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Passive Possessive

I buy music. I don’t normally download for free. I see it as a way of supporting my heroes, my inspirations, my muses. I have two rules for downloading free music. It has to be either a band I’ve never heard of that I might want to purchase later and they are giving away samples on their website, or it has to be the only way I can get my hands on it.

Having written that, I don’t mind sharing music on mixed cd’s, only because it is one way of introducing fantastic music to people who would not normally catch the bus. Let’s face it; you’re going to see a lot of names in these articles you won’t hear on the radio. I see it as a form of promotion, while some bands (well, maybe it’s the label, but you’d think they would find a new label), Dandy Warhols for instance, I guess see it as a form of ripping them off for a quarter. Think about it … if I put a song on a collection, and give it to someone, and they go out and buy your album or go see your concert—doesn’t that make you more money?

The idiocy of limiting music sharing is based on a pretty flawed paradigm—the insinuation is that people, the general public, are all psychopaths. Being told that I don’t have a conscience is pretty hard to swallow on its own, but I’m also expected to believe that each and every soul out in this great green globe is only there to steal from me or to inadvertently cause my death (see also: smoking restrictions). Did you hear my eyes roll?

When I sit down to put a collection together, it takes a lot of concentration. The process is pretty demanding. The music collections have to have a theme, whether it is lost in the beat, a word, or something a little less detectable. I have to thank an amazingly cool friend of mine from long ago for allowing me to observe her process in creating a thematic collage with pictures from magazines. The mixes I come up with are mostly a form of applying what she does—only with songs.

I wanted to put the actual songs up here for your listening pleasure, but I have to respect the artists involved. I can’t figure my way around the laws and legalities of producing an online radio show, so here we are…links are left to your own devices. Besides, if you check out the artist site, you may find something else you like amongst the links and letters … I mean, if you like data mining …

If there is one link I would encourage you to check out, it is Throwing Muses. Kristin Hersh’s philosophy on music sharing is something to be aware of (plus she’s giving away lots and lots of free music!). I have to admit, I kind of stumbled on it while polishing up this article, but it’s nice to know there is a movement out there to provide access to music that isn’t taking my ears hostage. (Why do I have to know the lyrics to My Humps?) The CASH music project could shape the way we continue to discover new artists.

Here is my standard disclaimer: Any copies of this play list are strictly for promotional purposes on behalf of the artist(s). The meanings I find in the songs are strictly personal, and may not represent the intent of the artists in the context of the full album.

Playlist Title ~ Passive Possessive

A search engine reveals meaning … Passive Possessive is an undesired grammar technique; like saying “this little light of mine” instead of “my little light."

My brain reveals meaning … similar to Passive Aggressive, which would mean a manipulative way of holding something close. 

My muse reveals meaning … one who would allow a ghostly possession, as a medium, could be called Passive Possessive. Then started the collection …

track graphicTrack 1 - Profession ~ +/-

The song that started it all … I’ve always wanted to feature this song as an opening for a playlist. Not being a religious man, this song speaks to me of taking responsibility for one’s soul. It’s not so much a falling from grace, as defining one’s grace; for one who chooses their afterlife.

track graphicTrack 2 - Nite Walker ~ Ben + Vesper

To me, the most beautiful song on this album. “Books have to go to bed too, just like tractors, and trains, and mad little men.” A song about standing up for oneself, in a disassociative way.

track graphicTrack 3 - Red Ghost Mother ~ Damien Youth

“Pre-surgical hysteria swells in the minds of lookers on. The waiting room is filled with crinkled eyes and unread magazine. The bathroom becomes refuge to the hypodermic recluse. White rooms wait for thee. And now I hear the silence of the sun …” The song moves too fast for me to tell for sure, but it seems like this one is a great example of Passive Possessive writing. Poetic licence … “And I am just the book that you read as you rough-draft your autobiography.”

track graphicTrack 4 - I Wish I Was On a Plane Somewhere ~ Khancoban

I put this song in because it is new to me, and I wanted to see if it would catch on if I placed it amongst other songs I love. It fits, kind of. It does have a longing to it, giving itself away to a daydream …

track graphicTrack 5 - Your Rocky Spine ~ Great Lake Swimmers

This is the song that was on Weeds. “I was lost in the shapes that your body makes …” This song contains the possessive quality in metaphor, as traversing dangerous geography equivocates to a quality of loving appreciation (I’m such a hack).

track graphicTrack 6 - Lost In Bessamer ~ Yo La Tengo

There are no lyrics here, but the acoustics remind me of a stray leaf allowing itself to be caught in a river’s current. Yeah, I used to be hippy-new age in a former life.

