Wednesday, August 17, 2005

About a band named Tool and 2 French Tramps- An interactive blog-post

I like many bands. But Tool is one that's stayed in my top 5 list ever since I first heard 'sober' and decided I needed more of this band than the one song.

Sober happens to be the most mainstream number Tool ever did, if I could accuse them of such a thing. It's also the one song people name if you mention the band.

"oh yeahh.. Sober! Love that one".


Notice how the same performance repeats for Zepp? Mention Plant and Page [and of course no one knows about John Bonham and John Paul Jones] and the immediate reaction is-- "ooh, stairway to heaven/kashmir: trippy!!"

Point is, though-- There's a lot more to Tool than just Sober. Their lyrics, for one. Which is a fact directly related to their lead singer, Maynard James Keegan, seen here with Tori Amos. I admire his control and use of the English language only .002345 more than I admire his beautiful head, profile and general being. Maynard is a beautiful man who writes lyrics using a brain he calls his own.

Which is rare. Hear most metal/rock/thrash/punk bands today and what you get if you actually think during the course of the song primarily consists of unbeeped ..erm.. strong language, and a lot of over-screamed, over-played metaphors for angst and a general lack of "getting some", as the phrase does go.

Not so with Maynard and Tool. Apart from the general hard, breaking-into-you rhythm, there are certain cuts that make you sit up and wonder where they came from. For instance, in Die Eier Von Satan [listen to it here] Maynard reads a german cookie recipe for hash sugar cookies without eggs to a frantic crowd. Very Fuhrer-style, and Beckettish coz of the biscuits. But brilliant, because the joyful fury is over trippy cookies, not aryan supremacy. Wouldn't buy an album because of it, but I did love the cockiness, the experimenting with tone and language, and the atmosphere that went with it. It's exquisite in its bite, because the title actually means "the balls (eggs) of satan"--read more about why its brilliant here.

But the song that's in my mind as I write this now is a track called Disgustipated, which you can listen to here

The track is unreal-- here's a transcript of the lyrics.

I couldn't help but remember Didi and Gogo and their waiting for Godot: the carrots in the lyrics brought the similarity home even more:

[The above link to the excerpt, btw, made me grin. In awe. Thy're reading Beckett in Baghdad. An existential play about waiting for a concept that never arrives. Is someone trying to be funny, or play god, I wonder?]

Maybe Maynard likes Beckett. Wouldn't be surprised. But the point is, the lyrics are brilliant. The juxtaposition of supplication, of asking for the multitudes to be redeemed, with that of a serial-killerish end. We dont know what happens after whoever it is walks towards the two people approaching him/her and the red car.

So here's the activity:

Listen to the song. Read the lyrics. And in the comments space, post a probable 'what happens next' scenario. Continue the story. In any style, form or language.

N.B- If in another language, include the translation for me, please.


John said...

Whoa, duh, wassup?

I came here from the Caferati board and couldn't anything of what you have said here. Most of it is above my head, sorry!

Maybe, I am out of touch or something, but, your blog is nice, nice, nice!

By the way, are you Priyanka Joseph, the journalist, I used to read?


Pufflet said...

Ok,This has nothing to do with the activity but maynard is my future husband. (disclaimer : full gushing ahead)

I've only been listening to tool since the 11th standard. (since I was such a rebel and all)

check out the live version of aenema ,its so amazing.Can't even begin to fathom the awesomeness of maynard live. Hope to get lucky someday...have to trudge along to Amayrica i guess.Love the part where he goes 'learn to swim , learn to swim'.gorgeousness.

BUT 46&2 is my favourite TOOL song can go all over the world with your musical tastes but you come home to tool & radiohead & tori amos ( & by you i actually mean me)


peace yo


A Hairy Snail said...

hmm...the lyrics were, let's say, in a word, trippy.

i would like to think what happened to the, did they rebel and rise up against the farmer(s)...

however, one thing that comes across quite clearly is that maynard (yes, the resemblance to beckett shines forth brightly) might just have been tripping on acid. :D seriously, the way he writes, it looks like a classic acid hallucination. maybe this whole song is one such trip. in which case the ending will probably have him wake up, sweating in his bed.

Braveheart said...

With all due respect to your effort, I must say that 'Waiting for Godot' is not an existential play. It subscribes to Absurdism which could have similar sensibilities as Existentialism for an outsider, but stands way apart. In Camus' own words, "Existentialism is philosophical suicide." Hope you consider this!

-- Akshaya

The Wizard of Odd said...

Thankyou for visiting, John :)

I am bewailing the seeming round-aboutness of the post- will probably simplify it very soon, if only for a small group of people so that it can generate "some" ideas, at least.. sigh.

Your site is good- Will come back when time permits to learn more of your book.

And no, am not a journalist-- yet, anyway :) Do love the way names seem to belong to more than one person.. half the time wish mum and dad had named me something interesting like talula... or the cheshire cat... anything!!

But aye, thanks for coming by.

The Wizard of Odd said...

pufflet, indeed *grins*

woman, Maynard's been mine for ages-- But it is after all, Maynard-- share, perhaps?

aenema is so creative it burns-- movment, lyrics...dang, love the way he uses his voice with the bass.

The Wizard of Odd said...

best music comes out of acid--

who be the bands you listen to, afterall? *grins*

I know-- But I want to know what happens next.. what colour happens next, can there only be red...

..basically I Wonder if a story cant be taken and told more, not retold, or reinterpreted... but continued. Hmm. Lessee.

And braveheart [do love that movie]
friend, I believe perception is reality. Open to individual interpretation, life is...

.. I dont believe in sitting with only the absurdist reading of Beckett's play. I find it hard to believe that the only thing in it is didi and gogo realizing there is no way out, which-- forgive me-- is a simplistic version of the absurdist dilemma in every literary work.

I see and hear pozzo basing his understanding of life on what he has seen-- I see choices easily made, to the point of them appearing absurd, true.

I see didi and gogo condemned to be free by their own mind. Existential.

And lol before this turns into a second post: its perception. Both philosophies can be traced in it. I saw one, you see another, though I do awknowledge absurdist elements. Camus shifted paths and sisyphus brought absurdism... I feel its too simplistic though.

Thanks for coming by, Akshaya :)

Dan Husain said...

Hmmm...this is erudite and sublime. Effortless seaming of Beckett with the rock band. I guess I need to be a regular visitor here. :-)



~Sen~ said...

But for me, "Schism" gets on to my head more than any other Tools thrasher..... stupefyingly brilliant !!

balihai said...

beckett in baghdad...hahahaha...that was a howler.

zed said...

Here goes the landlord again ->

Now you see the little people, you see
Gabriel, the fallen, walking along with me.
You approach us, asking us of our journey.
We had nothing for you except our scarred selves.
You realized then, that we had just witnessed the holocaust.
You laughed out loud, you told me,
"You may have seen the light,
But did you realize it was morning?"

You took out your knife, I saw your burning eyes
And I watched as you slaughtered my little angel.

Black was now my color,
Nothing in me, yet everything dissolving within me.