on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 19 Jan

Lech guns keen #3: the transformative power of performance

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment

Another snowstorm full of plutonium snowflakes. Rubber Band is (of course) a play on words – it means Gummiband, as well as something less well defined: a band who aren’t very good, presumably they sound so bad it’s as if they are playing with makeshift strings.

The band aren’t recording artistes (it’s 1910) and the only individual who critiques them is their (perhaps only) audience, the song’s singer.

A Gummiband is of course infinite – it’s a loop. Travel round it and you will never stop. And resilient. And possibly even has a memory (…sort of…) given that it displays hysteresis: stretch a rubber band and it doesn’t immediately return to its original state, instead undergoing irreversible thermodynamic change. They also expand in cold and contract in heat.

All of which forms an odd metaphor that is unclear – out of tune though the band may be, on his return from overseas about 4 years later, the singer finds out that the band leader stole his girl. The elastic of love and longing has been stretched too far, and his parting shot is a comedic wish that the band leader ‚breaks his baton‘ – a sharp return to reality, and a slightly more prosaic example of thermodynamic change.

In a very strange way, Rubber Band is a eulogy to the transformative power of performance. A yet-to-be world famous artist sketching out a scene that takes place 50 years or more in the past, with (you’d imagine) no idea just how powerful the act of performance would be in his own life in time to come.

While Rubber Band doesn’t quite achieve the pathos of the two preceding songs on the album, it does address some very interesting ideas – the limited projection of the Rubber Band versus the stadia and satellite world of the 1960s, as well as themes of attraction, orbit: perigee/apogee and of course tea and scones.

This entry was posted on Dienstag, 19. Januar 2016 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    New to me. And so many layers of meaning in a cute little song. As whimsical as it it seems, it contains a lot of Bowie’s career in the nutshell. Beatles-esque, too. Time travelers on the run.

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