Author Topic: decoding LOVE (A Walk With Love and Death)  (Read 2366 times)

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Offline amazonAMAZON

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decoding LOVE (A Walk With Love and Death)
« on: July 25, 2017, 02:03:01 PM »
Like a total fucking nerd I had to start taking notes. I've been on a loop with this record for a while. Anyone that can help hear things I couldn't make out would be greatly appreciated. Also open to wild speculation and inside jokes.

AIM HIGH:
   CLUES: This title seems to be deliberate. The graphic for AIM HIGH appears as the center two-page spread of both the LOVE and DEATH CD booklets (is this the same on other formats?)
   DRUGS: The word 'high' could be a double entendre
   SOUNDS: Begins with ambient public noise, likely a transportation stop (bus, plane, or airport). A man at 0:22 can be heard saying something about a ticket to Los Angeles. A woman with an accent is heard saying something about a "baby butt" and later "this one looks like you." A different young woman says "Yeah, they've been wanting... (???) sixties (???) continue. They have no location ... (???) ... Keith would... (???) seven point system... (???)." Women are also heard saying something in a foreign language (id?)
   INSTRUMENTS: Reverby piano and synthesizer playing a gentle baroque type of lullaby tune. Later a pair of modular synthesizers replace this.
   
QUEEN POWDER PARTY:
   DRUGS: 'Powder' in the title could also be a drug reference
   SOUNDS: Immediately we hear children playing outside, running and screaming. There is a helicopter circling loudly. A man laughs like Ricky Ricardo in the background. A man is heard saying "(???) .... three fourths of the people in the world are of 147 races ... (???) ... doesn't mean they're no good ... (???) ... like Satanin the flesh."
   INSTRUMENTS: Kick drum and rumbling squelchy hard-panned sounds that are likely distorted guitar but could also be keyboards.
   
STREET LEVEL ST. PAUL:
   CLUES: First reference to a specific city or town.
   SOUNDS: A long-drawn single-note voice or siren with a lot of echo/reverb, followed by a girl's voice with a severe impediment saying perhaps "why can't I move my mouth, though?" which suddenly slows down before it can fully finish. The voice/siren recurs during the instrumental part.
   INSTRUMENTS: Eeerie keyboards, feedbacky guitar soloing. Theremin. Ends with a long groaning.
   
THE HIDDEN JOICE:
   CLUES: Here a boy's voice could be reacting or doing free association on MELVINS album covers. Is this an homage to various art produced by Mackie for Buzz, thus the LOVE component? 'Naked looking guy' sounds an awful lot like 'nude with boots.'
   SOUNDS: A boy says "suspicious looking face, a flower with spikes, weird flowers, and skull. Static. Melvins. Skull face. Weird face. Uh, hair. I can't tell. Super weird looking guy. Naked looking guy." then off mic a man laughs seemingly in response to 'naked looking guy'.
   INSTRUMENTS: Reversed low rumbling sound. Then the reverby piano lullaby sound returns.
   
GIVE IT TO ME:
   DRUGS: Pitch-sped voice says "Yeah I took some drugs, yeah sure."
   SOUNDS: Crowd clapping and cheering. spoken intro above. Crowd claps and cheers again on end.
   INSTRUMENTS: Drums, bass. Some guitar. Lots of keyboards. Singing "let it go," then "give it to me." At ~2:15 a man says something I can't make out ("yo, is that like a (???)..."), sounding more like studio banter than field recording.
   
CHICKEN BUTT:
   SOUNDS: Sounds like slightly pitch shifted sounds of kids acting out some fantasy battle or maybe playing a video game. A boy yells "attack him" and the threat "any of you come into the fire..." and various grunts and yells and unintelligible voices are heard.
   INSTRUMENTS: Synthesizer sounds.
   
EAT YOURSELF OUT:
   DRUGS: Man's voice at :54 "(????) is fine. You're high. You're Superman. You can do anything. And then I'm back in jail."
   SOUNDS: "Motherfucker, eat something for your face, motherfucker" through heavy effects processing. Some more unintelligible background voices from :10 to :50. At 1:40 the sound of kids screaming (perhaps at play, though perhaps more sinister) appears and continues throughout. At the end of this sound a girl clearly calls someone an "asshole" at 4:25. Then the effected "motherfucker" voice reappears.
   INSTRUMENTS: Sequenced synthesizers or synth with heavy delay. At 1:25 drums come in briefly, then different drums start and the song starts to trainwreck with two bass sounds. More synthesizers.
   
SCOOBA:
   SOUNDS: Old-timey samples say "Play it cool. Don't be a square. I dig that crazy beat. Yeah" and repeats musically "Scooba doop, booby doop, boobeda buppah. Baddup boobedebah." This voice returns at the end with "Hey doll, you're way" and then a brief woman's robot sampled voice sounding somewhat like it says "fuck me."
   INSTRUMENTS: Jazzy drums and bass play along ot the sample, and perhaps some other instruemnts (guitar?).
   
HALFWAY TO THE BAKERSFIELD MALL:
   CLUES: Second song title referencing a city or town.
   SOUNDS: ~2:00 sounds like an intercom or walkie talkie conversation including "any way they can come back by here today?" and then "(???) ... customer complaining ...(???) they enter, please, tomorrow morning." Then around 2:45 start various panned sounds like arguing and cursing.
   INSTRUMENTS: Eeerie sounds. Gurgling synth. Operatic voice throughout. Sequenced synthesizer. Various noises, likely synthesized.
   
