Monday, December 12, 2005

Misc. Monday Song (12.12.05)

Artist: The Streets
Song: Stay Positive (6:15)
Album: Original Pirate Material

Download here.

Briefly: The Streets is Mike Skinner. He's a British rapper, but I don't really want to call him that. It's not really "grime" either. It's "garage" (rhymes with carriage), I suppose. But really it's just mostly spoken word story-poems with beats and samples.

Why?: "Stay Positive" is the last song on the first Streets album, Original Pirate Material. It's probably my favorite album closer of all time. To be sure, the album has upbeat moments, but it grows heavier as it rolls forward and it ends on this faux-uplifting track that is the defintion of bleak. Skinner's dry, often monotone (and in some ways robotic) delivery has never been more perfect. The song just trudges forward with a message should be uplifting, but it's so dak and descript that it makes you even feel bad about yourself. It also manages to perfectly explain how heroin addiction can strike: "Weed becomes a chore/ You want the buzz back/ So you follows the others on to smack". This is Trainspotting in this decade. If that movie were to come out now, I couldn't think of a more perfect person to dominate the soundtrack than Mike Skinner. After his vocals drop out at the end of "Stay Positive", it slowly unravels until it fades out. But before the end, the heavy bass picks back up and it sounds like another chapter is going to begin, but it never does-- the album is over. The second Streets ablum, A Grand Don't Come For Free, has a closer ("Empty Cans") that's almost, but not quite, as good as "Stay Positive". Skinner sure knows how to end an album.

Further listening:
A Grand Don't Come For Free by The Streets ("Fit But You Know It", "Dry Your Eyes")

Cos this world swallows souls
And when the blues unfold
It gets cold, silence burns holes
You're going mad
Perhaps you always were
But when things was good you just didn't care
This is called irony
When you most need to get up you got no energy
Time and time shit'll happen
The dark shit's unwrapping
But no one's listening, your mates are laughing
Your brethren's fucking and then you start hating
Your stomach starts churning and you mind starts turning
So smoke another draw
It won't matter no more, but the next day still feels sore
Rain taps on your window
Always did though but you didn't hear it when things were so-so
You're on your own now, your little zone
Yyou were born alone and believe me you'll die alone
Weed becomes a chore
You want the buzz back
So you follow the others onto smack

Just trying to stay positive (x4)

Feels nice and still
Good thing about brown is it always will
It's easy, no one blames you
It's that world out there that's fucked you
You know less of a person and if God exists
He still loves you
Just remember that- the more you sink the further back from that brink
Maybe you've lifetime scars and you think tattoos might be more fitting
But who's picking?
Searching for yourself you find demons
Try and be a freeman and grasp that talisman
Cos you're the same as I am
We all need our fellow man
We all need our samaritan
Maybe I'm better looking than you tho
Maybe I've got more dough- but am I happier? No
Get the love of a good girl and your world will be much richer than my world
And your happyness will uncurl

Just trying to stay positive (x4)

Stop dreaming
People who say that are blaspheming
They're doing nine to five and moaning
And they don't want you succeeding when they've blown it
And your idols- who are they?
They too dreamt about their day
Positive steps will see your goals
Whether it's dollars or control, feel the gold
I ain't helping you climb the ladder
I'm busy climbing mine
That's how it's been since the dawn of time
If you reach a cul-de-sac
The world turns it's back
This is your zone, it's like blackjack
He might get the ace or the top one
So organise your two's and three's into a run then you'll have fucked him son
And for that you'll be the better one
One last thing before you go though
When you feel better tommorow you'll be a hero
But never forget today. you could be back here
Things can stray
What if you see me in that window?
You won't help me I know
That's cool, just keep walking where you go
Carry on through the estate, stare at the geezers so they know you ain't lightweight
And go see your mates
And when they don't look happy
Play them this tape

Just trying to stay positive (x4)

I hope you understand me
Just trying to stay positive
I ain't no preaching fucker and I ain't no do-goody-goody either
This is about when shit goes pear-shaped
And if you aren't or never have been at rock bottom
Then good luck to you in the big wide world
But remember that one day shit might just start crumbling
Your bird might fuck off or you might loose your job
It's when that happens that what I'm talking about will feel
much more important to you
So if you aint feeling it, just be thankful that everything's cool in your world
Respect to BC

Just trying to stay positive (x4)


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