MCMXC #feelbadafter

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

  • – Aristotle

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who, among other texts, wrote Poetics. Poetics looks to address various types of verse, design, and division, in its segment parts. He characterizes verse that tries to address or copy life, through character, feeling, or activity.

In college, the area where I held up under scrutiny was theatre, and I learned a maxim that a little foolishness is genius, but too much foolishness is madness.

For the thirty-first of January, blogger Jim Adam’s prompt is the words, “Even/Odd.” Either of these words, in a song title, or the lyrics of a song, is the clue. I think this is the sixth time I’ve joined in Jim’s Song Lyric Sundays, a blog hop to share music.

Divided Exactly By 2 – A Unique Title For Me (wordpress.com)

About poetry, the word “even” is in the lyrics of “You’re Still Beautiful,” a 1990 song by the Aussie new wave band, The Church. New wave envelops various styles from the 1970s and the 1980s. The lyrics of “You’re Still Beautiful” indicate to me a kind of despair between man and woman, who perhaps are struggling to reconcile, after spending time apart.

You’re Still Beautiful

The song was part of the 1990 LP Gold Afternoon Fix, and the third of three singles for the LP. It was their second album by the band for Arista Records, after several earlier albums, those ones on Parlophone, I think.

It was the start of the nineties, and the days of The Church as a big, big rock band were coming to an end. That said, Gold Afternoon Fix featured another anthem: the song Metropolis.

The Church

Yet The Church guitarist Peter Koppes didn’t think You’re Still Beautiful was a good song. I like Gold Afternoon Fix, but we’re talking about the word of Peter Koppes, who did a record album as recently as last year, as did Steve Kilbey.

Also, the other guitarist for The Church, Marty Willson-Piper, years later, in his blog, dismisses Gold Afternoon Fix. In 1990, the going drummer for The Church, Richard Ploog, left the band, after doing the percussion for only four of the songs of the recording sessions. A few years later, Nick Powles joined The Church as their drummer.

Willson-Piper asks in his blog:

How did we go along with this approach with all our knowledge and experience? How did this come about when we were always so uncompromising when it came to our music? What the hell happened?

I am not sure whether Ploog provided his talent as a drummer for You’re Still Beautiful, or whether the beat of the song is the drum machine. If I listen again more closely, perhaps I can hear the difference.

The Church was a band I began to appreciate when I saw them on TV, and I thought about their music. When one of my uncles introduced me to the net, not too long after, searching for interview material with the band and that kind of thing was what I immediately thought to do. I was pleased to think, as a high school kid, I could get music like the songs on Gold Afternoon Fix.

You’re Still Beautiful

I enjoyed their album Priest=Aura, and I liked Heyday, too, and other albums of theirs I had on compact discs I quite liked, such as Of Skins and Hearts. I listened to The Blurred Crusade quite a bit, too. I found it charming, contenting.

Starfish in 1988 was exemplary. The lead-in single is a classic hit, but all ten songs on Starfish are great. Steve Kilbey sings eight of them, I think, and Koppes one song and Willson-Piper one song.

Gold Afternoon Fix is similar, with the band’s singer Steve Kilbey singing most of the songs and the two aforementioned gentlemen singing a couple of the tunes.

Willson-Piper in his blog discusses how grunge in 1990 was the writing on the wall. Singer Steve Kilbey was soon to evidence personal problems, and although the next Church record Priest=Aura was perhaps more inspired than Gold Afternoon Fix, Kilbey had no easy time of it, given his taste for what you might call debauchery. The word “even” is employed in You’re Still Beautiful this way: “You’re still beautiful, baby, even when you fall down that way.”

I assume the lady in the song is an alcoholic, or some kind of otherwise out-of-control personage, as Willson-Piper explains, in 2011, in his blog. I like the reference to Dorian Gray in You’re Still Beautiful. Dorian Gray is a Gothic and philosophical character, invented by Oscar Wilde, in the nineteenth century.

I wrote a high school essay about The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The character Dorian Gray remains young while growing old.

The Church

Peter Marks for Smells Like Infinite Sadness wrote NOVEMBER 1, 2015 an article titled Albums Revisited: The Church’s ‘Gold Afternoon Fix’ At 25. “The guitars sparkled, the bass seduced, the drums throbbed and the words remained absolutely timeless; the faithful so often tend to forget this one as it is sandwiched between two juggernauts in their discography and I’ve never quite understood that.”

My younger brother had bought me The Blurred Crusade, and Priest=Aura, too, when I was realized I would become absorbed in listening to the their music. It was like having an interest in poetry without seeming effete, or at cross purposes, for what that’s worth. The Blurred Crusade, I believe, was a Top 10 album ,in Australia, in 1982.

