Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Song of the Day: Blind Melon - No Rain

Photos: Mark Seliger

Blind Melon - No Rain
from the album Blind Melon

This song has meant so much to me over the years ever since it came out - perhaps because in '92 there was so much going on in my life. Sure: being very young (21 and under) and all that it entails - I was in college at Ole Miss at the time, so I was partying a lot and involved with a young man who pushed my emotional envelope to the limit to say the least. I remember that because several of us were very much into The Dead (I still am, I just don't have a lot of the shows I love so much on cd because they've been lost over the years; I need to start hitting tape traders) and when you combine some of the simple beautiful sounds of Blind Melon with the fact that several of their band came from Mississippi, it's no surprise that this blogger was oftentimes hanging with friends and enjoying this album.

I also found that during the times when I was sad, which happened often during '92, listening to this song gave me some kind of hope to hang my hat on. A joy in the simplicity of being myself - whatever strange creature that was - and is. The late lead singer/songwriter, Shannon Hoon, found a way in his lyrics to bring a natural quality to music when so many bands were trying to go over the top; he made a gentle commentary on the medium of being a fucking human being, plain and simple.

The irony is that listening to his music often made me happier, yet this poor young man had a tempest brewing in his life - which ultimately led to his death by overdose. Like many musicians and artists who lost their lives to their addictions, he was taken for granted by the media (despite Blind Melon going multi-platinum). I suppose I also identified with them - and him - to a degree, for my friends and I were young hippies in the 90's in Oxford, Mississippi...sometimes doing too many substances and also being taken for granted as wastoids when we were really fiercely intelligent and creative individuals.

I suppose, like all of my Songs of the Day, there is a reason why I'm posting this right now; I've wanted to for a week and a half, but didn't get a chance. Change is all around us - and it's not just all around me; I'm inhaling and exhaling it, imbibing its medium. Something about this song helps me make the next steps in life, and so, I hope it does for you...

Then again - and I don't know about you - but I often feel like my life is one big music video of my own making...I just fill in the soundtrack.

This is One band from the 90's that should not not not be forgotten. One really great article on them is the bio above (linked to their name from the B&N website); another is an interview with the band by The Rice Thresher in 1997, part of Rice University. It interviews guitarist Christopher Thorn about their third album, Nico, named after Hoon's daughter, more of a tribute to Hoon than anything else. Thorn has a lot to say about the media's attack on Hoon's character and the band in general: and heartily tells them to go fuck themselves.

I concur.


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