Mixtape Monday #6

Hello Human Being.

It’s Mixtape Monday!

On Wednesday!

I don’t know why I’ve fallen off the WordPress wagon.

Well….

Other than the fact that I’ve been so focused on spending time with my loves, out in the sun, doing outdoor activities, that I’ve had very little time for webby, indoor type activities. Apologies to anyone who may look forward to these posts (though I recognize that no one has really acknowledged them, I hope that there are a few people out there that are at least reading and listening to the music!)


I have been feeling a bit nostalgic of late, which is typical of this time of year. The heat begins to roll in and I find myself dreaming of summers passed, and recalling memories that warm my heart as the sun warms my face. One of the songs that really does it for me is The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song “Under the Bridge,” from their album Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik (released in 1991). The first time I heard this song I was at the community pool, in my tiny hometown. I was about ten years old and I was a total pool rat. In towns like mine there wasn’t a lot to do in the summer, aside from biking to the pool each day alongside your friends. This song has become synonymous with those memories, as I heard it over and over again blasting across the shitty pool speakers. I remember thinking that this song had a certain relaxing quality to it; I’d tilt my head back into the water and float, imagining that I could literally freeze this moment, where the sun was bright, the cloud-speckled sky was perpetually blue and the water was always warm. I liked to believe that I could just shut my eyes and float away to some eternally tranquil place, an alternate reality if you will. I liked to imagine that summer could go on forever.

It wasn’t until years later that I learned the true meaning of this track and the heavy content of Anthony Kiedis’s message. For me, this was simply “my summer song”. I had no idea that it was a song about loss, depression, and drug addiction. And thus this song has taken on new significance for me. Not to drag out the predicaments I’ve written about so much lately, but learning that Mr. Kiedis felt so much alienation from his friends (bandmates) when he wrote this song, and the fact that he felt so isolated, is something I can keenly relate to now. Friendship break-ups are hard. This I’m learning. But they are made easier by good music that speaks to your heart. Regarding “Under the Bridge,” Kiedis has said:

“I felt an unspoken bond between me and my city. I’d spent so much time wandering through the streets of L.A. and hiking through the Hollywood Hills that I sensed there was a nonhuman entity, maybe the spirit of the hills and the city, who had me in her sights and was looking after me.”

rhcp001

The Red Hot Chili Peppers the way I remember them… 

This sense- this oneness with the city or the Earth- this feeling that it is your only companion- is something I know entirely too well. I wrote a bit about my tendency toward self-reliance. In the past I’ve had a mindset of “if they can’t control me they can’t hurt me” and I’ve pushed away the people I love. Not due to addiction, like Kiedis, but all the same, I found myself going after what I thought I wanted (just as he did) and finding myself alone and lonely, in a destructive pattern that I could not maintain. I have been at odds with nearly everyone I love, and in those moments the spirit of the Earth, the very ground itself, the landscape has cradled me in its arms, or helped me to float on its water. In my self destruction I felt like my hardness was matched by Nature. I felt camaraderie with the only constant that I could find in those moments, that is, the constancy of the trees, the ground, the air, the sidewalks that carried me home, and the roads that led me away.

Under the Bridge

Sometimes I feel
Like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel
Like my only friend
Is the city I live in
The city of Angels
Lonely as I am
Together we cry

I drive on her streets
‘Cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills
‘Cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and
She kisses me windy and
I never worry
Now that is a lie

I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way
I don’t ever want to feel
Like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all that way (yeah yeah yeah)

It’s hard to believe
That there’s nobody out there
It’s hard to believe
That I’m all alone
At least I have her love
The city she loves me
Lonely as I am
Together we cry

I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way
I don’t ever want to feel
Like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way (yeah yeah yeah)
Ooh no (no no yeah yeah)
Love me I say yeah yeah

Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge
I could not get enough
Under the bridge
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge
I gave my life away (yeah yeah yeah)
Ooh no (no no yeah yeah)
Here I stay (yeah yeah)

Here I stay…


rhcp003

Since those days I’ve become a big fan of RHCP. I remember the first time I purchased one of their albums, One Hot Minute, and laughing hysterically at the derogatory nature of the song “Pea”, and reveling in the track “My Friends,” during a time when depression really was sort of “en vogue”. I’ve moved on to explore and appreciate each of their albums, and I often find new meaning when I revisit old favorites. “Pea” for example, while sort of tongue in cheek, it is also a great song to empower the “little guy”.

