Friday, April 25, 2008

So Far, So Good

From Foreign Legion

I remember well the night that I was given a copy of Foreign Legion several months before its release. I was sitting in the balcony at 12th & Porter, and I used a cigarette lighter to read its track listing in the dark. There was excitement. There was disappointment. After all, lots of my favorite songs from that era did not make the cut—there was no “Melissa’s Birthday” or “Amount to Something.” And what? “Show on the Road”? There was one song on there that I had never heard, and when I actually listened to the CD the next morning, “So Far, So Good” immediately became my favorite cut on the CD, and it has remained among my all-time favorite songs, not just Fluid Ounces songs, ever since.

“I have no regrets” gets thrown around a lot by people, but I have lots of trouble believing it when anyone says it. That’s just a hard sell to me. Plenty of perfectly avoidable situations have stumbled into people’s lives, and those events have little bearing in life lessons learned. There’s an arrogance inherent in that statement that makes it sound almost adolescent, denying the full weight of bad things that happen in people’s lives. And from that angle, this song can have some holes poked into its argument. I guess that even so, it’s the word play that sells me on this song. Unpacking the broad general statement, it comes across instead as bold, acknowledging personal shortcomings and accepting hyperbolic hypothetical situations, saying that in spite of it all, even if the mistakes are regrettable, the end product out-weighs instead of negates the past. Its boldness exudes a confidence un-characteristic of any Fluid Ounces song, perhaps making it the single most positive and up-lifting song in the catalog.

To me, listening to this one is like a freight train that runs me over every time, always picking me up in its momentum and taking me with it wherever life takes me. And that’s always a good ride.


Juan Horsetown said...

Posted a day early since I'm out of town this weekend.

Soymilk Revolution said...

never connected with me. maybe i should revisit.

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!