The piano from out of nowhere at the end. There are a lot of bands i’m ever so thankful to have raised from history, from divergent timelines, from desertion, from mark down sticker over mark down sticker at second hand record stores to align them with this life and mean so much to it. The Verlaines are high up on that heap. Music that reminds me precisely of late night nowhere Wilberforce, severed on every border from the rest of the world, my bedroom severed on every wall from that. I wish they could have stayed together as Graeme, Jane, and Greg. That is what i listen to, that is how i have shaped the band in my head, that’s what i get so much from, that’s the Verlaines to me. Never changing line-ups, always existing as the Verlaines this way. I guess i like bands with constant personnel.
Graeme Downes is one of my favourite songwriters, that being as pleasing an affirmation as any i’ve made. In a not knowing art but knowing what i like way, he writes songs that i am so grateful to have heard and been affected by. Songs that are at once so odd and so simple, improper and correct, colossal and small, something so lone-guitarist-in-bedroom and something so beyond that, with all deployment of weird chords, key changes, meandering and odd structures, and soon the best orchestration i’ve come across in pop music – something you’d expect from someone with a doctorate on Gustav Mahler – yet with nothing ever showy, and nothing ever out of place.
Of course what is possibly their most simplistic, straight forward rock song came into my head this morning and is as yet the only evidence offered to support that claim, but trust me. This is such a great song regardless of complexity. And complexity is something that should never supplement any song’s merit. Graeme Downes wrote Doomsday. Graeme Downes is one of my favourite songwriters.
I’ve often fancied going to New Zealand and working my way to under Dr. Graeme Downes’ tutelage at the University of Otago. There are a thousand other marginally less pipe-dreamy life decisions and directions i’d like to lead myself towards first though, all equal in want, confusion and desperation, so i guess i won’t.