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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Steve Wilson Series part 1, Porcupine Tree: Deadwing part 1

Google         Steve Wilson, the musician has some mind bending tunes. This article will profile select albums of Steve Wilson. Starting with Porcupine Tree Deadwing. For this first part, I will explain how the music in Deadwing helps you close a relationship, or commitment in your life. I also share what I experience and envision while enjoying the Porcupine Tree album Deadwing. In the second part, I will get more of the Porcupine Tree band artist's opinions for each song. I will also communicate the mystical experience that is the Arriving Somewhere But Not Here DVD. I will also dispense the emotions of the bonus tracks from the deadwing era. And go over Steve Wilson's plans for the Deadwing movie. I am presuming you are familiar with Porcupine Tree. If not, once you to any of his albums from beginning to end, in one sitting, you will become a real fan, and understand the Porcupine Tree hysteria.

Steve Wilson and the band's process is really cool
Making of Deadwing

Audio CD (exploratory stories outside of songs)
Deadwing
        As you listen to this in a dark room on an uncomfortably hot September night, you think about being honored at school, work or your public life. You also feel the darkness - thinking of scary ghost investigations where Zak, Nick, and Aaron travel deep into the basement of Missouri Penitentiary. They hear growls, voices, and footsteps. Yet you feel energy, calmness, you feel swell.
Porcupine Tree Lazarus kid

Shallow
       You are happy as you are hear the heavy-guitar-sound you always wanted to hear. You feel daring and brave. The donut melts in your mouth, and the chocolate milk helps you slip down your pills, as you walk around the campus or office, like a king. Although, you may be annoying people as the sound blasts through your giant headphones. But you feel too powerful with the heavy guitar riffs and sound. The industrial sound matches the lyrics alluding to being alone in an industrial city.
Lazarus
       Porcupine Tree Lazarus The music video and lyrics provide imagery  of moonlight, valleys. Night time brings a washed out moon , through the fog. I think of playing competitive tennis. You may think of going after what you want most. I love the country-esque guitar chords and notes. David learns a lesson. He is strengthened. Who is David? Who is Lazarus? Are these the biblical characters David and Lazarus. I will explain in the next article. But enjoy the train sound that ends many of the songs on Deadwing, including the title track, Deadwing.
Halo
       This song is dance-able yet sleep-inducing. I envision a forest. Later the heavy guitar reminds me of an Evel Knievel documentary where Robert Craig Knievel is always over-the-top with his antitcs and excessive stunts. I live for this insanity - the driving guitars and ooh sounds in the forest the music mimics compel me further into madness. And I hope you are also delirious.
Band Porcupine Tree Cover Art of Girl staring into lake Album Deadwing

Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
       The guitar rings with a grungy, and emotional sound that gives a cool, dark, and sad feeling. The feeling of rising above life, ascending into energy and excitement. The uplifting solo  brings an alternative triumph to the mainstream way of setting goals and achieving them, and having perfect relationships. You are happy something is over; that relationship, club, sport, or other commitment. But you will be Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. So, keep planning (although the plans are compromised) and start over. Driving guitars energize you; you feel powerful and even briefly intimidating. The heavy metal riff lacks rhythm but the song brings you back to amazement. And the beautiful guitars mellow you as you walk through the wilderness at night. Pretend you can conjure up wildlife. Raise your hands in power. Or for you  free wheeling junkies with the pedal to the medal you will find yourself unconsciously speeding on the interstate. Just avoid the motels with fleas on the bed that would ruin your little road trip. Great outro to Arriving Somewhere But Not Here.
Mellotron Scratch
       Again, the song is dance-able, but slowed down from Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. Thus, relax you old chap, and compromise your plans. A relaxing and enjoyable chorus. You can picture snow boarders and skateboarders spinning and flipping in slow motion on a half pipe. You are happy to hear energizing rhythm found in the ringing guitars. Another fun outro but unlike Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, Mellotron Scratch focuses on Steve Wilson's dual vocals.

Open Car
        A very different song - fast paced, heavy guitars with short vocal notes. I picture a women
Cover art of tree and roadway for band Porcupine Tree album Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Deadwing Album Art
riding with me in a convertible. Or a woman with hair blowing in the wind, locked out of a car in a mall parking lot. The song's lyrics ask you questions: You want the relationship to work but . . . will it? Can you stand her? Can she stand you? A dark-themed musical piece.
Start of Something Beautiful
       A change of pace from the loudness of Open Car. Start of Something Beautiful is a haunting song. And the lyrics imply this:
I got your voice on tape, I got your spirit in a photograph
Recently, I walked briskly in Myles Standish State Forest in Massachusetts and heard native american tribal drumming. Also in Plymouth, MA I felt as if I saw an Native American chief in the corner of my eye. When you see your lover only in the corner of your vision, you have a failing relationship, which, the song also addresses.

          You are rising above a relationship where she doesn't care, neither do you, as you do your own thing. You are experiencing inner conflict but are enjoying the solos on this album as the music is new to you. Damn, it's exciting - throw something. The music day-dreams you into past experiences with friends. And into what is exciting to you. The power in the guitars are and help you to leave that relationship with your dignity in tact. You are angry but will move on. I guess, it wasn't the start of something beautiful.
Stonewall album art for Deadwing by band Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree Deadwing

Glass Arm Shattering
       Into a trance. You view a bright autumn day in New England. You walk among happy Octoberans. They have an ipod boom box playing tunes. This music video of Glass Arm Shattering- is Steve Wilson's vision of the song. I enjoy the distinctive guitar sound. Does anybody know what the chords are that leave you zoning out?

and on Special editions:
Redone She's Moved on from Lighbulb Sun
       Like many  British bands Porcupine Tree does an amazing thing during this phase of theri career, they instantaneously record extra track. They re-recorded She's Moved On from Lightbulb Sun. This gives  the song a heavier guitar sound, yet mellower feel. Porcupine Tree She's Moved On.

On youtube, the top commenter Wissam El Bahry says it all,
"this track is divine! make sure u listen to it on a decent copy and sound system!" 
and the second top comment by username male drops  is also more relevant than most top comments:
 "amazing solo" 
     

Deadwing Album cover art mother holding child in woods by band Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree Deadwing
    My take on the redone She's Moved On is sadness and happiness at the same time. Calming. I imagine I am last in the race. Your girl has found someone else but you have also moved on. Then an Explosion of emotion; you are fully into what you are doing; Screw everything in the past! You are good, in the here and now.

       You may have had similar experiences with the album, or maybe completely different. It doesn't matter, any uninterrupted experience of this album is good by the members of Porcupine Tree and good by you. If you are trying to get over a loss of a loved one, relationship, commitment, after you have done everything psychologically recommended by shrinks, pastors, so-called experts, listen to Deadwing and feel its power. In part 2, look forward to me covering the bonus tracks in this era; as well as the DVD: Arriving Somewhere But Not Here; and focusing in depth on interviews featuring the words and opinions of Steve Wilson and the Porcupine Tree members, producers etc. I will also focus on Lasse Hoile's music videos for Deadwing: Lazurus, The Start of Something Beautiful, and Glass Arm Shattering. And what happened to the Deadwing movie. See you there.