off the edge.
We whirled around and turned,
Then it brought me up a girl;
She completed everything.
It’s the hardest thing to see
How easy life can be if you only try
Not to keep your eye on everything.
Chase meaning ’round the field,
Hold genius to appeal.
The boulder makes a seat
Much better than the hill
Which it eyes hungrily.
It’s the hardest thing to do,
Holding principles and truths
That could always die,
That can only die.
To download this tune, right-click HERE and select “Save Link As.” For best results, apply headphones. Thanks for listening! Come back next week for another tune…
(Written, performed, and recorded by David Stahler Jr. All rights reserved.)