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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Thu June 13, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
I knew Stip couldn't do one of these without using "agency".

i think we all had the exact same thought when we read it


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Thu June 13, 2013 6:16 pm 
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it's a good word!

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Thu June 13, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Blenheim Augustine wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Sometimes was literally the most excited I'd ever been about a Pearl Jam song when I first heard it. I bought No Code, came home, and put it on the high-fi. Sometimes came on and I was shaking. It was the last thing I expected from the band at that time. Just unreal.


Considering the first songs on the last three albums were:
Once
Go
Last Exit

For me it's their weakest opener up to that point. I like when the bass comes in at the end with the water dripping but I don't really think much of the song itself - its limitations are clear to see when Ed does it solo on the Water on the Road DVD. It's an ok album track - I've never heard it live and never really want to.

I like Sometimes WAY more than Once, and a bit more than Go. It's not better than Last Exit. But I'm talking more about the experience of hearing it for the first time than I am about the overall level of song. It was the last thing I expected from Pearl Jam at the time and it moved me that they were (1) present enough to write the song (2) brave enough to make it the album opener (3) able to make me feel the way it made me feel.

Of course, following that soft whisper with the immediate blast to the face that is Hail, Hail probably goes a long way toward defining why my first listening experience felt the way it did.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Thu June 13, 2013 6:26 pm 
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The effect of Sometimes is powered by the insane intro of Hail Hail and viceversa...with Sometimes it was like..a quiet number? is that eddie? and then its KABOOM.

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Thu June 13, 2013 6:31 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I'll say, it's the wine.


Mmm, it does go well with the chicken.

Delicious again, Peter.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 1:40 am 
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I did smile when I hit the first agency and there was a small Team Stip fist pump.

I'm really looking forward to this as this was the first PJ album that wasn't important to me (my tastes were moving into doom metal and folk). I loved the first 6 tracks but then the album became a mess. Sometimes is such a good opening track (bong hits and all). It sets up side A beautifully and the uneven transition into HH was just as perfect as the first 3 album's lull-into-crash openers.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 2:03 am 
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I've been listening to No Code a lot over the last week or so... it's so fucking good. Like GOOD, guys. Like FUCKING GOOOOOOOD!


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 2:29 am 
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Yeah it is good. Really good. But it's short of great.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 2:53 am 
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LetMeSleep wrote:
Yeah it is good. Really good. But it's short of great.

But only just.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 4:19 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
I like Sometimes WAY more than Once


Yeah, seriously.

"Once" is probably one of my least favorite Pearl Jam songs, honestly.

"Sometimes" barely feels like a song--to me it kind of sounds like someone just walking around his house singing his thoughts out loud. It's like this delicate little thought bubble that materializes just long enough to exist, and then vanishes into the roar of "Hail Hail."


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 4:20 am 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
I like Sometimes WAY more than Once


Yeah, seriously.

"Once" is probably one of my least favorite Pearl Jam songs, honestly.

"Sometimes" barely feels like a song--to me it kind of sounds like someone just walking around his house singing his thoughts out loud. It's like this delicate little thought bubble that materializes just long enough to exist, and then vanishes into the roar of "Hail Hail."

:thumbsup:

Well said, friend.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 10:47 am 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
I like Sometimes WAY more than Once


Yeah, seriously.

"Once" is probably one of my least favorite Pearl Jam songs, honestly.

"Sometimes" barely feels like a song--to me it kind of sounds like someone just walking around his house singing his thoughts out loud. It's like this delicate little thought bubble that materializes just long enough to exist, and then vanishes into the roar of "Hail Hail."


sometimes is one of those songs like sleight of hand (for me). I don't particularly enjoy it (I would much prefer listening to Once, although I get why people wouldn't like it), but I appreciate the craft in the song and what it's trying to do.

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 11:20 am 
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Once is one of my favourite songs from the early period of the band.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Sometimes
PostPosted: Fri June 14, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Birds in Hell wrote:
Once is one of my favourite songs from the early period of the band.


I'm struggling to understand how Sometimes even comes near it especially if you include Master/Slave.

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Sat June 15, 2013 5:04 am 
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Hail Hail

And so, having created this quiet, peaceful, safe space with Sometimes, they immediately blow it all to hell with the explosive transition into Hail Hail, which actually isn’t that loud of a song when it isn’t following Sometimes. So why did they do it? I don’t have a great theory. We had a really good discussion about this a few months ago in some random thread. I wish I took notes. In either case, it is a brash beginning to what is otherwise a very mature song about how successful relationships are built on the mutual surrender of power.

