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How did I let this one slip by?  I've been a fan of Staind and Aaron Lewis from back in the day when Staind performed the grungy grunge and today, I still return to tunes like "For You" and "Waste" when I'm feeling a little emo, sans the black frame glasses.
(Although, I'd wear a pair, if I wore glasses.) 

The other night I was perusing YouTube and came across "Tangled Up in You", both the Illusion of Progress and Town Line versions.  Since then, I haven't been able to put down the headphones.  I've blogged before about bands that evolve personally and creatively and how this progression is displayed through their music.  Let's not forget that this evolution, this change, takes courage - the courage to tell fans, "Hey, I know you love our music but, we've changed a bit, and this is our new vibe."  Bands such as Incubus have gone from yelling into the microphone with awkward vocal backgrounds and struggling coordination of disjointed instruments, (of which I happen to have a fondness for) to melodious and simple rhythms, mellow tempos, and profound lyrics.  Aaron Lewis is no different. 

Add to that, Mr. Lewis snuck out the backdoor of the mosh pits to find clarity in the open countryside.  I've dabble in country, if you can even call it that.  You can liken my dabbling to walking past an Ed Hardy or Affliction store and recognizing that there were indeed some sort of art-infused clothing being sold.  You have to understand.  I'm from Hawaii.  We have some western country influence in our Hawaiian music.  You can hear it in the "old" Hawaiian music of Gabby Pahinui, the Makaha Sons, and Cyril Pahinui (of which I have had a renewed sense of "Oh yah, I like this!").  This influence however, is not prevalent in today's Hawaiian music. 

Back to Mr. Lewis.  I find his personal story and views interesting and he may be just the character to introduce me to the world of country.

Like I previously inferred, I'm late to the game that you all are already playing.  You've probably heard this song when it came out on the Illusion of Progress album, have already donned a pair of cowboy boots; a slick pair of blue jeans; danced with your "pardner" on the weathered, wooden floors; and have many memories associated with this tune.  I haven't yet.  But, like you, every new tune fires up my creative mind and I can mentally conjure fantasies of a world where old school values such as family, community, and self-reliance have overcome over-consumerism and other fleeting facades.  (Whoa!  Sorry to take you there!)

Maybe you feel the same way.  We live in a fast-paced world that has been going a 100 miles a minute and it's nice to get off this train, once in a while.  It's nice to ease my cognitive pace and allow my often-suppressed, creative mind to dance, to appreciate, and to wander uncharted fields. 

I don't know country very well and haven't extensively traveled to the heart(s) of mainland U.S.A. where country thrives.  I have, however, been to San Antonio and have ventured out a few hours to small towns such as Lukenbach, where there is a population of 3, and have witnessed backyard bbqs, historic dance halls, saloons, and the sense of community, even with a population of 3.  I have also been to rural areas in countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Nicaragua where people are rooted in family and friends and share good vibes with one another.  My sense of country is growing.

When I hear "Tangled Up in You", I think of traveling the countryside, smelling the fragrances of all that is not man-made; watching fence post after fence post pass by the window; passing seemingly oblivious and content animals grazing the abundance offered by countryside; feeling unstressed by deadlines; accepting the good that resides within every human, even those who have very little; experiencing the simplicity of others who are equally, if not more, happy than I; and imagining the excitement that awaits me as I expand my travels. 

So thank you, Mr Lewis.  Your music is inspiring!




4 Responses to “Tangled Up in You”

  1. You're the shore when I'm lost at sea...

  2. Right?! I've had this song on repeat for the last week.

  3. Hey Solomish
    I'd be keen to talk to you about your line drawings. Can we email?

  4. Sure, give me a holler. mattsfunmail@gmail.com

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