Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stone Temple Pilots - Thank You

intending to buy a stone temple pilots cd that has at least 3-4 songs that i know and like, i found tower records selling one that fulfilled said requirement. but as it turned out, it was the only stone temple pilots cd they had. and i asked myself why would such an influential band like stp (stone temple pilots) have only 1 cd being marketed at the best record bar in the country? stp, for those not in the know, was one of those bands responsible for setting the tone of the 90’s seattle grunge scene. together with the likes of nirvana, pearl jam and soundgarden, stp was one of the pioneering catalysts of progressive rock.

upon reaching my house, i immediately went to my room feeling excited about listening to the cd. i found out (by examining the credits) that the cd was a greatest hits collection, and like in most greatest hits compilations, the album jacket does not come with a lyrics sheet -- just song credits, the band members’ acknowledgements, band photos and the usual art design that comes with any cd. i say this cause i am one of those people who, despite having easy access to the internet and therefore to countless lyrics websites, would still want his lyrics in a compact and very portable format.

anyway, stp songs are an integral part of my life as i got to know most of them during the lowest moments of my depression when my cousin jeff would repeatedly play stp tapes in his room. feeling sad, down and weak all day, going to his room and hear him sing along with scott weiland (vocalist for stp) was such a breath of fresh air. one of his favorites – ergo, one of my favorites – is “big bang baby”. jeff does not live in our house anymore but i can still hear him sing: “sell your soul and sign an autograph / big bang baby, it’s a crash, crash, crash / i wanna die / but i gotta laugh / orange crush mama is a laugh, laugh, laugh”. back then, whenever i hear him sing this song, it gave a boost of energy to my otherwise listless life. nowadays, during those rare occasions that i get to hear it either on nu107, mtv or myx, i get so emotional i can almost feel my eyes welling up with tears as i recall all the things i’ve been through, and the courage and perseverance it took to overcome the trials and tribulations.

“lady picture show”, due to its melancholy sound i always considered a love song and thus i will forever associate the words “lady picture show / she hides behind the bedroom door / lady picture show / she hides behind the bedroom wall” with love.

the stp albums that i usually got to hear were “core”, “purple”, and “tiny music …… songs from the vatican gift shop” since these were jeff’s favorites. and by sheer happenstance, 10 of the 15 tracks from “thank you” were taken from these albums.

when you are lost and confused, you get to feed off people who know what they want. during the worst times of my depression, it was hard to determine what kind of music i wanted to hear so i guess the easiest route (or the path of least resistance) would be to listen to the music of a true fan; one who knows what he wants. jeff is such a big fan of stp he claims he is the only person alive (outside the members of stp of course) that can read the lyric sheet of one of their albums. now is that a fanatic or what?

i’m probably not the best person to review this cd as my emotions are obviously clouding my logical reasoning and thus i cannot possibly come up with an erudite evaluation.

in fact, this is turning out to be more of a story of my life and my relation with jeff than a cd review. however, i still consider this review significant because i think that’s what music is all about: how music moves your life; how it affects your relation with another person. people are reminded of certain events or other people when they hear a particular song. i guess you could call it “song association”. you may not understand what the song is all about; you might not know the title or artist of the song; or you might not even like the song. but it has touched you nonetheless as that particular song occupies a particular space in your mind that is linked to other thoughts, whether it be of a special someone, a happy moment, an embarrassing moment, perhaps a date or maybe the time you lost your virginity.

so even if i may not be able to express clearly my reasoning, suffice it to say that i like this cd. of course, don’t take my word for it. it’s like that musical countdown that professes “the best countdown is the one that’s in your head”.

may i just end by acknowledging jeff’s moral (as well as musical) support during one of the roughest moments of my life. and for this, i say to him, “thank you”.

rating: 4 of 5 stars * * * *
a great collection of songs from a great band.


rob said...

Roehl, yes I would have to say that good music depends a lot on timing, being in the right mood. And listening to music during significant times in your life enhances the experience. It becomes sort of your 'soundtrack' to that moment, and hearing the old songs will bring back familiar memories. Uncanny.

rmacapobre said...

> during the worst times of my depression, it was hard to determine what kind of music i wanted to hear

[max] when im depressed. i listen to classic vocals by ella fitzgerald, sarah vaughn and billy holiday. sometimes i can settle for instrumental jazz by miles davis.