Net Nuggets 13: Someday the Last Tree Is Going to Fall and Kill Us All

Larkin Grimm: Some songs, live on Spinning On Air [.zip]

A little Sunday listening for all you Toilet loiterers…

On 15 April 2007, New York radio station WNYC aired a special on Larkin Grimm, in which she performed eight of her songs. Here are four of them:

1. Get Naked with Me
I have never seen you without your clothes
It's one of many things you refuse to expose
That I'd like to see before you decompose
Get naked with me
Well, fucking is a race against time and mortality, in doomed defiance of death. For most songwriters (and audiences), however, it's far easier to view the beast with two backs as an act of sentimental, careless romance to be cherished as an expression of devotion between two individuals—as if losing control in fucking didn't reduce their individuality to nothing and expand their bodies into symbols of the entire human race (and perhaps even the very principle of Life—that force passing like a torch from one dying entity to the other, actually encountering Death only in passing, precisely in that transcendental act of rumpy-pumpy).

(As far as I know, there's no commercially available recording of this song.)

2. I Killed Someone (pt. 2)
Grimm's early style could sometimes be whimsically unrestrained and hysterical. Still, there's something about this track… Perhaps it's the way Grimm seems to burst wide open in spontaneous spurts of unconstrained, unself-conscious energy, almost unexpectedly, and without any intermediary stage…

(A more subdued version is available on The Last Tree.)

3. Pigeon Food
Well, I'll feed my heart to the pigeons
And they'll eat up every bite
And when they take off flying
I'll be soaring out of sight, boy
My heart will be so light

You think I caused your troubles
So you deny our love
But you'll never find a heart like mine
In a tame and cooing dove, boy
You'll never find a better love

I'll feed my soul to the roaches
Scurrying under your feet
And when you think you're all alone
I'll be crawling under your sheets, boy
Hiding under your sheets
One can only applaud Grimm's lack of self-consciousness, as love is shown here in all its psychotic, stalkerly lack of constraint. (Like Dusty Springfield said, «Spooky».) That emotional honesty suits the timelessness of the classic, old-timey melody and instrumentation perfectly. No fancy effects or attempts at originality here. Just simplicity, purity. That this song can't be dated is one of its great achievements.

(Available on debut album Harpoon.)

4. The Last Tree
Another classic for the ages, «The Last Tree» marries ancient, apocalyptic fears with the planet's present, precarious situation:
Someday the last tree is going to fall
And kill us all
Until then let's just pretend
That I'm alright
And you are alright
Even for nature lovers and tree huggers, there's no sanctuary from the inevitable. In the meantime, we can only pretend. And how sweet that can be, all of us trapped in our own lonely, but miraculous and magical consciousnesses whose boundaries we tend to fear, until we hear the reassuring words of someone unafraid:
Close your eyes and follow me
Into a world only I can see
And if I get lost there, don't wait for me
I'll be alright…
(Available on The Last Tree.)

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