Right around the time that people were not buying American Music Club albums, they were busy not buying Codeine albums. I must admit to long having a bit a problem with the band’s name. Look: if you’re depressed, don’t call yourself codeine (a ridiculously toxic substance — far more dangerous than morphine). Be like Nick Cave and Rowland Howard and call yourself something like “The Birthday Party.” Show a little style! It’s like if “Weird Al” Yankovic had a band, it should be called “Slow Motion Suicide.”
Anyway, I think there was something about the late 1980s. American Music Club, Codeine, Red House Painters (probably do them tomorrow) — they all started in the late 1980s. I’m thinking after 8 years of Ronald Reagan and then knowing we were looking at more from George Bush… It was all just too much. I remember. I did canvasing for Michael Dukakis. What a miserable year 1988 was! Now that I think about it, Will and I had a band in 1988, but we didn’t have the talent to actually set any kind of mood. Or sing in tune. (Well, me anyway.) But we did have depressing and angry songs like “Memories of Loneliness,” “We’re Just Waiting for Letter Bombs,” and “Cock in Brain.” They all strike me as hilarious titles now, and I can perhaps be forgiven for having written the first two when I was 17.
Anyway, today we are going to listen to a song off Codeine’s first album, Frigid Stars LP, “Cave-In.” I don’t know quite what it’s about. It seems kind of like the wait for the inevitable break-up. The “cave-in” is the backing down — not allowing it to end, as it must. But I quite like these lines: “Your eyes were lit by fire; The way you tried to smile; The way you couldn’t smile.” Yep. I’ve had that girlfriend several times!
If you feel you just can’t go on, here is James Taylor singing You’ve Got a Friend. Although he was likely strung out on heroin when he recorded it. Just saying.