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Clouds without Water

4 February 2005

About a week ago, I did one of those ‘I wonder what happened to her’ searches on a girl I dated for a few weeks back in college — I would call her a girlfriend, but that’s not what she was about, and it never got quite that serious — and I discovered that she became a professional singer, lives in Germany (or at least did a few years ago), and has been a guest singer for a group called ‘Zoar’. The album she sung on, Brendan Perry also sang on, so I figured, it must be something I’d enjoy. I’ve only listened to a few songs on the album so far, but it’s very dark and heavy, less like Dead Can Dance, and more gothy (did you know that was possible?) Anyhow, the second song is spoken word, from a book called ‘Blood Orchid’, by Charles Bowden. I’ve never heard of the book, but the lyrics are powerful:
We are an exceptional model of the human race. We no longer know how to produce food. We no longer can heal ourselves. We no longer raise our young. We have forgotten the names of the stars, fail to notice the phases of the moon. We do not know the plants and they no longer protect us. We tell ourselves we are the most powerful specimens of our kind who have ever lived, but when the lights are off we are helpless. We cannot move without traffic signals. We must attend classes in order to learn by rote numbered steps toward love or how to breast-feed our baby. We justify anything, anything at all by the need to maintain our way of life, and then we go to the doctor and tell the professionals we have no life. We have a simple test for making decisions: our way of life, which we cleverly call our standard of living, must not change except to grow yet more grand. We have a simple reality we live with each and every day: our way of life is killing us.
That’s pretty powerful shit. I can’t wait to listen to the rest of this album.
Addendum: Julie (her name is Julie Comparini) has a beautiful voice, and this album is haunting and beautiful.

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