Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Every Street

This post is unique for two reasons: I don't usually write (or read, or twitch, or scratch, or doodle) whilst listening to music. It demands my full attention - if it's music of my own choosing, of course - and any less would be sacrilegious (which, while it oughtn't bother this a-religious [not irreligious; there's a world of difference] bum too much, well, does, because it's music, goddamnit). Today, I'm trying to write as On Every Street (the song, not the album) plays in the background. The second reason is that I'm giving myself only two listenings (10 minutes and 8 seconds) to get this done with. If I don't keep myself amused, who will?

What brought this post on, to get back to the point I never made in the first place, come to think of it (this is like the debate on whether the Rukhmabai case of 1884 was for a 'restitution' of conjugal rights or an 'institution' of them in the first place - hah - who says history doesn't move in mysterious ways?), is this - I think this song has one of the finest build-ups I've ever heard. It ranks way, way up there, alongside Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Take a Pebble, Part 1 of The Wall and possibly Brothers in Arms in terms of the way these numbers draw you in, and when you think you've got them sussed out, gobsmack you into tomorrow with a build-up that actually takes you/them to a plane you wouldn't have imagined possible. The dynamics of Knopfler's playing - and I say this having heard most everything DS has ever done, a lot of his solo stuff, and having seenheard him live - blow me away; in his hands, the guitar becomes more eloquent than, than - Martin Luther King, I tell you! His attack, his tone, the finger-picking style? Of course, the musicians he plays with - bloody brilliant each one -help some; the way they play 'together' is testament to their genius, sure, but also how keenly they feel each rise, swell, drop in the riff at hand, in the movement, in the music of their/his creation.

Ok. I cheated, but only by a minute. I'll end here and post this before I change my mind. More in another piece sometime? Of course, it'd have been smarter to pick the epic Shine On (13 minutes and counting) to exercise (exorcise, even?) this little idea. What can I say? Knopfler hath mee (in keeping with the Keatsian conceit) in thrall.

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