Future Rust

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Sweater: Anthropologie Sunday Draped Sweater
Top: Anthropologie Hazed Landscape Tee
Pants: Hue Corduroy Leggings
Boots: Anthropologie Brass and Band Booties
Necklace: Anthropologie Uniform Bits Necklace

"It's future rust and it's future dust." - Foals

This past Sunday I was sitting in Jerry's truck waiting for him to pump gas and listening to The Rolling Stones. He had insisted before he got out of the truck on leaving the CD player going, so I would have some entertainment. With nothing else to do, I found myself really focusing on the lyrics of these songs that I have heard a billion times during the course of my lifetime. Here's some excerpts from the 2 songs that came on while I was waiting:

"Baby, I can't stay, you got to roll me and call me the tumblin' dice. Got to roll me. Got to roll me."

"Yeah yeah yeah do the Harlem shuffle.
Yeah yeah yeah do the Harlem shuffle.
Do the Monkey shine.
Yeah yeah yeah shake a tail feather baby.
Yeah yeah yeah shake a tail feather baby."

This was not real deep or earth shattering stuff, so I couldn't help but wonder to myself what made these classic songs stand the test of time.

When Jerry got back in the truck, I started up a discussion on how confused I was on the mass appeal of The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger's voice isn't the best. In many of the songs, his background singers outshine him. Their lyrics leave a lot to be desired, and their sound is generic at best. I pretty much hear that same sound every time I go into a redneck bar with a live band. Jerry immediately got defensive. He said there was a reason I hear that sound every time I go into a bar, because every other band was trying to copy that sound but The Stones were the first to do it. I admitted he had a good point, but still "shake your tail feather baby" is the stuff classics are made of?

At this point, Jerry felt the need to start tearing down my favorite band, Death Cab for Cutie. He called them "poppy." Oh, motherfucker, it was on! I got really defensive, stuck out my bottom lip, and said I couldn't believe he was tearing down the music we fell in love to. He responded by saying he was just trying to listen to some Stones when I started making fun of his music choices. I came back with "Oh, I'm sorry my annoying voice was drowning out your crappy music." The argument ended with me trying to defend Death Cab's honor, but no matter how I phrased it, trying to proclaim Death Cab for Cutie as a better band than The Rolling Stones was pretty laughable, even though I really do feel that way, dammit.

I guess it all comes down to different strokes for different folks. Jerry grew up with The Rolling Stones, so I'm sure their music and light-hearted lyrics hold special value to him. As for me, I've always been attracted to lesser known bands. Ones with a different sound and lyrics that I can really relate to. Death Cab for Cutie may be a band with a silly name and beta male members, but they never fail to turn out a song that speaks to exactly what I'm going through at a particular moment in time.

The constant battle between your brain and your heart:

"Your heart is a river that flows from your chest
Through every organ
Your brain is the dam
And I am the fish who can't reach the core.
Oh, instincts are misleading
You shouldn't think what you're feeling
They don't tell you what you know you should want."

Growing older and apart:

"You may tire of me as our December sun is setting 'cause I'm not who I used to be
No longer easy on the eyes but these wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below
Who turned your way and saw something he was not looking for
Both a beginning and an end
But now he lives inside someone he does not recognize when he catches his reflection on accident...

Now we say goodnight from our own separate sides like brothers on a hotel bed."

Struggles with religion and the afterlife:

"At St. Peter's Cathedral
There is stained glass
There's a steeple that is reaching
Up towards the heavens
Such ambition never failing to amaze me
It's either quite a master plan
Or just chemicals that help us understand
That when our hearts stop ticking
This is the end
And there's nothing past this."

I never got an answer that day to my original question of what makes a classic. Jerry and I both got too hung up on defending our own musical preferences. I don't know if there really is an answer. Take my favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh. One of the things I find so interesting about him was that he only sold like one painting while he was alive. It's so beautifully tragic that he was plagued by mental illness his whole life and never knew his own greatness. And so it goes for the majority of us. Most of us will never know if our works here on earth will leave a lasting impression. The best we can hope for is to stay true to ourselves, live life on our own terms, and enjoying listening to our favorite music, even if that music instructs us to shake our tail feather.   

Spanish Sahara by Foals on Grooveshark



  1. Hi Bonnie,

    I love your posts. Following you now. i love your photos in falling-down wind-swept areas. Where do you find your locations? I live now in an exurb of Chicago where there are cool locations like where you photograph. Every day I pass a few old farm buildings where the barn looks ready too fall down. You look so great in your Antho fashions in the windswept locations. Not familiar with NC but I would like to visit the State sometime. are you by the sea or the mountains?

    Rolling Stones... Beatles... or Death Cab for Cutie. I am almost old enough to remember when the Beatles broke up. Older sister liked them so I did too. But I GET death Cab for Cutie more than those old sixties bands. Check out the band Alt J (an Awesome Wave). You may like them as much as Death Cab for Cuties.

    I Love your Antho fashion modeling. I would love to do the same but my photos would be of last seasons fashions. I never get the time. More than fashion -- I like that u discuss...life.

    Best to you and yours,


  2. Hi Sue! Welcome!

    Most of my locations are right around the office building where I work. Our downtown area is pretty rundown, not really a good thing for my city, but it does make for some good photo backdrops. My city is a hour away from the sea and 5 hours away from the mountains.

