Not Yet Knowing The Words

“Drinking from the firehose.”  I know whereof eheter writes.  I probably hesitate a lot more than some of my colleagues here so to drink, remembering those early years fondly and too exclusively.  Sometimes when I stoop for a sample from that ongoing gusher, I’m less than enthused.  I’d mostly rather keep writing of auld lang syne.  But sometimes it’s a new, startling kind of refreshment.

Lately it’s Spock’s Beard.  I missed them long because I was wandering rather far from any prog congregation.  What I’ve sampled over the last couple of weeks is the après Neal Morse SB, dominated (though that’s not quite the word) by Nick D’Virgilio. (Should I be ashamed to say that he’s like a new aural fixation, an object of would-be bromance for my ears?)  While hardly a “review,” what follows is prompted by first listens to Feel Euphoria (2003), Octane (2005) and Spock’s Beard (2006).  Peace!  Peace, friends who are more at home directly in front of the hose’s flow!  I’ll probably get to what you will urge upon me for comparison, but slowly I expect.


There’s a place where my listening or my mind (or whatever it should be called) sometimes goes.  It’s like an interface, or maybe an interstice, but no huge gulf to be bridged; more a tiny fissure across which some kind of synapse recklessly leaps.  It’s where a sonic upsurge, apparently threatening figuratively to deafen, meets/adjoins/enters an enigmatic lyrical field or opening.  I expect the meaning to be there, in the opening.  I expect it to present itself to me on bended knee, to wash into my cognition as if it had been at home there already for time without beginning.  But it stands aloof.  It regards me suspiciously, as if waiting to see if I am actually worthy of what it has to tell me.  The cleavage (a cut but also a holding contiguous and tight) between the song and its lyric rarely hits me this way, but when it sometimes does, I am a bit undone.

I can glimpse that fugitive sens lurking in the clearing just behind the sumptuous sound of this band.  Band?  Travelers?  Wanderers?  Of course, not all who wander are lost (Tolkein), and this band seems anything but lost.  But I must reach for this meaning that is not yet close enough for me to have under my hand for an actual touch.  The beauty of the music (by musicians acquainted with Muses) has me longing to draw closer to it.  Not to GRASP it as if it could be “held” by the likes of me, but to become a novitiate in its order.

So much more pretentiously verbose, perhaps, than “THESE GUYS ROCK!”

Hey, but they do.

Leave me now if you will, for a while, in this clearing with this beauty.  The words therein elude me for the present, and I must have another go to see what they bring.  I might say more, if the more turns out to be anything that can be put into words.

Or, perhaps you could join me in the clearing if you can, if it opens for you too.

2 thoughts on “Not Yet Knowing The Words

  1. Nick

    I like SB a lot, in both their Neal Morse and NdV-fronted incarnations. I was lucky enough to see them live, touring with ninth studio album “Spock’s Beard”, in a tiny and very grotty club in Leeds. They did, indeed, rock! Their rendition of “The Great Nothing” was nothing short of stupendous.

    It’ll be fascinating to hear how they’ve changed now that Ted Leonard is holding the microphone. The brief YouTube clips sound very promising. A couple of them feel more ‘hard rock’ than prog.


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