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post #124
bio: stu

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I propose a neologism*. There ought to be a word for that feeling you get listening to a song you're enjoying until you listen too closely to the words and a clumsy rhyme/simile/metaphor/etc knocks you out of your enjoyment and you're left with simple distaste. In lieu of a better word for this, I'm going to propose "gibbard," which I should declare should be used on its own (i.e., it's too clumsy to say "pulling a gibbard.") "I loved that song until the chorus gibbarded me." "The gibbard in the last verse pissed me off and I couldn't listen any further."

The name, of course, comes from Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, who habitually pulls this shit--he has the awful tendency to reach too far and sabotage far too much of his work. Take the song "The New Year" which starts strong with "This is the new year. I don't feel any different," but eventually digresses into "I wish the world was flat like the old days--you could travel just by folding a map."

Seriously, what the fuck? What could that possibly even mean? It obviously means something--it's not just interesting sounding gibberish like, say, R.E.M. gets away with. But, shit, it's false and stupid and faux-poetic in the worst way.

And Gibbard does this constantly--or often enough to make me apprehensive for each new song I listen to of his. For the most part, he manages to avoid this in his Postal Service work, even as he skirts on the edge of it--see "Such Great Heights," with "I think that it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned," which flirts with stupidity and comes out on the right side.

Gibbard isn't the only one guilty of this--sometimes it is as simple as an artist trying to rhyme two things like "chilling" and "chili" that can send me into paroxysms of distaste. But Gibbard is by far the biggest indie perpetrator of this.

It's like when you're watching a war movie and an extra dies unconvincingly. Or one of George Romero's masterworks and a zombie shambles across the screen like a frat boy desperately needing to purge the Jaeger out of his system rather than a creature in agony over its never-ending search for sweet brains to dull the pain of undeath. Or one of those stylized kisses in a Hitchcock movie. It's all just going to send you screaming back to Earth to realize you had been caught up in something a moment ago, but no longer.
*Funny thing about the word "neologism." I looked it up to make sure I was a) using it correctly and b) spelling it correctly, and found that defines neologism both as "A new word, expression, or usage" and "a meaningless word used by a psychotic." I think I mean it in the first sense.

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