Thursday, February 01, 2007

Reason To Live #2: Rethinking My Bloody Valentine.

I've been resisting grunge-era shoegazers My Bloody Valentine since 1992, the year I first heard of them. Here's why: I was bussing tables at an Italian restaurant in Seattle's touristy Pioneer Square. During my short tenure there, I nurtured a gayboy crush on a prim and fussy but kind and sweet waitress who's name was Claudia. She hailed from Palmer, Alaska. Turns out, she was way funkier than I could have ever guessed. Turns out she played guitar for noise-pop band 'My Diva' and then later for 'Juned', an all-girl combo who toured in support of Dinosaur Jr.

You could've knocked me over with a freaking feather.

This woman was My Mennonite. Little Waitress On The Prairie. She looked like she just stepped off the boat at Ellis Island, like she just climbed out of a nineteenth century tintype. She never cursed but she scolded me when I absent-mindedly stuck a greenback in my mouth to free up my hands for some other task.

"Money's dirty!", she huffed as her face soured.

At one of her gigs, she confessed that she worshipped My Bloody Valentine. And Ride. And a whole bunch of other bands that bored me to tears (at the time). But I fancied myself open-minded so I bought a tape (remember those?) of one of her picks: Chapterhouse. Hated it. Sold it for 50 cents within the week.

Then I learned that somebody found her shooting up in a basement toilet stall before a My Diva show. I felt so let down, so sad. I never spoke to her again.

So here I am, fifteen years later, and My Bloody Valentine is making my day, day after day after day. I love their masterwork 'Loveless' so much so that I wrote a song and pitched it as a kind of tribute to my waitress and to the band. 'Loveless', for me, is the soundtrack for all the regret, the disappointment and all the hope I keep buried behind a wall of noisy cynicism. My song is titled 'Lights Out, Juneau'. It all runs together in one unreadable block because I'm too lazy to tweak the HTML...I feel good posting it, however, and that's all that matters really.


Rare red ant take my helping hand
Don’t let your guard dog down
A starving python’s hanging ‘round
Freshwater fish breathes its very last breath
Lights out Juneau, I’m with the band

Stingray send my bloody valentine
Soon ‘cuz my fingers gotta rash
Ain’t got no money and I ain’t got no hash
Just a busted transistor
Nobody’s talking, everything’s fine

Bald eagle sees a deer head in a ditch
By the side of the road around some tires
Picks it up and it don’t clear some wires
Lights out Juneau, Alaska
Let’s drink to this and the poor getting rich

Bald eagle felled on ground only not so hallow
Repair crew finds it, puts it in a bag
How’d a deer head get there and was it stag?
Folks without power, I got my radio
Let’s drink to this, the loveless, only shallow

Kevin Shields you really take me there
I miss you my brother
Lights out, Juneau, there isn’t much souther
Marmots survey the tundra and wonder
Let’s drink to this, several girls galore and more…

Well well well, lights out, Juneau
I’m so tired, I dream of release
I’m so alive, a caribou well outside the shade of trees
My Bloody Valentine thanks for everything
Let’s drink to this, to eagles and to everyone else you know.

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