So, attempt number 234567 at writing more here, improving my English, expressing my thoughts coherently and trying to look smart by quoting a certain old English dude.
Anyway. The point of this post was to express my already boundless love for a(n eternally) young gentleman who happens to be my latest musical obsession. Jeff Buckley, some sort of anti-KurtCobain iconic figure of a genre that I couldn’t really name, a man with a range of 4 octaves and this ethereal, silky voice, a musician who seemed to be the embodiment of passion and who – in purely romantic-genius fashion – died at the age of 30 while swimming in a river, clothes and boots on, happily belting Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love”.
Uhm, I won’t talk about his music. I bet he wouldn’t really appreciate that. You’ll just have to find the patience and listen. Youtube will help much more than I could. I’ll just throw in some details, some tidbits and my own opinion, of course… nothing half as interesting/important than the music itself.
Where to start… The man’s intriguing and, apparently, a bit nuts. There is an interview where he talks about a dream he’s had and his description just builds up to this… tangible background, to a world that, to me, gains its outlines from the very first brush strokes. And it’s not a matter of words, but of the imagination – if that makes any sense. It’s as if his imagination runs wild in the purest sense, it’s bare, exposed, fathomless and with a childish naivety he blurts it all out to the world. It’s a dream of a man… oh, wait, just read it
There was this artist who wanted to show me his art; took me to this warehouse out in a bleak, bleak piece of desert, showed me into his barn. It turns out his art is human bodies, with the skin eased away from the bone with razors, and woven into baskets, into sculptures of living skin. all of his works of art are still alive–but their vocal chords are nicked and they are blind–they writhe and writhe, with their bodies twisted and out of shape by this man’s vision. (…) And then he turns on me, knife glinting in his hand, and tells me he wants me to be his greatest work of all. I run…
It’s almost synesthetic, just like the music, just like his stage performances. He sings and plays with a rapture that cannot be mimicked, as if there were music in his sweat, in his saliva, in his blood (cheesiness overload here). And the actual songs, they don’t follow the usual verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure, your average chord progressions or intros. Musically, at least as far as I can tell, it’s nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been done before, but the way he does it…
I know they talk about music being visual and all, but this is just something different. It’s the nuances in his voice, the modulations, the semitone that shouldn’t be there and yet it sounds so good. It fits the landscape, the picture, the rush of feelings.
From what I’ve gathered, he was also intelligent, which seems to be a quality that the current music scene is missing. I found a list of his books somewhere and the author list was rather impressive, with names like A. Camus, Homer, Eliot, Woolf and, yes, Walt Whitman. Yet again, what I appreciate most is that this intelligence isn’t the fancy, brushed-up type. It’s not boxed. He once said a word (or song? or…I can’t remember) sounded like a hairy potato. You just laughed, I bet you did. It may sound downright stupid to you, but my first thought was that people should do this more often, saying what they mean without sprinkling useless sugar over it. It would be a smart thing – we’re being told too many idiotic things which sound like pieces of wisdom. And the opposite.
Judging from interviews and videos, he just seems… very much alive. Like he had more passion, soul, something than the average person and it was fighting to escape. I’m obivously just making assumptions (that’s all I’ve done in this post, really), but he strikes me as the kind of guy who lived every second of his life; not in the sex-drugs-rocknroll way – cause, for some reason, that’s what everyone thinks of when you say ‘carpe diem’ – but in this…essential way. Whatever.
I could go on like this forever, but it’s probably gotten really boring, incoherent and full of typos, grammar mistakes and clumsy phrasing.
The one thing I’d like to say is that this sentence inevitably caught my eye in an article. It doesn’t really mean anything, I guess, but it sums up a lot, at least for me…
“Jeff smiles, and his teeth show. He has wolf-teeth.”
Now go listen.