Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chagall Guevara

Chagall Guevara is one of those bands, among many no doubt in the history of modern music, who have been offered a sip from the Fountain of Youth only to have it torn from their hands just before it reached their lips. (Their MySpace page is called MCAkilledus, I believe, implying that their big label did nothing to help them along)The members included Lynn Nichols, Dave Perkins, Steve Taylor, Wade Jaynes, and Mike Mead. Steve Taylor is well known in some circles for his witty, scathing lyrics. (Perhaps soon to be even better known as the director of an up and coming movie based loosely on Blue Like Jazz) When you place him in a band with Chagall Guevara’s distribution, outside of the “Christian ghetto” he is able to take on society’s ills without worrying about offending people. His ability to see comparisons and word play, while taking deep aim at our conscience was never better than in Chagall.

I have lots of their lyrics from their one and only cd pass through my head and heart many times. The earlier quote a few weeks back about the boa unhitching its jaws is one of those, but big business and its ills are not really too high on my list of issues.

Other lines like “Hey, don’t I know you from some other life/You were wide-eyed and green, and a little bit taller/ And you didn’t look away/When spoken to,” do speak to me, personally and add a little empathy toward others.

One of my favourite saddest lyrics ever also comes from Chagall, a young boy speaking of his father says, “Every other week on visiting day
I get tolerated by his new wife
I swear, if he ever really held me
they'd have to pry me off with the jaws of life

“Dad's not talking at all
everything's making him mad
I used to come running to him
Now I’m learning to crawl”

Those lines bring tears even now, thinking of the real pain of real children in this very real world and wonder what I’m doing about it. What does a boy see in his daddy, when he turns out not to be the man he thought he was, where are the real heroes today?

The same song uses the line, “Daddy’s gone AWOL, absent without leaving.” I take that as a personal challenge, a slap in the face to modern fatherhood. Don’t be that guy.

Here are a few more, some fun, some witty, some darts to the heart.
Up's down, down is out, out is in
stairways circle back to where you've been

And my mind is like a whetstone now
sharpening things to throw

I think you've been blinded
by your own light
And I don't believe it's the way you were raised
or the cards you were dealt
or a poor self-image
I think you love yourself too much

'74 I left my neighborhood
looking for a Buffalo gal
everyone was gone when I got back home
and I think I like it better now

you'd be surprised what you can get used to
when your only other choice is...Houston

Well, I'm sorry, I've got the wrong George then, I guess

If misery loves...more
then why am I crying alone?

Genetic drifter
quarantined in my own dimension
Hey look!
It smokes, it drinks,it philosophizes!
it's loving this new attention
We apologize
but the status quota's already met
and if you reapply
you'll need a written excuse from your...vet.


Sabrina said...

Are these challenges to be better to do better to rise above? Or are these cries from the heart? Feelings finally put to words?
Does this have anything to do with adopting?
Hmmm, overall, an interesting group.

Sabrina said...

You haven't replied to my comment.......

Inside Out said...

Well, I;ve been pretty busy lately trying to get report card stuff done, I'm afraid I've neglected the blog :) The answer to the first question is yes to all points. I don't think they have anything specific in mind, but as a teacher and parent you get tormented by what goes on in the world.

Mostly it stems from the "unhitched jaws" post a month ago or so. That and Chagall Guevara seems poised to put out something new, new old stuff I guess, since they don't record anything now. Steve Taylor is on the Pirates who don't do anything movie too, with a song he wrote with the Newsboys.