Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Rock Show

Tool is among the most amazing bands around. They are certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Their official videos are bizarre, disturbing, and do not feature the band at all. They seem anonymous. Yet, they are accomplished songwriters, rhythmically complex, and lyrically dealing with themes of alienation, the struggle to feel in a world that seeks only to destroy feeling, rage at hypocrisy, and (occasionally) offering a positive glimpse of life and its possibilities.

"Rosetta Stoned" off their release 10,000 Eyes, however, is different. The story of a man's encounter with an extra-terrestrial, it might also be the dictation of a man out of his mind. Which is it? The nice thing is the song refuses to answer the question of whether or not the encounter is real. The man is certainly insane, and admits he was on a combination of chemicals ("Dead Head chemistry") bound to make anyone perceive things . . . differently.

In short, there aren't too many songs like "Rosetta Stoned" out there. Were I given the opportunity, this song would be the first piece of evidence that Tool belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and its singer/lyricist Maynard James Keenan deserved to be our poet-laureate.

Two things. Because of the recording technique (multi-tracking the lyrics slightly out of synch), the words are printed below the video. Some of the video images, taken from the film Fire In The Sky, might be disturbing to some viewers. This being Tool, should anyone out there be offended by dirty words, you might just want to skip right on over this one.

All righty then. Picture this if you will.
10 to 2 AM, X, Yogi DMT, and a box of Krispy Kremes,
in my need-to-know post just outside Area 51
Contemplating the whole chosen people thingy when
just then a flaming stealth banana split the sky like one would hope but
never really expect to see in a place like this
Cutting right angle doughnuts on a dime and stopping right at my Birkenstocks
and me yelping... HOLY FUCKING SHIT
Holy fucking shit
Fucking shit
Holy fucking shit
Holy fucking shit
Holy fucking shit...fucking shit...fucking shit

Then the X-Files being, looking
like some kinda blue-green Jackie Chan
With Isabella Rossellini lips and breath that reeked of vanilla chig champa
Did a slow-mo Matrix decent outta the butt end of the banana vessel
and hovered above my bug-eyes,
My gaping jaw,
And my sweaty L. Ron Hubbard upper lip,
And all I could think was,
I hope Uncle Quark here doesn't notice
That I pissed my fucking pants.

So light in his way
Like an apparition,
He had me crying out,
Fuck me!
It's gotta be
the Deadhead chemistry!
The blotter got right on top of me
Got me seeing E motherfucking T!

And after calming me down with some orange slices and some fetal spooning
E.T. revealed to me his singular purpose,
He said you are the chosen one.
The one who will deliver the message.
A message of hope for those who choose to hear it
And a warning for those who do not.
Me, the chosen one
They chose me
And I didn't graduate from fucking high school!

You had better
You had better
You had better
You had better listen

Then he looked right through me
With somniferous almond eyes
Don't even know what that means
Must remember to write it down,
This is so real
Like the time Dave floated away
See my heart is pounding
'Cause this shit never happens to me!

Can't breathe right now

It was so real
Like I woke up in Wonderland
Also a bit terrifying
I don't wanna be all alone
When I tell this story
And can anyone tell me why
ya'll sound like Peanuts parents
Will I ever be coming down?
This is so real
Finally it's my lucky day
See my heart is racing
'Cause this shit never happens to me

I can't breathe right now

You believe me don't you
Please believe what I just said
See the dead ain't tourin'
And this wasn't all in my head.
See they took me by the hand
And invited me right in
Then they showed me something
I don't even know where to begin

Strapped down to my bed
Feet cold and eyes red
I'm out of my head
Am I alive am I dead
Can't remember what they said
God damn shit the bed
High eye (repeated)

I believe you (repeated, heard faintly in background)

Overwhelmed as one would be
Placed in my position
Such a heavy burden now to be the one
Born to bear and bring to all
The details of our ending
To write it down for all the world to see.
But I forgot my pen
Shit the bed again

Strapped down to my bed
Feet cold and eyes red
I'm out of my head
Am I alive am I dead?
Sunkist and sudafed
Gyroscopes and infrared
Won't help the brain-dead
Can't remember what they said
God damn shit the bed
IIIIIII can't remember what they said to me
Can't remember what they said
to make me out to be a hero
Can't remember what he said

Bob help me!
Can't remember what he said

Don't know, won't know (repeated)
God damn shit the bed!

Virtual Tin Cup

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