Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2001 : 03 "I Will Bury You in Time" by Jeff Magnum

"It's about me and a rockstar in a hole by the beach"

I will bury you in time
When the sea begins to slide
Into this hole where I am smiling on your shoulder
You have buried my beliefs
Where all you sisters sleep
That their scent the purity will make
When the youth is over
Standing in some lost October

Jeremy and I have talked about what album from the 1990's cast the longest shadow in the 2000's. When this conversation comes up, I always go with Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. There was a time in 2001/2002 that everyone I knew loved this album. It was all we listened to and all we talked about. I ended up getting a second date with a woman by giving her my copy of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on the first date. It was the kind of album where most of my friends listened to over and over again. As the decade went on more and more people were listening to it.

The album was released in 1998, but no one, at least no one I knew, was listening to it in 1998. I had a conversation about it in 1999, but I really did not listen to it until 2001. Luckily the Jeff Mangum Live At Jittery Joe's album came out in 2001, So I could fit it into the project. The live album was recorded because bootlegs of live Neutral Milk Hotel shows were fetching hundreds of dollars on eBay.

The first version of this song I downloaded from the internet. I was amazed at hearing Jeff Mangum's voice. It so sound like he singing because he has to, not because he wants to. It is like this song is busting out of him and he has to sing it to keep from going mad.

I think that Aeroplane Over the Sea is one of those albums in the pantheon of great albums. It is an album that moves me every time I hear it. As well as I think I know it, there are still things that open up to me. It was the kind of under the radar album that was perfect to spread via the internet. It was the kind of album where everyone who really cared about music knew it, but you still needed to explain it to people around the office. Listening to it did feel special in that way.

I see the long shadow of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea everywhere. Not only do I see it with Elephant 6 bands like Apples In Stereo and Of Montreal, but also with bands like the Decemberists and artists like Joanna Newsom. The albums had a lot of instruments and was still lo-fi. I hear parts of this album when I listen to CocoRosie and Polyphonic Spree. I might be reading into this too much, but for five or so years I saw this album everywhere.

And if I was the king of all the kids
You'd you hear me singing in my spit
But all you would hear is the shit inside my burst emotions
I will bury you in time
When the sea begins to slide
Into this hole where you and I will sing our songs unbroken
As the water starts its chokin'
dee dee dee dee dee etc.

Rich Thomas

Listen: Jeff Mangum >> "I Will Bury You In Time"

No comments: