Sunday, April 23, 2006

American Anthem

Thinking about music today, as I listened to some (relatively) old Talking Heads in my car this afternoon. Of all the Talking Heads albums, I like 1988's Naked the best, and my favorite song on that album is "(Nothing But) Flowers," a sort of American anthem, full of irony and sad truths of our over-pioneering ways:

(Nothing But) Flowers

Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
Waterfalls
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago
I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway

This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
you got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Appropriate, I think, for this Earth Day weekend. But it's not the same without the music, I admit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And I'm glad too that Pearl Jam has a new album coming out May 2: titled Pearl Jam. More info and a link to the band's newest, dare I say, video, here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12441915/site/newsweek/

This is a band that would do Jack Black's character in School of Rock proud: a band about the music & the message, and essential in both.

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

I'm crazy in love with David Byrne. Crazy. In. Love. My husband accepts this--I know by the way he looks at me and shakes his head.
;-)

shann said...

I just bought a 2CD set from Costco- what's going on?

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Isn't David Byrne supposed to have (or at least at the time) the highest IQ among rock stars?

Shann, what 2 CD set did you get?

shann said...

it was a thing costco did, i think- Sand in the Vaseline and Popular Favorites- my first TH on CD- I have tapes and albums but no way to play either anymore-

well- there is a tape player somewhere around here and the turntable has a brand new cartridge but needs a belt.

wah!

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Oh, that's their best of, vol. 1 and 2; not just a Costco thing. A good intro to the Heads, for sure, but no replacement for some of their albums, which tend to exhibit a real wide variety of music, and A side B side type stuff, too.

shann said...

oh, i don't need an intro- I loved the heads before they were mainstream- but i was younger then-

I'm thinking about taking my albums to a local trade place (Plan 9- started tiny , now has three stores- Richmond, Charlottesville, and Williamsburg)

they're usually fair.