In the months of the pandemic, I turned my attention to watching a venerable Steve Kilbey play his songs on guitar, on Instagram. Reminded me how I felt about them, I brought up Gold Afternoon Fix on WordPress for a Song Lyric Sunday, oddly-timed somehow, as it was about the time Kilbey withdrew from doing his weekly performances. Obviously, it would be decent the off chance he were to get back to Instagram.

What I gathered from Kilbey’s chitchat is that a considerable number of songs by The Church are drawn from genuine encounters, which I’d imagined already. It is the thing that gives the melodies a relatability. Kilbey’s current album has the name Eleven Women.

In college, I had a compact disc edition of Steve Kilbey’s 1988 album Earthed, which came with a small book of poetry Kilbey wrote that I had given a read. My school schedule for English writing incorporated a presentation into how the verse of a poem is perceived. Kilbey’s were similar to the sort of thing I had read in secondary school.

The explanation for the Steve Kilbey LP given the title Earthed is that the records tends to be combined with his record Unearthed, likewise a decent record. Like Gold Afternoon Fix, these two solo records are full of drum machine beats. Earthed has essentially no lyrics at all; Unearthed does.

In 2014 Steve Kilbey reunited with bandmate Richard Ploog, when the drummer, formerly of The Church, rejoined Kilbey, and with Mark Gable of The Choirboys, for a “one-off.”

Richard Ploog and Steve Kilbey

I can’t clarify my interest much beyond saying that it’s an unusual thing, and the music contents me when I need something akin to retro rock music to get feeling good.

Steve Kilbey is now in his sixties. I’ve read Kilbey’s blog “the timebeing” from time to time, over the years, and I have learned a lot about both the band The Church and about poetry in general. He last put up new writing in 2019 http://thetimebeing.com/

Kilbey continues to be active on Twitter, while The Church as a band has gone their separate ways. Here are the lyrics for You’re Still Beautiful.

You’re Still Beautiful

Your mirror finally broke
Your little bunch of followers turned you into a fool
The butt of all their vicious jokes, screaming
You’re still beautiful baby
Nobody can take that away
You’re still beautiful baby
Even when you fall down that way
You turned up backstage at the palace
We thought you was wearing a mask
I felt so fucking embarrassed
When you looked at your reflection and asked, you asked
Are you still beautiful baby
Nobody can take that away
You’re still beautiful baby
Baby don’t believe what you see
Once upon a time I would have killed for you
I’m sorry that you got in this mess
But you’re the walking picture of Dorian Gray
At least it’s artistic I guess

Read more: https://muzikum.eu/en/123-5355-385510/the-church/youre-still-beautiful-lyrics.html#ixzz6kZakpNda

MCMXC

This blog gets me crossing paths with individuals who have something to add about the world as they understand it.  Like the Discover feature on TikTok, imagination is an alluring quality.  

Jim Adams is a writer with a fascination for music, who concocts prompts for a blog.  He thinks of words for participants to find in song titles, or lyrics, in a blog format.

Participants discuss the songs with a common element, the writing prompt, as it appears in the lyrics, or in the song title.

Photo by Matt Jones from StockSnap

I have read some of his participants’ blog discussions and I have followed along some of what is new with Jim.  He publishes the prompts carefully, only a few at a time, to let his followers know what is coming.

For November 8, Jim prompted “days of the week,” and the song I thought of is Monday Morning, by the band The Church.  It has taken me a good deal longer than I anticipated to get this post ready and finished, but I thought the finished post might be good enough that I should go ahead and post it.

The Church is a rock band with a dark flavour for their music, rarely undemanding, weird at times, and atmospheric.  It’s not from my part of the world, but I like it.

The Church

The Church in the year 1990 wrote Monday Morning, singer Steve Kilbey, drummer Richard Ploog, guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper, and, guitarist Peter Koppes, for the record Gold Afternoon Fix.

At the time, The Church excused the completed collection as an innovative disappointment.   The percussion on the melodies didn’t turn out.

One of the songs for Gold Afternoon Fix is entitled Disappointment.  “Late for an appointment, clothes everywhere/I cannot find my memory anywhere/Ah disappointment just doesn’t care,” Kilbey sings.

I think Monday Morning is a song that initially appeared only on the CD release of the album, not the LP.  For me, The Church is a charming band, and I believe founding songwriter Steve Kilbey has since allowed that his original opinion about the album needn’t have been so critical.

The Church began in 1980 as a new wave band, a music genre emerging after the punk rock scene.  The Church was pretty noisy, good, though.  By 1983 they were making more experimental music.

By creative failure, I only mean music that lacks integrity, bad music.  That’s not The Church.  They are a band I quite like.

The chief problem with Gold Afternoon Fix is really that the personnel couldn’t come to an agreement about the percussion.  The melodies are very acceptable at any rate.  For example, I like the tune Monday Morning.

