Thursday, April 13, 2006

I used to have a little feature on this blog about Perfect Pop. For some reason, I don't feel like restarting that engine, but I want to give a little shout of approval to Paul Westerberg's "Eyes Like Sparks."

Just stay where you are
Baby stay away from me
With your eyes like sparks
And my heart like gasoline

That's the whole song -- that verse repeated over and over under a loping Keith Richards groove, with a single guitar solo in the middle. It's all over in little over two minutes. I love how it achieves all of the below so concisely:

1) It's a song about being hypnotized that is itself hypnotizing. Each time Westerberg repeats his verse, it goes from admonishion to self-admonishion until you feel him finally realize the futility of his plaint.

2) Maybe you like those words in cold, hard computer text and maybe you don't. But its own repetitions and odd-but-right simile sound great out of PW's voice, under the rough guide of the music.

3) It pares down the theme of so many of his (and other people's) songs into something koan-like, and you get a sense of the mysterious combination of craft and intuition that seprates great songwriters from nearly adequete ones.

4) Its repetitions belong wholly to the song. He's not Kraftwerking or trying to be John Cage or anything like that.


Post a Comment

<< Home