PACOIMA NORMAL:
   DRUGS: A conversation goes "But yeah, that one time I got busted for drugs, had to do a bunch of time by the wayside" then "what was it like?" then "I don't know, a hundred man cell. What do you think?"
   SOUNDS: 'What do you think?" and "busted for drugs" get looped delay. Also a delay-looped voice says "I know"
   INSTRUMENTS: A slow drum machine beat. A very noisy distorted synthesizer. There may be distorted guitar at the back of this. A sudden guitar-ish soudn happens twice at ~1:50
   
PARK HEAD:
   SOUNDS: Street sounds and a woman whispering "(???) ... I gotta ask you ... (???) ... There's a fear. I filed a police report, and I thought they would take me away. I never respond to jury duty. Because they can't make me now ... (???) ... I won't do it. Eating snacks out of a vending machine. Wasting my time. Waiting. I hate the whole thing. It's gonna happen ... (???) ... I went once and I left. I left. And I never went back. Pay the fine. I don't care. Fuck it. Fuck you ... (???) ... The smell is disgusting ... (????) ... Shit. Fuck it. Fuck off. Don't tell me what to do ... (???) ... I throw you away. Because I hate you ... (???) ... I won't go. Fuck you." A dog whines and later a dog barks. A different voice says "There's this loud mouth guy, kinda fat, kinda like (Downpitched) Hitler." Then a voicemail/answering machine says "Hi, this is Alan I'm not able to answer the phone at teh moment, please leave a message. Thank you"
   INSTRUMENTS: A sequenced chiptune synth. Then an eerie incongruous synthesizer line. Another sequenced chip tune song comes in a bit later and slows down to end the track.
   
T-BURG:
   SOUNDS: "No no no no" and then a man recounts a near-death hospital visit "I step back next thing you know I'm on the operating table. They had those electronic things where they go 'clear!' but I could tell you now I couldn't scream. I still remember the smell of burning hair on my chest. She just hit me with it. It was the worst feeling I ever had. I was popping up. She was going like this. I took a breath and and it felt like I hadn't breathed in years. I heard the doctor say 'welcome back' and said 'we got a lot to do but you're going to be okay.' ... Ten hours later ... And the thing about that was. They were going to amputate ... I got family ... fiber optics ... But the doctor told me ... What was weird was ... I'm going back ... (???) ... She grabbed me ... Closed eyes. I remember she grabbed part of my wrist ... She bend down. She said 'I told you' ... (???) ... The guy started smacking ... And I just flipped out. 'Did you just' ... (???) ... I was screaming. It's just us. I looked at her ... (???) ... There's nobody over there ... The blood just shot out of my wrist ... (???) ... Face ... Ambulance ... Lights ... It was so bad in fact ... (???) ... nurses come out ... (???) ... I remember the first day when I first woke up they had me strapped to the bed ... (???)" A bell dings at 2:45. "(???) ... goddamn machines ... (???). Thirty one years these motherfuckers stole from me. Fuck that shit. (???) ... A lot of 'em are dead."
   INSTRUMENTS: Synth drums with deep echo. Eerie synthesizer.
   
TRACK STAR:
   SOUNDS: Ambient outdoor noise, some unintelligible talking in Spanish and maybe jingling keys. Down-pitched voices talking "(????) Where you going? Fucking stupid fucking snapchat boy! Snapchat hoodrat!" there also appears to be a sampled song playing in the background in the third minute.
   INSTRUMENTS: Accordion. Eeries synthesier. Drums with delay. Bowed instrument (cello?). More synthesizers. Ascending synthesizer. Perhaps horns in the background. Drums pick up in the last minute.
   
THE ASSHOLE BASTARD:
   SOUNDS: Downpitched voice says "I'll take care if I ... you be animals and then ... (???) ... play with this napkin." This is quite certainly the same voice from 'Chicken Butt.' A different man's voice says something perhaps in a foreign language (id?). Downpitched voice returns "I died... (???) ... to my death ... (???) ... don't you care if I ..." Then a different voice says "(???) ... play some shit... (???) ... so many ..." then the Chicken Butt voice says "I got my sword ... I jumped and I died... to my death... I still have all my stuff... I'm going in special mode ... I'm going to take all my armor off, maybe."
   INSTRUMENTS: A relaxed funky drum beat. Roaring distant instrument noises. Drums stop. A screeching guitar comes and goes.

"Get up, open the curtains and smell the Melvins." -jules

Offline amazonAMAZON

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Re: decoding LOVE (A Walk With Love and Death)
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 02:08:52 PM »
Add PACOIMA NORMAL to the list of geographic names. Pacoima is a neighborhood in the greater Los Angeles area, north of North Hollywood where many of the independent studio and rehearsal spaces are located. So I'd take the title of the track to read something like "it's not normal normal, no. It's weird. But for here in Pacoima I'm not surprised. It's Pacoima normal."

I'm leaning heavily towards the idea that the foundation of this album is these field recordings.
"Get up, open the curtains and smell the Melvins." -jules

Offline amazonAMAZON

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Re: decoding LOVE (A Walk With Love and Death)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 05:22:24 PM »
I am surely a crazy person talking to myself over here, but HAD TO POINT OUT that the sample that goes "Don't be a square" from "Scooba" also features in the beginning of the "Hurray For Me Fuk U" solitary track "Paraquat Plus" which was recorded with Haze and I am quite certain was recorded in Minne. So that's two scores for Minnesota and three for SoCal on this record.
"Get up, open the curtains and smell the Melvins." -jules

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Re: decoding LOVE (A Walk With Love and Death)
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 08:49:41 AM »
THE HIDDEN JOICE:
"suspicious looking face, a flower with spikes, weird flowers, and skull. Static. Melvins. Skull face. Weird face.
The voice actually says "stag". Im sure he/she is actually describing the album cover.