Saturday, October 31, 2009

T Party Express: Love Lies Bleeding

The T Party Express slows down for no holiday.

Luis, my STBX (soon to be ex-husband), and I are spending our last Halloween together greeting the costumed masses with handfuls of premium candy and reminders that Jesus loves them. Can you imagine asking Him "trick or treat?" Christ is the only man who can truthfully promise to never disappoint or fail us.

For the past four months, I have spent too much time trying to understand how suddenly and unexpectedly a steadfast soulmate can become a sadistic stranger. If I drive by a trainwreck without acknowledging that there but for the grace of God go I, then I avert my eyes from the depths of despair and wickedness that characterize our sinful human nature at my own peril.

This ends the first week that I have been posting songs of heartbreak and survival. I have been happily surprised so far by how little I relate to most of their lyrical scenarios. That is not necessarily true of this weekend's creepy detour, but some secrets are best left unblogged.

Love Will Tear Us Apart
by Joy Division (1980).

This is the song credited widely for launching the New Wave genre. Lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide one month after its release on the eve of Joy Division's first American tour. The remaining members formed the influential electronica band New Order.

Reptile by the Church (1988).

Australia's The Church crafted several albums of lush loveliness that were undermined by lead singer Steven Kilbey's ugly heroin addiction. The serpent never sleeps.

Accidents Will Happen by Elvis Costello (1979).

Among Elvis Costello's numerous accomplishments, he has been one of the greatest practitioners of the lost art of the song fade-out since Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. I heard Costello claim that this song was inspired by the cycle of resentment and guilt in his first marriage. The haunting refrain "I know, I know, I know, I know, ..." gives me chills.

Luis, my STBX, is a Calvinist, which means he doesn't believe in "accidents." His view of God's sovereignty over all His creations means that God micromanages all His creations. A few months ago, Luis was careless with his personal security, which resulted in his wedding ring, watch, GPS system, iPod, and bluetooth earpiece being stolen from his SUV. He interpreted the theft as a sign from God that our marriage was over, although somehow not as a sign that God doesn't want him to tell time, find locations on a map, listen to music or talk on his cell phone.

Tears Run Rings by Marc Almond (1987).

Marc Almond is more famous stateside for his work in Soft Cell on Tainted Love, but I have a soft spot for this solo outing.

Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen (1984).

Fate up against your will. What a poetic way to describe forcing something that was never meant to be to a regrettable conclusion.

I wish I could embed the official video, but the record label won't let me.

Love Lies Bleeding by Elton John (1973).

Hey, jealousy.

Last Time Forever by Squeeze (1985).

A fretful lover commits a frightful act over a fretless bass line.

Songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford have often been compared to Lennon and McCartney. On this record and others, I especially like when the tenor Tilbrook and baritone Difford sing the same melody one octave apart. The little details mean a lot to me.

Previous stops:

Conjure Me by the Afghan Whigs (1992).

Debonair by the Afghan Whigs (1993).

Hallelujah by Jason Castro (2009).

Total Recall by the Sound (1985).

Fly by Jars of Clay (2002).

Train in Vain by the Clash (1980).

It's My Life by Talk Talk (1984).

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