    See, I totally get the lasting power of the Beatles' music. Their sound evolved over time and their lyrics were really good. I have a hard time differentiating some of The Rolling Stones' songs, because a lot of them sound so similar. I just don't get it. I've listened to some Alt J. They're good, but I read a review that said the singers voice sounded like Adam Sandler's on Saturday Night Live. That ruined them for me. :-( I'll have to give them another try.

  3. I couldn't wait 15 years to continue this debate.

    I'm not crazy about the stones, but their genre has merit.
    I think of them and much of that era as a dedication to dadaism.
    (Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition)

    They're not cerebral, but they have tooth. It's that texture thing you're so tired of hearing about. (smiley face implied)

    Not taking away from Death Cab, or on a more personal note Ben (jealous smirk implied). He engages the mind definitely, but it's a different flavor. The Stones are like Snickers and he's a Milkyway. Both have merit, but one has nuts... I keed, I keed.

    One more point, they came about in 1962. I wasn't even born yet. Don't age me out before my time. The police were hot when I was in high school. I like the way they put it:

    poets, priests and politicians.
    Have words to thank for their positions
    Words that scream for your submission
    And no-one's jamming their transmission
    And when their eloquence escapes you
    Their logic ties you up and rapes you
    De do do do, de da da da
    Is all I want to say to you.

    The stones weren't heavy by any means, but here's some more meaty lyrics:

    I stuck around st. petersburg
    When I saw it was a time for a change
    Killed the czar and his ministers
    Anastasia screamed in vain
    I rode a tank
    Held a generals rank
    When the blitzkrieg raged
    And the bodies stank
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
    Ah, what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
    I watched with glee
    While your kings and queens
    Fought for ten decades
    For the gods they made
    I shouted out,
    Who killed the kennedys?
    When after all
    It was you and me.

    Okay so maybe I'm overly invested in this "debate".

    I'll concede this. "Lightness" will still move me in 15 years when we're having this same "discussion".

  4. Jerry, Good points all but don't attribute to Dada what good weed probably explains better. :-)

  5. I don't know...I think the Rolling Stones has their appeal not because of their lyrics so much as the feelings that they evoke. I think its a more about a "whole rather than the parts" thing -much like Classical music sort of makes your mind go to a place without words the Stones make you go there with the vague lyrics and dazzling background music - you give it your own spin.

    And with that I'll leave you with the most fabulous Stones lyrics (which are so very bizarre) But when the song plays it turns into something amazing -

    "I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag I was schooled with a strap right across my back
    But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas
    But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
    It's a gas! Gas! Gas!"


  6. Bonnie. I love you. But the Stones, man, will never, ever die...and you did have the misfortune to tune into some of their fluffier stuff (never cared for Harlem Shuffle - BUT, it's also not one they wrote). But, Can't Always Get What You Want? Sympathy For The Devil? Gimme Shelter? Deep, deep stuff with cultural and political references in there, girl. Dig deeper...(and don't age me out, as Jerry would say - my parents rocked out to the Stones, but I still drive around singing to them...) but those days were filled with war, protests, major social injustices. Death Cab for Cutie - they're touching what's important to us now: inner reflection, looking for hope, questioning faith. Like comparing apples'n'oranges.

    Mother's Little Helper, 19th Nervous Breakdown...oh, I loved the irony in those songs. Shattered? Commentary on the crime and despair in NYC. The Stones were so influential, others wrote songs about them - check out Kris Kristofferson's 'Blame It On The Stones' - another tongue-in-cheek snub of the 'family man and little woman at home', breakdown of the false Leave It To Beaver dream...I've always loved it: http://youtu.be/hjRT-J8dPSA

    The songs from both bands are vessels, trying to get their points across. You can love 'em both!


  7. Oh. Right. On! And nobody did justice to "Sympathy for the Devil" like The Good Dr. Gonzo on his unforgettable trip to the desert. "We were somewhere outside of Barstow when the drugs kicked in..."

  8. Ok, so you accused me of choosing to post the 2 worst Stones' songs lyrics-wise when in fact, I just posted the 2 songs that happened to come on when I was listening.

    You, on the other hand, have chosen to post the lyrics to a song I specifically mentioned I liked, so how am I going to argue with that?

    As far as aging you out goes...the 60's, the 70's...eh, it's all the same really. Just different flavors of old. ;-)

    Love you! XOXO

  9. I have no idea what you speak of, Richard. OMG! The "Olds" have taken over my blog! LOL!

  10. Ok, Tracy, you make a good argument. Apparently, I didn't delve deep enough into their catalog.

    Still, I think a lot of their music sounds the same. My 2 favorites of theirs are "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Paint it Black." I think I like those 2 because they were a departure from the same old sound for them. That or maybe my evil, black soul is just attracted to those 2 songs.

    You've peeked my interest here, though. I think I'll fall down the Internet rabbit hole of The Rolling Stones. Maybe I'll come out a convert.

  11. I hear ya! However, those lyrics just prove my point even more. LOL!

  12. YEAH Richard!! Outstanding!!

  13. Alt J = Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live. LOL Ok. Now they're ruined for me too.


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