Thursday, February 14, 2008

1,000 Ships

Unreleased Track

This song is a Fluid Ounces song in name only. It was played heavily by Spike and Mallets when Seth Timbs was a member, and always a crowd pleaser I might add, and was released on the many incarnations of Greetings from Spike and Mallets, the free CD they’d give away at their shows. The only time it has actually been listed as “Fluid Ounces” is when the same download that was available on the Spike and Mallets page showed up on the Fluid Ounces official website.

But it’s a good song, and I think it’s worth some attention, both on this blog and through everybody’s ears.

Comparing his love to the beauty of Helen of Troy as, “the face that launched a thousand ships,” our Faustian lover narrating the song gives us the feeling that he is at his wit’s end as he searches out, “a place where old habits go to die hard.” I would say that its only shortcoming in its endless metaphors and imagery with infinite possible interpretations is the one that says,
“The girl that drove her car into the wall
Just trying to get inside the mall
Her windshield covered with unfolded maps
Busts through the concrete
and drives through the Gap.”
A reference to the Gap tethers this song to the year 2000, but this is only a minor flaw for such a great song.

The pallet of the song is changed in the demo with the presence of a slide guitar, which we haven’t heard on a Seth Timbs recording since “Record Stack.” Live, Elliott Currie, wearing his guitar-player hat (which was a much better fit, if you ask me), would add his own touch of blues to the song, though carefully remaining as understated as the lead guitar on the demo.

Download mp3


Soymilk Revolution said...

wasn't currie a drummer?

magnum opus said...

i have to comment on this one as many people have (in my opinion) misinterpreted these lyrics to be a first person love song in which the singer is the one in love with the girl who is "the face that lauched a thousand ships". that is not the intention. the singer is more of an observer shaking his head at a woman who has had many worthy courtiers but none she can be happy with...her constant moving to a new relationship becomes the "old habit" dying hard in the song.

perhaps there is a small tinge that the singer thinks he might also have had the chance to make her happy but mostly he just sees it as a hopeless mess.

so there it is.

this one is being re-recorded right now for the "solo album".

tha b said...

where is there slide guitar on 'Record Stax'?

Juan Horsetown said...

Soy--Elliott played for Spike and Mallets on guitar for several months before turning up on drums for Fl Oz. I always got the impression that guitar was his primary instrument.

B--at 2:17 on the recorded track it sounds like slide, but I'd guess you'd know better than I. It could be a whammy bar.

I let this one escape to the blogosphere with a hunch that there was something missing from its interpretation, but damned if I could figure it out on my own. I was expecting a correction on this one.

But more than that, I'm glad the solo record is in the works, and that this great song will be included.

tha b said...

yes, the 'solo' in that tune is Brad Jones' old Gibson 335 with a bigsby on it... (which I played on alot of that album) I think I came close to breaking it during that solo though... that would have sucked.

I don't think there has ever been a slide guitar on FLOZ stuff... not even a demo...

ohh well... just fyi.


Juan Horsetown said...

Didn't you use a slide when you played that song on your resonator guitar on 7/3/04? I think that's where I got it in my head that it was a slide.

tha b said...

nope... sorry... the only time i've ever played slide live (that I recall) was on 'Extrodinaire' at the sElf (MM Benefit) show. I really suck at it... ;-)

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