Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Far Side of the Moon

We were talking about how there is no dark side of the moon, but rather a far side. The orbit and rotational speed of the moon is synchronized to one rotation of the earth, essentially leaving 41% of the moon's surface, the far side, unseen by man. The moon indeed rotates on its axis, yet the amount of time it takes to make a complete orbit around the Earth matches the amount of time it takes to complete one rotation; in both cases, 27.3 days. Isn't that fantastic? It is either God's handy work or an incredible coincidence. 

Have I mentioned that I really like cranberry sauce in a can? 

You see, what I'm really doing here is avoiding (by any means possible) writing my review of the most seminal LP of all time. I have been dragging my feet on this for years, and I'm still not ready, but here goes. At worse, consider these notes in flux and mutability.

Dark Side of the Moon is one of those albums that burns as it plays, requiring all the focus that kindling a bonfire does. If you stay with it, it glows and warms the space you're in. If you tune out for one second, it fizzles and you have to start over from the top (there's a bit of Transcendental Meditation in that). "Breathe" and "Time" wrap one up in their encompassing lyrics and crooning guitars. The vintage clocks in "Time" disorient in the best way possible. Truly an assault on the senses, track by track twisting into something horribly beautiful, writing about DSOTM is like describing the face of God, an impossible task that one cannot help but imbibe. 

Side One concludes with a sonic accident, "The Great Gig in the Sky." Rick Wright's gentle piano chords are superbly contrasted by the passionate, evocative wails of Clair Torry, who was embarrassed by what she’d done when asked to simply improvise. The song is like nothing ever heard before, jazz-like free-form said to have inspired more lovemaking than any song in the rock canon.  Instead of singing, Torry voice is an instrument performing a solo with enough passion and soul to rival any guitar arrangement from Gilmour. Clare's non-lyrical delivery and use of screams reflects the pain or the ecstasy (who knows?) with the experience of death, and as the throes calm and the moans soften, we pass from the conscious world into the mysterious realm of afterlife. 

Or it's simply sex, like everyone thinks it is. 

The cash register sample from "Money" that opens Side Two is as iconic as Keith's riff from "Satisfaction," not to mention that crazy 7/4 time signature. Dark Side's most notorious song is also it's oddest.  

The remainder of the concept blends and meshes, challenging its listeners to reflect on our own lives and leaving us to ask ourselves, if I die today, is the world any the lesser? There is a strong existential philosophical presence within the lyrical content of the album, most evident in the album's finale, "Eclipse". Within the narcissism in which we bury ourselves, "Eclipse" reminds us how insignificant we truly are and that our self-worth comes from within. Heavy, huh?

As I write these words, I am bewitched by the thought of eggs. I am hungry for eggs, soft-boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled. I want them so much. Later on, I will make the dream real. Later, I'll put into words how Dark Side of the Moon really makes me feel. In the meantime, "There is no dark side, really."