Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Galaxie 500 - Tugboat

How much can I say about Galaxie 500? How about that it's such a sad realization that nothing Dean Wareham is involved in ever truly gets the respect it deserves. He's an absolutely brilliant songwriter and guitarist, and the best songs from this year's Dean & Britta album shows that the guy still has it. But prime Galaxie 500... good lord. This was one of those bands that when I heard for the first time I was absolutely floored and began to question my life and how I could have lived without this band in it. Within a week I had all three of their incredible albums, pursued rarity collections, bbc sessions, the works. The jewel of my collection however is a "Blue Thunder" 7" signed by the entire band. I napped that on eBay for the unheard of price of $12. What a day that was.

So "Tugboat," possibly the band's greatest song....what can I even say about it?! For one it's in my top 10 songs ever and its lyrics have remained in my aim profile for a period of months. How does it make me feel? I sometimes hate describing music and what it brings out in me, as its both far too complex to fully explain and somewhat pointless when you could just play the damn thing. Many artists with vague lyrics claim their songs can be about whatever the listener makes of them. However, a lot of the time I feel like that's bullshit and the artists don't even know what they're writing about. I know Dylan has said that about some of his own work. But then in contrast to the abstract nothing songs there's ill-defined lyrics that are about everything. "Tugboat" is one of those songs. The background on the song is that it was inspired by Velvet Underground bassist Sterling Morrison who in his later post-VU life became, well, a tugboat captain. In a way you could view the song as Sterling's 'fuck you I want to captain a boat.' I think that'd be doing the song injustice. I feel that this song pleads the listen to explore the world, and drive your own tugboat. I see it as taking charge of your life to find the one thing you love the most. Sterling is the embodiment of this. He was in one of the most influential bands of all time and was busy studying for a Ph. D. To abandon those and drive a boat? A boat? On water? Insanity? No...that's bravery. As of now I don't know what I want to do with my life. I'm attending college majoring in psychology, as that's the course I'm most interested in. Yes, I'm interested, but am I devoted towards it? Wouldn't we all like to think so. I think all too often we get too caught up in what we've been told is the right thing to do, what the correct path to follow is. With this we get too caught up in succeeding at this that we forget about ourselves along the way. I really admire those who when they finally have the moment of realization, the finding of their true passion, they take action upon it. It's easy to brush off....we hate abandoning things we've put significant time and effort towards. But if we're only doing something to please others, then why do it at all? Granted I feel we should meet halfway between the two extremes here: irresponsible gluttonous prick who indulges his every need
and the passive assembly line mechanical man who never thinks what actually is in his best interest.

Well...this certainly took a different tone than most entries here. I love the Galaxie 500, I really do. "Tugboat" comes from their debut album, Today. I can never decide if I prefer that or their second release, On Fire. Both are pretty amazing.

Galaxie 500 - Tugboat

"I don't wanna stay at your party
I don't wanna talk with your friends
I don't wanna vote for your president
I just wanna be your tugboat captain

It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd be happy
It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd like to be
It's a place I'd be happy"

"Tugboat" Promo Video

"Tugboat" live in a High School gym

Galaxie 500 - Today


grange85 said...

There was a time in my life, after Galaxie 500 split but before the Internet, where I was convinced that I was the only one in the world who knew or cared about Galaxie 500. I still get a buzz every time someone posts a post like that one. So thanks!

Anonymous said...


gregory said...

Sterling Morrison was guitarist in VU, not a bassist. Sacrilege!