Luminous City: Avarice (Too Much Is Not Enough)

This song bothers me… but not enough that I didn’t put it on the record anyway. It filled a specific and quite important purpose in the band’s repertoire: it’s fast, it’s aggressive, it gives the soloists a chance to stretch out some, it’s a bit snotty and misanthropic. It invariably closed our second and final set, with a long line of exclamation points following the reverb tail out.

And yet it bothers me, because it’s a lyric that no one in that position would actually articulate. It might be their id talking, sure, or at the very least they might even think like that; but who actually speaks from there? By definition the id is unarticulated; what we say and do filters up from there to the ego and the superego, if you hold to the Freudian model (I don’t necessarily, but I’m using it for illustrative purposes). You wouldn’t hear, say, Donald Trump talking like this.

I’ve made a conscious effort over the years to stay away from writing lyrics like that, and then discovered too late that I did it all the same. And in this case changing the words was not really an option (as I had done with One AM Deluxe, although I was also changing the arrangement at the same time).

The closing section, starting with the keyboard solo, came out of a particularly fruitful vening of jamming between Josh, Paula, and me down in the New Haven space– it might have been before we met Pete, or Pete might have been en route, I don’t remember now. The section after the keyboard solo and before the guitar solo gave us a bit of a Genesis moment: it reminded me a little bit of a progression and climax Tony Banks might play, and led into a guitar solo that Daryl Stuermer might have rendered. Not that I’m anywhere near those guys, but there are faint resonances.

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