Sometimes, the world ends for a whole month. Then, shattered and rattled, you look up and someone you know is pointing out something cool. Something Strange and Important, like bamboo dancing around in a blizzard. It shatters and rattles you out of the wicked month and into another, better one. A month that might help you through, of all things. Inject some Strange and Important into now.
“Bamboo” crawled into my ear in San Francisco. I had no idea what it was talking about until I got home to New England and, all in a flash, kissed a dark month goodbye when Billy pointed at this snow-covered, psycho bamboo going apeshit out the window.
A lot has been said about the ability of bamboo and the like to bend without breaking and the cleansing effects of snow and wind, so I won’t say any of that. Flexibility and purity are special qualities, but what I like best about anything is ordinariness. Strange and important and ordinary are somehow not mutually exclusive, but all-encompassing. Extra ordinary is indeed extraordinary.
When I brought this song to Rizzo’s studio, I told him that I’ve always thought Christmas should come in February. At least to those of us who worship Santa instead of Jesus. That way, the whole winter season could be the Christmas season, we’d have three months to shop for gifts, and something to look forward to in February other than dismal weather and the freakishly-doomed-no-matter-what-you-do Valentine’s Day.
So we made “Bamboo” a Christmas in February song. It’s jangly and anthemic and there’re even bells on it, but…it’s messed up. The real Christmas would never let it join in any reindeer games. It isn’t strange or important like snow or reeds, it’s just…ordinary. Like February.
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Posted in: Kristin Hersh, music, words on August 4, 2009