Monday, August 27, 2007

Not One Reason

From the yet-to-be-released Instant Nostalgia

As a contrast to “Tricky Fingers,” I wonder if Seth Timbs knew he was giving the world what seems to be its last Fluid Ounces song on April 8th, 2006, when the band debuted this song at the Boro on a warm Saturday night.

With its piano intro that would mislead the un-trained ear to believe the band’s about to start playing “Vegetable Kingdom,” Seth then belts out, “Iiiiiiiiis theerrrrre” (live, Kyle Walsh then taps out one of the catalog’s fastest four-counts to align the band as Seth finishes his question) “not one reason I can give to show my love is real, my words are heartfelt?”

In the song, “Make It Through” (which appears on The Whole Shebang), the lines are sung, “There’s nothing of me that isn’t yours/ Still tryin’ to find a little bit more.” “Not One Reason” seems like an off-shoot of that lyric as Seth sings, begging and pleading, “What more can I give?” The song employs lots of court room imagery, including, “I knew a girl just like you/ who played the judge and jury,” and “so take me off this witness stand.” The speaker can give no reason to show that his love is truly genuine, and even though he speaks of it with conviction, he can do nothing to prove it beyond what he’s already offered: himself.

What I love about this song is that it exudes a playfulness, a flirtiness, even though the speaker is “hanging by this thread.” I also like that it still seeks to ask questions about love itself rather than define what the love is in songs like “Crazies” or “Smitten.” It’s fast, it’s spilling over with good feelings, and it’s danceable and fun, with a toe-tapping quality reminiscent of In the New Old-Fashioned Way and the earlier Fluid Ounces songs.

If the final score were tallied in the now-completed Fluid Ounces canon, songs of heartbreak and despair would probably out-number songs of contentment and happiness by about 3:1, but I think Seth and Tha B leave the faithful followers with the best feeling possible when they close the canon with a record that has as many upbeat, happy songs as Instant Nostalgia, including this one, “How to Be Happy,” “It All Looks Good to Me,” and “Till the Danger’s Past,” which over-shadow the sadder songs on the final record to end it all on a good note.

And who knows? Maybe thinking that this song is the last is a bit premature…


Kerriffic said...

I don't think calling this song the last is premature. it has been apparent for over a year. no new songs have been played since this one and Tha B even said this song "snuck itself" onto the new record. meaning it was recorded last. atleast One Tough Customer wasn't the last. Better to go out on a high note. you are right about the Vegetable Kingdom trickery of the song. at Grand Palace when they started this song I got really excited and said "Vegetable Kingdom!?!?!"? its a good trick for people like us. this is also a great "mid set song" it jsut jumps out at you. at Wallstreet awhile back some people got up to dance during this and after the song seth said "sorry! its a short one! but stay there and keep dancing!" great song. definitely an instant classic.

Juan Horsetown said...

The un-trained ear, ladies and gentlemen.

You're thinking of "It All Looks Good to Me," as the short one which people tried to dance to.

Soymilk Revolution said...

while we're connecting lyrical threads, might as well mention that the reference to court room imagery (specifically the "witness stand") harkens back to BNFEP classic "record stack."


Tom Foolery said...

Soymilk, when it comes to Fl. Oz., all songs relate back to "Record Stack." In this song, Seth is asking, "Is there not one reason that I should play 'Record Stack' again?" And "Tricky Fingers" is about the digital dexterity required to play "Record Stack."

It makes me sad to think of this as the last Fl. Oz. song. Like a cat, this band seems to have nine lives so maybe they'll pull it out one more time and keep it alive... even if they're just playing second fiddle to Hot New Singles.

Juan Horsetown said...

I hadn't thought of the Record Stack reference, but the rest of Stack doesn't have any court room imagery.

I jokingly thought of creating a rating system for each song, like 6 1/2 records out of a stack of 10. But I didn't.

And to clarify, just because there aren't new songs doesn't mean there won't be more shows. I mean, there are two more on the calendar right now for next month, and that's two more than Hot New Singles.

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!