17 August 2006

8+

“Exodus” (1984 12" Mix) by Bob Marley & The Wailers which clocks in at 8:49

Don't take for granted the regular things in life. The same old dog you see being walked every day at 6:30pm, the garbage truck that clangs and bangs each Tuesday and Thursday morning until you wake up, the songs you know you're bound to hear when you tune your car stereo to that old reliable classic-rock radio station...the blind man you see each day on your walk to work. Don't forget to always notice these things every time they make their way through your day... The world is built upon a clockwork frame of shared, but unmentioned, schedules and you might never know how much they all mean to you until suddenly one of them is no longer there.

There is a blind man I used to pass everyday on the way to work. He's the most punctual person I've ever almost known. I could seriously tell the time just based on where I passed him each day. If I saw him on 15th Street I knew I was right on time but if I passed him on 3rd Ave I knew I was about ten to fifteen minutes late. If he was already at 14th Street that meant I was a good half-hour behind schedule. You may not understand what kind of distance I'm talking about here but I'm saying he was covering about a block and a half in thirty minutes. He always walked alone, with a cane, while staying extremely close to the buildings and far away from the curb. He inched along the way I'd imagine I would if suddenly I found myself unable to see, and yet there he was every single day. Ticking along in tiny steps that guaranteed he was always in the same place at the same time each day. I almost started to take his punctuality for granted. Or, perhaps I did. One day, a few months ago, I suddenly realized I hadn't passed the blind man on the way to work. How many days had it been? Where was he?

Because he's an old man I feared for the worst yet liked to imagine that he was off in some better place. No, not like that... I mean I envisioned him on vacation visiting family. Surely they needed him around more than I did. Or perhaps he decided to escape the rigors of the city and bought a house on a beach somewhere. There he was (in my mind) peacefully sipping tequila, enjoying the sun, listening to some Bob Marley, and smoking grass to help alleviate glaucoma pain. Or not. Turns out I finally saw my friend again today. My friend? Yes maybe, now that I know what my mornings would be like without him around. He looked well rested and was sporting a nice new haircut as I passed him on 3rd Ave. I smiled as I hurried my walk just a bit.

Growing up, Bob Marley was a musician whose songs I took for granted. I owned Legend and don't even know how I got it. It's as if the album one day rode the wind to land right at my feet like Frosty's hat. Or perhaps it's just one of those albums that manage to appear around the same time pimples do. Regardless, I didn't really listen to the album that much. It somehow found its way into my rotation each summer but none of the songs really stuck. Back then "No Woman No Cry" used to bore me and "Exodus" was the one song I had any interest in at all. To me, during middle and high school, Bob Marley's music was simply warm weather wallpaper. So much so that I didn't really notice when I lost my copy of Legend. Then, after a few years of not listening to Bob Marley, I discovered marijuana and Babylon By Bus and asked myself "where have you BEEN all of this time?!"

Recently I bought the reissue of Legend. Partly to regain that old reliable greatest hits disc and mostly because it promised a rather long version of a song I used to love which I'd not listened to in years. Back then I left "Exodus" for dead, considering it well overplayed, and had forgotten how much powerful greatness this one song contains. Listen and tell me if you've taken Bob Marley and the Wailers for granted. No? Well then just sit back and enjoy a thinking person's summer song.

Buy Legend - The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers (Deluxe Edition) HERE on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"
Big Brother & the Holding Company - "Ball And Chain"
The Stone Roses - "I Am The Resurrection"
DJ Shadow - "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain"
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - “Cowgirl in the Sand”
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Sir Psycho Sexy”
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”

7 comments:

Mart Hines said...

Nice.

Adam B said...

Dude, seriously. I've been reading this site for months now and this was a really great post.

"The world is built upon a clockwork frame of shared, but unmentioned, schedules and you might never know how much they all mean to you until suddenly one of them is no longer there."

That's fucking genius.

Anonymous said...

wow.
really good one, matt.
you're such a great writer.

george jezel said...

As a record store guy I've noticed something cool about Bob Marley- he's one of two artists that you can put on in the store and please all staff memebers. The other one- MJ, of course.

Trevor Jackson said...

I feel liike I'm always saying this, but this is a terrific post. And a great song. Thanks for helping steal this back from frat parties.

Niandi said...

Brilliant ! The drive to work will look a lot different

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