From The Whole Shebang
“When that song started out,” Seth Timbs recalled in an interview with Pop Matters, “it was meant to be a joke. I came up with it at work one day, and thought, 'Well, that would be a funny title.' But then I started writing it, and it started getting really serious and personal, but I kept going with it.” This song could have easily been an up-beat number, using that strange sense of humor and using a happy feel to describe a sad situation, sounding like “Spill Your Brains” or “Milk Moustache” if it had been on the first record, but as Seth has matured as a songwriter, he has actually grown to a point where he could write a song like this, where he can take a sad idea and put it into a sad-sounding sad and create something beautiful, even if it doesn’t include a glimmer of hope in its lyrics.
There are times, good times, when I think that in a world where husbands love their wives and parents love their children, this song doesn’t hold much truth to it.
But then there are other times, when I think of all the loneliness and misery in the world, and this song feels so true. American culture makes it so easy to become detached from any sense of community, to cut off contact with those around us or minimize it to shallow relationships and online prattle. In those times, this song has a soothing quality to cuddle up with until I feel better.
The song shares a prominent vocal line with the Beatles song, “Don’t Let Me Down,” which I think everyone, myself included, took it upon themselves to inform Seth about when this song was being played heavily at the live shows in 2004 and early 2005. He was aware of it when he wrote it. It’s funny how he can be praised in critical circles for “quoting” Thelonious Monk in the piano solo on “Eleven:Eleven,” but won’t be treated so well when “borrowing” a vocal line from John Lennon. The recording is the only song on all of the official releases in which Seth plays the drums. Kyle Walsh played on most of the rest of The Whole Shebang, but I guess Seth felt confident enough on this number to tackle the drums himself.
This song debuted on February 2, 2002, when the band played one last show in Murfreesboro before touring Japan and “breaking up” as Seth moved to Los Angeles. Knowing that they had taken the time to work up a new song gave me hope that I wasn’t hearing the last of Fluid Ounces, that there was hope that the project would continue to live on in spite of what turned out to be a two-and-a-half-year hiatus.
The live mp3 presented here is from Exit/In in 2004.
Download Live mp3