track graphicTrack 7 - Around and Around ~ Mark Kozelek

A John Denver cover? Who does that? Mark makes it his own, much in the same way sun kil moon covers of Modest Mouse are alive with Mark’s touch. The guitar can sound passive, and a cover song is kind of possessive …

track graphicTrack 8 - The Night Descending ~ Iron & Wine

Sometimes you just have to throw in a transition song that keeps the meter running. “Found a friend without religion riding on a stolen engine, far too fast to pacify you. Ain't no telling what he's up to …” Sort of sums up the ride from here … is Sam Beam singing about me making this mix? He is now …

track graphicTrack 9 - An Honest Bluff ~ Ben + Vesper

“Charity is not what I want, it’s what I need …” Well, the song title kind of follows through … your rocky spine, an honest bluff…this is about where I start to get a bit lost in my theme, and Valentine’s Day takes over. Did I mention I put this mix together about a week before Valentine’s Day?

track graphicTrack 10 - Valentine Boyfriend ~ Damien Youth

“I’ll be your Valentine boyfriend …” isn’t that a bit passive possessive? “I’ll give you myself to keep” is what it is saying, so yeah, that fits …I’ve got to say, there are all of these comparisons to Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett...I think it is akin to comparing AC/DC and Megadeth … just because there’s a small pond of this type of music doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand on it’s own …

track graphicTrack 11 - One Day You’ll Be There ~ +/-

“You’re sailing through the air, to nowhere, the trajectory unclear. But it feels like it’s somewhere. Don’t really care if you land, or you fall, because it’s not up to you!” I love this song for all of its bits and pieces…mashed up Laundromat cycles … torn paper strewn … neighbourhood building … unexpected pounding … a song about free falling, but not in a Tom Petty kind of way.

track graphicTrack 12 - Running Out ~ Mates of State

Throw your cares to the world. “Let’s trade this tired home, for all it’s worth in paper.”

track graphicTrack 13 - Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste ~ Galaxie 500

The essential shoe-gazers cover a Modern Lovers song. “Say something warm. Say something nice. I can’t stand to see you when you’re cold, nor can I stand being out of your life. And I could bleed in sympathy with you; on those days. Don’t let it go to waste.”

track graphicTrack 14 - Pearl ~ Throwing Muses

Beginning to explore more of the possessive part of the theme … full possession. “And you use your burning to wrap yourself in. And you use your fever to hide yourself away. And you use your sweating to keep me down. And you use your heat to have me. And you use your fire to be stronger than me. And you use your flame against me. I won’t come back like Marie.” I love it when Kristin does this song live. I think this is my favorite from the full collection of anything she’s ever done.

track graphicTrack 15 - Devil On My Shoulder ~ Sodastream

Still possessed … just as a note, these guys are giving away a ton of their music for free. “Cause I’ve got the Devil on my shoulder, fire in my eyes … whose head will be heavy this time?” The cello in this song is an anchor against the storm.

track graphicTrack 16 - Raining Twilight Coast ~ Robyn Hitchcock

“And the rain falls up from the ground. No one sees it, ‘cause there’s no one around. Just one thing baby…you forgot my heart.” Is unrequited love passive possessive? I mean, how can you help but let yourself over to it? The miracle of love being ignored by the object of the affection…believe me, its not as easy as it sounds to stop once the door is opened … it’s always messy and a world of hurt. You try shutting that down, and the result is a slow descent into madness, lying to oneself, hiding true feelings from the outside world … but it is an experience that leads to the development of unsure footing … a path to a world that leads to ultimate acceptance of one’s environment. “’Cause I’m a fish baby with a shimmering skin. And I find an opening, and I slide right in. The sea is my mother – big, green and wide. There’s so many ways you can screw up a child!” Oh, yeah, and I also like this song because it channels Bob Dylan.

track graphicTrack 17 - Over My Head ~ Red House Painters

“And you won’t call to say it’s all right, ‘cause you know it lasts all night.” It’s a shame, but I’ve done that stupid, “You hang up … no you hang up first” carnival ride.

track graphicTrack 18 - If ~ Islands

“If early man really did mate with Neanderthal, then modern man is a mix of bestial sex.” Do you think, maybe, we are the sum of what came before. Things we can never know may have some effect on who we are now as a society, and what we do … “If you aren’t sweet to me, I’ll desert you in a heartbeat.” That pretty much says it all, right there! Let go of the things we don’t care to think about.