Nutshell

Well, hi there! Welcome back to Day Three of The iPod Challenge. It’s good to have you back.

I had a crisis today. I couldn’t decide if I should continue picking my own songs, or put caution to the wind and set my ol’ iPod on shuffle and let him decide my musical journey.

I have control issues, so I’m opting to continue picking my own songs. Give me a break; this is one thing in my life I have that I can decide the fate of! Oh sweet Jesus!

I mentioned Alice In Chains yesterday, so why shouldn’t I write about them today? There’s no reason not to.

After browsing my AIC library, which I am kind of impressed I have so many albums by them, I have selected “Nutshell” off 1994’s “Jar of Flies” album.

This song, I swear to Christ…this song, man. Alice In Chains has a knack for writing the most depressing, morose, make you want to sit in garage with a rag jammed up the tailpipe of your running vehicle songs ever, but also, some of the most easy to sing along to music. Former lead singer Layne Staley (may he rest in peace) and guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cantrell relied heavily on harmonizing their vocals and, for me at least, I love cranking up one of their tunes and deciding who I was going to sing–Jerry or Layne. Ultimately, I’d pick Jerry because he had the higher range and Layne’s voice was in an octave I can’t quite manage.

Take a look at these goddamn lyrics, man. And yes, I know them and understand them because when I get a case of the boo hoos, I reach for AIC to share in my melancholia.

We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Oooh…Oooh…
Oooh…Oooh…

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead

See what I mean? The lines “…and yet I fight this battle all alone, no one to cry to, no place to call home,” and “I’d feel better dead” are the depressed person’s anthem and anyone suffering from depression has uttered these words to themselves at least a thousand times a day.

The lyrics, in conjunction with the beautiful acoustic guitar, the whisk on the snare drum, and Layne’s nasal but never annoying voice just meld this song into perfection for me. The world truly lost a great musician with Staley’s death in 2002.

I wish I had a funny anecdote or story to tell about this song, but I don’t. I’m sorry I don’t, but I picked this one purely because I love it and want to share the love with you all.

Without further adieu, Nutshell, by Alice In Chains.

And as always, thanks for reading.

E

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