For a song that wants to be about feeling it is more cerebral than passionate, more reflective than instinctive. It is trying to understand, rationalize, and justify love rather than experience it. And while it quite a penetrating song in terms of its insights, in the end it finds itself recognizing that some things just have to be surrendered to, regardless of whether or not there is a reason. Love is a because without a why. In some ways the song is the inverse of Sometimes. Whereas the former finds the subject rejecting the power of others over them in the pursuit of a meaningful relationship with the self, here we have someone having to accept the power of others over them in the pursuit of a meaningful relationship with another. Two songs about well being, two very different paths to get there.

The main riff, dirty and tenacious, offsets the muted vocals--almost like it needs to remind the singer what is at stake. It has to remind the head of the heart. That’s why the music sounds frustrated and stubborn--like it’s been at this for a long time and time is running out. Maybe that’s why the transition is so loud. Perhaps we needed the slap in the face.

The bridge and outro remind me a bit of Sometimes. A prayer to the self to find the strength or courage or insight to really see (and accept) what is in front of you before it is too late. Both songs are about seeing through our illusions, after all, whether they are illusions about our own power, our expectations, or about how independence is found in interdependence.

Eddie plays this one pretty straight. A few albums prior Sometimes would have been Indifference, and the prayer would have turned into the ‘I will scream my lungs out until I fill this room’ moment. Hail Hail would have been the pleading outros of Betterman or Black. Instead the vocals are an exercise in restraint, which allows the greater contrast with the music and is appropriate for the head/heart debate in the song itself.

Hail Hail is not one of my favorite pearl jam songs, although I think it is quite good. But what I really respect about it is that it understands that love is about negotiating power and submission, ruling and being ruled--willingly giving someone power over and accepting responsibility for the power you have over them. Hail Hail comes at this obliquely in places, but it gets there.

These are some of my all time favorite Eddie lyrics. I am a particularly big fan of ‘are we bound out of obligation/is that all we got’ and ‘I sometimes realize I can only be as good as you’ll let me’. But for the most part they are all pretty good, and we get the story of a relationship in crisis, a couple bound together out of habit, hamstrung by baggage they can’t let go of, finding salvation by realizing that love requires acceptance of imperfection, surrender, and risk. Love means giving someone power over you.

The dominant imagery in the song are shackles or restraint, the singer chafing under the loss of control. ‘are we bound out of obligation’ ‘are we going to the same place’ (note that he has to ask permission to come’, ‘egg rolling thick and heavy’,’ bandaged hand in hand’ ‘on the run in a race that can’t be won.’. But the ties that bind the people together, by the end of the song, are finally recognized as a source of strength, rather than weakness. Nor do they require any justification. And with that realization there is the possibility that this all could work in the end. That idea of strength through acceptance will be reprised once again in Who You Are.

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Mon June 17, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Nice write-up, Stip. "Hail Hail"'s kind of loose garage-rock vibe almost invites you to overlook what a complex, mature song it is lyrically--I had been listening to the song for 11-12 years before I even considered what the lyrics might have been about, and I developed a whole new appreciation for it when I did. One of the titans of the PJ songbook.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Mon June 17, 2013 2:49 pm 
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One of my favorite PJ "moments" is when Ed points with his index finger towards the audience while singing "I refer to those in love" during the Letterman performance. Chills.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Mon June 17, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
Nice write-up, Stip. "Hail Hail"'s kind of loose garage-rock vibe almost invites you to overlook what a complex, mature song it is lyrically--I had been listening to the song for 11-12 years before I even considered what the lyrics might have been about, and I developed a whole new appreciation for it when I did. One of the titans of the PJ songbook.


this is one of those songs that the lyrics really elevate for me.

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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Mon June 17, 2013 3:50 pm 
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I adore the lyrics to his song. Thanks Stip for elaborating on them more eloquently than I ever could.


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 Post subject: Re: A Guided Tour of No Code: Hail Hail
PostPosted: Tue June 18, 2013 12:31 am 
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Hail, Hail might be one of my favorite songs from them..It took me a while to like it, and the lyrics made so much sense to me these last couple of years. Im really thankful for some of the lines..these two parts being incredible:

Swore I'd love you till the day I die, ah and beyond...
Are we going to the same place? If so, can I come?

That right there is the feeling of someone who is being left alone and just dont want to face the reality now. He still thinks in that vow he made, he believes in it, and for that reason he is still waiting for the other person to point the new direction.

Sometimes realize, I could only be as good as you'll let me
Are you woman enough to be my man?
Bandaged hand in hand

Fuck, the first line is incredible...sometimes we play a part in relationships, and its really really difficult to be something else because of the part the other has given to us.


Great song.

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