Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sitting Beside Myself

From The Vegetable Kingdom EP

This is perhaps the most autumnal of all Fluid Ounces songs, referring to falling leaves and dying insects, but strangely not as autumnal as the shades of gray experienced in “Kept Alive by Science.” This image is important in that links the nostalgia of the song to death and dying as the speaker is sitting beside himself, a clever twist of words for a title and chorus—juxtaposing being “by oneself” as in alone, with being “beside oneself,” as in a state of confusion.

We are then swirled into a whirl of memories and senses as our speaker says, “And the last time I was here/ It must have been about this same time last year,” perhaps referring to a physical place or the same situation in a love relationship, probably in the wake of a break-up. He is quick to point out the shortcomings of this past relationship, referring to himself as “hen-pecked” among other things, but he still finds himself alone, again, trying his hardest to “smooth things over.” In all the metaphorical references, we get a sense of a cyclical aspect to the way he feels, going back to being a “classroom misfit,” kissing on field trips. The memories and details are blurred in the passage of time, but the cycle and the feelings are all too relevant and pertinent as he finds himself in this same place yet again.

Seth Timbs throws a wink at us in this song, saying, “Stream of consciousness / Heads are talking to themselves,” in perhaps the most stream-of-consciousness song in the Fluid Ounces catalog.

The song closes with a pretty big solo, especially live, with guitar and piano playing complementary leads together at the same time in a jazzy outro, like you see in this video from July 7, 2001 at the Boro.

3 comments:

Soymilk Revolution said...

fuckin' top five seth, right here. some great lyrics and that jazzy coda always gets me. what a song.

this live version slays, as well. is that doug payne shredding? and who's the drummer in this lineup? i dig his style.

Tha b said...

I have a couple different performances of this one.. I'll get them online so you can see the original lineup play this one.

Juan Horsetown said...

This is summer, 2001, so it's Seth, Doug, Trev, and Sam Baker.

And I'll post any and all videos I can see of this!

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!