Perhaps the song is about a weekend fling, the freedom of time spent away, as from office life, when a free heart gets heavy again, when Monday morning arrives, and the weekend has dispersed.

The Church was in L.A. and the culture of the day must have touched on the lyrics Kilbey wrote for the record.  The air was full of energy.

As far as the discography by The Church, Gold Afternoon Fix followed their record Starfish, their 1988 album, which was a major achievement for them, and which contains the exemplary melody Under the Milky Way.  The record Priest = Aura followed two years after the fact, in 1992.  Steve Kilbey recalls fondly the 1990s in Sydney, Australia, he’s said on Twitter.

1988 The Church LP

Gold Afternoon Fix is an album I like.  The band did have trouble getting the percussion for Gold Afternoon Fix correct, and drummer Richard Ploog only plays drums on four of the songs on the album.  The other songs have the beat of a drum machine.

Other than Steve Kilbey writing occasional new material with a drum machine, the band had never considered using that kind of percussion on an album.  They’d become known for being a great beat.  Richard Ploog, the drummer, couldn’t finish recording the drums for Gold Afternoon Fix, however.

Mr. Ploog’s interest in music had stopped meeting the vision the other members of the band had, for the songs.  Ploog’s energy was turning into contention, with the interest in music the other three artists had.

Ironically, one of the first songs The Church did, in their early years as a band, is called Too Fast for You.  “Oh, and I hope I’m not going too fast for you/And don’t believe it when they say it’s over,” Kilbey sings.

Wikipedia says drummer Nick Ward played on their first collection; through the 1980s the band’s steady drummer, for a very long time, 1982-1990, was Richard, who left the band after Gold Afternoon Fix.  Mr. Ploog withdrew from The Church around 1990, to invest more energy with his better half.

In Marty Wilson-Piper’s blog, Wilson-Piper wrote in October 2011 that Monday Morning is one of the four songs that Mr. Ploog is playing on.  Marty Wilson-Piper is one of the founding members of the band, along with Kilbey and Koppes.  He calls attention to Peter Koppes’ mandolin, on the melody, and that is enough to appreciate the tune.

Mandolin

Monday Morning is one of the last songs Mr. Ploog played on while The Church was a big commercial act.  They continued to make records for years, but after 1990 they weren’t the same band, however good Priest = Aura turned out to be (a good album, too).

Artificial Photography

In my first year of school, 1996, I read a gathering about The Church.  There were some jokes about The Church’s concert film for Gold Afternoon Fix turning up in retail discount bins.  It was a joke about Gold Afternoon Fix not being their best album.

All things considered, fans’ excitement for The Church was unmistakable, and Richard Ploog got a ton of regard from audience members.  Gold Afternoon Fix also sold very well, commercially successful.  Ironically, the commercial rock was hard to combine with artistic integrity, Wilson-Piper’s comments reflect in his blog.

The difference between Gold Afternoon Fix and some of the earlier music by The Church, like Remote Luxury and Persia may be that the band’s vision for their music came across loud and clear on releases like the aforementioned, and was more subdued, so to speak, by 1990.  To tell the truth, I don’t know that the meaning of a song like Shadow Cabinet is clear to me; however, Shadow Cabinet was the name of one fan webpage.  Though years ago, I am sure it would have seemed to be quite a simple page compared to how it might have been today; pictures and blocks of text.

I sat in one of the rooms of the home of one of my uncles looking for The Church on AOL.  The Church was one of my very first Internet searches ever, and certainly the first band that I researched on the Internet.

The meaning of the lyrics for Monday Morning are clearer for me than words like “Queueing in the ruins in the wake of the gale it’s/Harmony I say” in Shadow Cabinet.

These days both Koppes and Wilson-Piper have moved on from The Church.  Koppes continues to write and record music; both Kilbey and Koppes had new albums in the autumn on 2020.

Fans of The Church are sometimes referred to as their Army.

Thank you to Jim for his prompt, “days of the week.”

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/11/07/a-week-is-a-unit-of-time/

As well, you’re welcome to like, follow and/or comment here.

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https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Coholan

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Monday Morning

Beyond the city, and evening dust

Dreams and thunder rattle the rust

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

Start of the ash, and the end of the flames

Burning you turning you

There was a lifetime spent in the sun

Hundreds of chances, blew every one

Dice rolled, double six, double six, double six

Owner of trouble, flesh blood and bricks

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

The start of the ash and the end of the flames

Turning you burning you

Oh Monday morning, the cracks become quite clear

Oh Monday morning, take me back, leave me hare

Beyond the city, and evening dust

Dreams and thunder rattle the rust

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

Start of the ash, and the end of the flames

Burning you turning you around

//genius.com/songs/1178162/embed.js

Monday Morning