30 August 2007

8+

"Broken Chairs" by Built to Spill which clocks in at 8:40

This song doesn't belong here. It's an impostor. A charlatan - a pretender. A fraudster. The Ferdinand Waldo Demara of long songs. A faker, like... like Faker. Like one of those false coral snakes that gets by in life by fooling the world into thinking it's dangerous. "Ohh look at me, I'm making people frightened! I'm the killer snake, from deadly land, in a red, yellow, and black house on poisonous laaaaaane!" But this song doesn't mean to appear deadly; rather, it wants you to believe that it's an actual 8+ instead of what it is. Wants you to take it at its word when it says it's eight minutes and forty seconds of indie-rock guitar love. HA. Hardly. The guitar love is there, but as for the song's 8+ity? Pssh.

"Broken Chairs", you don't even deserve to be an 8+ song. What with your decade long fade-out that begins someplace around the 6:50 mark, really starts hitting quiet stride at about 7:15, and has the song all but over by 7:35... one minute of jamming in a fade-out?? What kind of shit is that? I can think of no less than three classic songs, off the top of my head, that are more deserving of having an extra thirty seconds of fade-out tacked on just to push them over the eight minute mark. Don't believe me? How about "Us and Them" by Pink Floyd? Heard of that one? Sure would be nice to see that included here in good old 8+ land. Shame the Floydsters didn't just add on ten seconds of silence to the end, innit? Shoot, it's Pink Floyd. Could've been anything at the end of that song. Cows mooing, babies cooing, birds chirping, the sound of Syd Barrett's drool dropping to the floor...

What else? Does "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" by The Beatles ring a bell? Abbey Road? Huh? Think I wouldn't want to include that sonbitch in this catalog of long songs? Deserves to be here more than "Broken Chairs" does, this I know. JohnPaulGeorgeRingo (George Martin) took that sucker right up to the limit of its track length. Two minute fade-out like "Hey Jude"? Hell naw. It just ends. Boom. Over. Takes balls to do that.

Now let's think about the one song that annoys me most when I think of the two minute fade employed to bring "Broken Chairs" drifting to an end: "No Quarter" by Led Zeppelin. Good God man. How I wish that song had a two minute fade added on so that it was pushed past the eight minute mark and thus eligble for inclusion in EAR FARM's 8+ column. "No Quarter"! "No Quarter"! "No Quarter"! I love the song so much I've even considered finding sneaky ways to talk about it within a post about another song. I'd do it, if I could.

Perhaps the most criminal aspect of the "Broken Chairs" fade is that the song is a total animal up to, and even during, the committal of fadeas corpus. Listen to it. This ain't no "Hey Jude" - "na, na na na na na na" - over and over for eternity. Doug Martsch is flat out "going off" (as they say), and some engineer decides to take that as his cue to fall asleep on the sliding volume control fader thing?! I know it's called a fader but get a grip man!

*image of the Chair Palais des Nations Geneva found HERE.

Buy Keep It Like A Secret HERE on Amazon or HERE on iTunes (the iTunes version does not include "Broken Chairs").

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+:
Spacemen 3 - "Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here)"
Pulp - "Seductive Barry"
Pelican - "March to the Sea"
Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Tony Rice - "Guitar Space/Summertime"
Boris - "Flood"
Vieux Farka Touré - "Diabaté"
Morrissey - "Southpaw"
Mastodon - "Hearts Alive"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

8 comments:

Taylor said...

you should guest write a lost mp3 for T-Sides on "No Quarter."

FreakYourMouth said...

This post is awesome. Fuck yeah.

Howie said...

agreed with freakyourmouth. way to "bring it" EARF, this post kicks substantial ass...
also, way to get frustrated by your OWN rules and restrictions for this column.
you PRISONER

b said...

i love thursdays

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mary said...

you should guest write a lost mp3 for T-Sides on "No Quarter."
Ice Dam Removalen seks/, vrouwen en seks

Lamsida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.