Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Unreleased Track

With an uncharacteristic synth intro, Seth Timbs carries us into his vision of the future, doubly ironic to use a synthesizer instead of a piano and considering that his own musical future has been based on the electric guitar and playing oldies-inspired songs. The picture painted for us of the future is more in line with the feelings of despair from Big Notebook, with vocal stylings hearkening back to that era more than we’d heard in many years.

The bleak portrait presented is of a sister planet where, “everything’s so good, it’s boring.” Its goodness does nothing to make people happy. With the sun freezing as our planet is burned away by something, and many people getting into a space vehicle to escape, some apparently choose to stay and face their destiny while others set themselves “free” into “pre-determined routes” in carefully construction lives. This sci-fi allegory is more typical of Flaming Lips, though it would need a more random mentioning of robots or something to fully count as an homage, more closely referencing a more Star Trek philosophy that those staying behind come into a new realization of their humanity as they embrace certain doom instead of giving up their freedom in some kind of mass-produced style culture.

Being a home demo, this song does not get to portray the epic nature of its scope unlike a more produced song like “Downscope, the Boat Captain.” Its message provides a finality to where Seth stands, so to speak, that there is a vague romantic hope in humanity to stand and fight against adversity (in this case, a dying planet), in spite of the hopeless portraits he’s sometimes painted for us, especially on earlier recordings.

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