That being said, I won’t be featuring a song from One Hot Minute. Instead, I’ve two other songs to share that are special to me. The first of those is a track called “I Could Have Lied,” which was also released on Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik. I did not discover or fully appreciate this song until years later.

It’s a song about being unabashedly authentic. Sometimes you meet people so true, that they can’t deceive. It is literally impossible for them to deceive as they have “tells”- their face, or their body language gives away the lie. I am one of these people, and much as in the song, my honesty has led me to a fucked up place in many instances. Would I change that? No. Honesty will forever be important to me. Do I wish things had worked out differently in those situations? Absolutely. But I’ve learned and I’ve seen that my truth was worth it, despite the outcome. Could I have kept my mouth shut? Sure. Would they have seen right through my silence? Probably. Most people do. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard “You look like you’ve got something to say”.

I Could Have Lied

There must be something in the way I feel
That she don’t want me to feel
The stare she bares cut me, I don’t care
You see, so what if I bleed?

I could never change
Just what I feel
My face will never show
What is not real

A mountain never seems to have, the need to speak
A look that shares so many seek
The sweetest feeling, I got from you
The things I said to you were true

I could never change
Just what I feel
My face will never show
What is not real

Could have lied I’m such a fool
My eyes could never, never, never keep their cool
Showed her and I told her how
She struck me but I’m fucked up now

But now she’s gone, yes, she’s gone away
A soulful song that would not stay
You see she hides ’cause she is scared
But I don’t care, I won’t be spared

Could have lied I’m such a fool
My eyes could never, never, never keep their cool
Showed her and I told her how
She struck me but I’m fucked up now

I could have lied I’m such a fool
My eyes could never, never, never keep their cool
Showed her and I told her how
She struck me but I’m fucked up now

Fucked up now


rhcp002

A more current photo of the Chili Peppers- Note Will Ferrell’s doppelganger is also the Chilis’ drummer, Chad Smith

The last song I want to share is a tad newer. The lyrics go straight to my heart, and considering the majority of my favorite RHCP is pre-2000, this track was refreshing to hear. It feels like it is more reminiscent of their roots than a lot of the stuff they’ve released over the last 12 years. This song, “Don’t Forget Me”, was released on their album By the Way (released in 2002).
Don’t Forget Me

I’m an ocean in your bedroom
Make you feel warm
Make you wanna re-assume
Now, we know it all for sure

I’m a dance hall
Dirty break beat
Make the snow fall
Up from underneath your feet

Not alone, I’ll be there
Tell me when you wanna go

I’m a meth lab, first rehab
Take it all off
And step inside the running cab
There’s a love that knows the way

I’m the rainbow
In your jail cell
All the memories of
Everything you’ve ever smelled

Not alone, I’ll be there
Tell me when you want to go
Ooh

Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
(Don’t forget me, I can’t hide it)
(Come again, get me excited)

I’m an inbred and a pothead
Two legs that you spread
Inside the tool shed
Now, we know it all for sure

I could show you
To the free field
Overcome and more
Will always be revealed

Not alone, I’ll be there
Tell me when you wanna go
Ooh

Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
(Don’t forget me, I can’t hide it)
(Come again, get me excited, ooh)

Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
Sideways falling, more will be revealed my friend
(Don’t forget me, I can’t hide it)
(Never met now, let me light it)

I’m the bloodstain
On your shirt sleeve
Coming down and more are coming to believe
Now, we know it all for sure

Make the hair stand
Up on your arm
Teach you how to dance
Inside the funny farm

Not alone, I’ll be there
Tell me when you wanna go

I’ll be there but
Tell me when you wanna go
Come again and
Tell me when you wanna go

More will be revealed my friend

This song is so many things. To me it represents friendship. Especially those old friends that you can always pick up with where you left off, sometimes years ago, and quickly go to new places. The depth of experience does not have a bottom with these people. Likewise, so it is with a soul mate. And sometimes so it is, with the wrong person (or people). In this track the metaphors are absolutely enthralling (thus all the bold text). I really do love a good heavy metaphor and these guys write them well.

And this lyric… I mean, can we just have a moment of silence for the glory of this?

I’m the rainbow
In your jail cell
All the memories of
Everything you’ve ever smelled

This song is all about hope in dark places. That person, place or thing that binds us to our will to overcome any obstacle. This song, it just gets me. And I reckon it gets you too.

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