The charitable giving seemed to flow effervescently from Adam Duritz in albums subsequent to August, to the point where by Hard Candy I was like Whew, I’ve had enough. This Desert Life was more like the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.
And nothing does more than eschewing song structure conventionality toward appeasing fans (which as Stephen Davis adeptly reminds us in LZ – ’75 is short for “fanatics”). You know, everyday people. You may know one.
And elephants, you may know an elephant, literally or metaphorically, but what I’m focusing on right now is Adam Duritz’ use of metaphor, because I think it speaks to a certain denouement. It’s like the artist’s culmination of the arc, where he just sits back and bestows to us a portrait of life as a whole — we keep the elephants in check, we don’t let them out of the circus, because they’re more powerful than us, and we keep those “ferris wheel junkies” afloat via Welfare. Societal liberalism still carrying more cloud with me than master/slave dichotomy, any variation pending.
Luckily for us, as has always been the case (this being the case with the metaphor too) Duritz pours plenty of the literal on us too. He seems to be congenitally bound to metaphor use (“Just to lie beneath this bowl of stars”), but that word just SOUNDED good, he was just telling you want he was doing, he wanted you, sitting at home in Oklahoma, Kansas, wherever, there just as much as anyone. You don’t even have to know what a metaphor is.
Addenda: “Ghost Ship”
This is the song on August and Everything after that gave birth to the metal band’s (with I think a punk drummer) name Between the Buried and Me, one of the more bizarre Bonaroo selections from this year, though in general that festival’s lineup has certainly gone downhill, albeit from a high pinnacle that was. It opens, “Take the cannonball down to the ocean.” “Dizzying” expressionism indeed, but, I don’t think, metaphor. Because what could this image possibly be referencing? The “circus” in “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” I think references society itself, but this is something else entirely, and frankly I’m just gonna bow out now.