on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 1 Jun

Lost classic #14, I’ve Seen Everything

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Title: I’ve Seen Everything
Artist: The Trash Can Sinatras
Release date: Sometime last century. The 1990s, maybe. Who cares?
Recording details: Produced by Ray Shulman, recorded at Shabby Road Studios, Kilmarnock, Scotland
Genre: seriously, fuck knows.
Tell for why this is a classic: there is no canon. Otherwise it wouldn’t lose things like this. A collection of songs that might make your heart explode. Vivid lyrics, good tunes.
Standout tracks: Hayfever, Orange Fell, I’m Immortal, Send For Henny, I’ve Seen Everything, Earlies.
Sample lyric 1: all our plans were made on streets the winter paved, as streetlamp lucozade orange fell – I love this lyric. It’s like a moment out of James Joyce’s Dubliners. Non UK readers may appreciate a little background here. Lucozade is a fizzy drink, and it has an orange colour. Not opaque Fanta orange colour, more like translucent rust. The drink was originally sold at your local Apotheke and marketed to people convalescing from illness. A UK streetlamp does indeed look like luminous Lucozade. So you get this sad, reflective, post- love affair song, with the streetlamp kind of radiating this comforting energy. The wording ‚orange fell‘ has two meanings – the first is literal – the orange light fell on the snowy Scottish winter street. The second is a reference to Isaac Newton’s (probably apocryphal) epiphany when an apple fell on his head and he invented gravity. (I say ‚invented‘ but it may already have been there, dragging stuff down.) By switching it to orange rather than apple, and having photons ‚fall‘, the lyric opens up questions about how the physicality of the universe and the unity of the universe are stretched and reshaped when the psyche is affected by ‚falls‘ in or out of love.
Sample lyric 2: come into my house, throw open the windows wide, then back to your house to do likewise Another cracking line. It’s about breathing, the etymology of the inspiration, and also defences.
Sample lyric 3: three feet of snow fell on the Walnut Road, two feet trudged. Round the corner came the sound of bad dreams. The flame is old, the Thames is cold I have no idea what this song is about. It appears to tell the story of two friends in their early 20s moving to London to work in the early 1980s. They work ‚earlies‘ (i.e. from around 4am until noon) which suggests they have crap jobs. There’s a reference to terrorism – did one of them die? You’re left to guess.
Anything else? I saw the band play live around the time this was released. The Velvet Underground (THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, BABY!) were playing at a venue that same night, about two streets away. The Trash Cans‘ singer walked on stage and his first words were something along the lines of „commiserations, everyone – I guess you couldn’t get Velvet Underground tickets and came to see us instead“. Not me, I was there for these songs. I wasn’t disappointed either.


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