I want you to know when I look in your eyes
I'm standing outside a thrift shop storefront. It's past closing hours but the window is lit, so I'm staring at the items inside. A red child's drum, some depression glass candy bowls, a lamp or two. You are there too and you are talking to a mutual friend of ours. Your back is to me, you're blocking me out from the conversation, on purpose it would seem. I know I should ask you to include me but I can't. I'm just too angry. I'm so angry in fact, that when I put my hand on your arm to move you gently to the side, I wind up digging my nails into your arm and shoving you hard. In the redness of that moment I fervently hope that you land in the gutter and crack your skull. But you don't, you barely stumble, you're fine. This all happens very quickly. "I'm sorry," I shout. "It was an accident!" Nervous laughter. But my eyes can't lie and things get very quiet. I light a cigarette to fill the silence, puff away for a couple of drags, realize what I'm doing and throw it out into the street. I run to a club next door, lock myself into their bathroom and scrub my hands. I keep thinking over and over about how you will tell everyone about my smoking and I won't be able to explain that I simply forgot that I don't do that anymore, that it was an accident. Another one, a real one this time. I start weeping. I wake up weeping. I can still smell the cigarette smoke.
Knife (Live on KEXP)/Grizzly Bear (mp3)
Knife/Grizzly Bear (video)
For a song about hurt, Knife by Grizzly Bear sure comes on like honey. I fell in love with this live version, partly because of the doo-wop meets luau vibe and partly because the vocals here are much more intimate than the studio version. Ed Droste's warm, fluttering vibrato keeps the central question, "You think it's alright?" light. As if the situation at hand is already happening with some distance and these statements are merely the fantasy of confrontation. A ghost doomed to bleed eternally from his disappointments, plaintively showing you his wounds, but unable to retaliate in any real way.
Buy Yellow House by Grizzly Bear.