Wordsmith Wednesday: The Smashing Pumpkins “1979”

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Our Wordsmith Wednesday this week is my favorite verse from The Smashing Pumpkins’ song “1979” off their album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

The lines are:

“Justine never knew the rules/
Hung down with the freaks and ghouls/
No apologies ever need be made/
I know you better than you fake it”

Maybe more than any other song, “1979” fills me with nostalgia for the seemingly infinite boredom/freedom of youth, specifically for driving through moonlit midnight cornfields outside Chicago. The casual intimacy in these particular lines brings back memories of crawling around suburbia with my crew of friends that didn’t fit in and the comfort that comes with being accepted among the uncool. No song puts me in my feelings faster.

– NR

SmashingPumpkins

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Wordsmith Wednesday: Cursive’s “The Great Decay”

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This week’s Wordsmith Wednesday is an excerpt from Cursive’s song “The Great Decay” off their album Burst and Bloom.

It goes,

“This is the bed I’ve made/
This is the grave where I will lay/
These are the hands where I will bury my face.
I don’t believe in wasting time/
Searching for truth you never find/
Nobody moves we live in the great decay.
All these ghost towns share a name/
Anywhere, USA.
All these strangers look the same/
Day after day after day.”

Tim Kasher grasps at the mundane and uneventfulness that often encompasses life. The sameness that we experience and feel everywhere we go. Through these lyrics he points directly, with his index finger, at the parts of life that can tear us down and waste our time. This pointedness acts as a calling to break the cycle of monotony and progress forward toward a world, or even just a life, more exciting and different. To push past the tedium that wears one down and create a place unique from all the rest.

Cursive

Wordsmith Wednesday: Bully “Milkman”

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After a brief hiatus for the holidaze, we’re back with another Wordsmith Wednesday. This week we’re highlighting a lyric from Bully’s song “Milkman” off their 2015 debut record Feels Like.

The lines are:

“I could be a milkman,
Or I could get up and could be what I want to be”

Alicia Bognanno’s words deftly engage an anxiety that exists around work and worth in our culture that discourages many people from even attempting to do anything that doesn’t translate directly into (a sense of) financial stability. There’s a stigma against pursuing any type of “dream” that doesn’t fit neatly into an American Dream of prosperity through practicality that it seems is all but dead. When I’ve felt discouraged or lazy this past year, especially in regards to the magazine or my own writing, I’ve tapped these lines for some motivation. Some days are easier than others, but I’m still trying to get up every day.

– NR

Bully