He was drunk and exhausted, but he was critically acclaimed and respected.

Download: Stuck Between Stations by The Hold Steady

This song completly blows my mind: the lyrics are intelligent, the music ferocious (and thus requires to be listened to at excessive volume to get the complete effect.

Lets go verse by verse shall we?

There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right.
“Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together.”
Sucking off each other at the demonstrations
Making sure their makeup’s straight

To start with, Finn sums up my generation in a short six lines. I did some “protesting” (back in another life), and was often struck at how much of a fashion show the whole godamned thing was. Even if it was not high fashion, it was fashion none the less. Everyone looked so good, and the whole thing turned out to be about sex as much as going to the meat market bar on a Friday night (except for, instead of bad dance music and drinking, it was bad reggae music and… drinking).

Crushing one another with colossal expectations.
Dependent, undisciplined, and sleeping late

How scary is this line? Too close to home (and too near the bone, more than you’ll ever know).
She was a really cool kisser and she wasn’t all that strict of a Christian.
She was a damn good dancer but she wasn’t all that great of a girlfriend.
She likes the warm feeling but she’s tired of all the dehydration.

I love the hook in the way he sings “she was a really cool kisser…” So amazing. This line also reminds me of this one girl I dated in high school… who was “christian” but not all that strict about it, which was awesome (and she was a terrible girlfriend as well).

Most nights are crystal clear but tonight it’s like it’s stuck between stations….on the radio.

This is exactly how I am feeling right now. Stuck between stations.

The devil and John Berryman took a walk together. They ended up on Washington talking to the river.
He said “I’ve surrounded myself with doctors and deep thinkers, but big heads with soft bodies make for lousy lovers.”

Ouch. Too close to home, and yet so (painfully) true. Academics do make for lousy lovers. Have you ever hung out with a couple who are both academics? It is not fun; they usually spend their time trying to outwit each other. That said, I would rather be surrounded by doctors and deep thinkers, so I guess it’s a no win situation.

 She said “You’re pretty good with words, but words won’t save your life.”
And they didn’t.
So he died.

If I don’t get down to writing this paper today, I am pretty sure there isn’t much that could save my life.

And for my favourite lyric of the song (and the title of the post):

He was drunk and exhausted but he was critically acclaimed and respected.

This about sums up my ambitions and it gives me truth-goosebumps everytime I hear it. This is everything I want: to be drunk and exhausted (the good drunk, and exhausted from toiling away at my writing and research), and to be critically acclaimed and respected. Note, this is different from wanting to be famous: I just want to write and have people cite me and invite me to conferences and such. This is a small ambition, but one that keeps me going.


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