Sunday, December 08, 2002

"Putting all the vegetables away that you bought at the grocery store today Itgoes fast, you think of the past, and suddenly everything has changed." Listening to The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips on a Saturday afternoon in winter.Tthe album celebrates hope and notes the sorrow amid everyday life. Leader Wayne Coyne said "I want people to listen to it while eaating a sandwich." Over Thanksgiving(after several glasses of wine) I nearly choked up trying to describe the personal significance of this album to my sister Ronda. After reading the reviews of many fans and critics it's clear that this release has a similar effect on others as well, and Coyne has been sent countless letters and listened to impassioned tales from fans about loss and sorrow tempered with the love of life that accompanies such.
In 2001, while enduring a year that included the death of my father during my struggle with cancer treatments, I spent a lot of time listening to music but never felt as though any of it spoke to or for my situation...then as the year came to an end, amid new sorrows of terror and war, I discovered "The Soft Bulletin" and was initially blown away by the bombastic, beautiful music. Then I started listening to the lyrics, and they spoke to me unlike anything I've heard before from popular music. "The Gash" speaks of finishing the battle in spite of being wounded. "Waitin' for a Superman" talks about things getting worse when you thought they couldn't, and urges everyone to "hold on as best they can." Other tunes on the album deal with everyday epiphanies that have the ability to knock you over with their insight. These songs have set the mood for me in a year that is now almost over, but I can see it as a wonderful year of rejuvination and pysical recovery. I'm still cancer free, alive, energetic, and ready for the next step. "I stood up and I said Hey! Yeah!"

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