The Gilded Cage

September 18, 2008 12:28 PM

We're living in a gilded cage in the gilded age: watching shadows dancing on the wall and rattling our chains so we feel like something's happening when we haven't really done a thing and so we never have to think too long about the mess we've made. Ain't it strange the sun don't shine here? I can't see any source of natural light. There isn't any way to tell the time here. So no one really knows when we arrived...

Plato's allegory of the cave re-envisioned as a near-future totalitarian dystopia: Welcome home.

posted by saulgoodman (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

The musical-exegesis part of my brain seems to be on break right now, so let me just say that I liked this.
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on September 18, 2008

thanks cortex. feeling a little down right about now (for non-musical reasons, but still...). a kind word hits the spot.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:53 PM on September 18, 2008

There isn't any way to tell the time here.

Oh, I see. This song is about a casino.

Now ends the joke section of this comment. May I offer one little (hopefully constructive) critique? I know you're going for electropop here (hey, I can read the tags!) and I'm not suggesting a more "human" drum part, but I think you could still go with a little more variation in the drum programming. For me, it's just a bit too static, especially for such a relatively long song. Maybe work that hi-hat a bit more, get a little bit of filigree in there? Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:29 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

flapjax: so the using a monotonous rhythm track as a way of reinforcing the lyrical themes of stasis/immobility idea's not working for you? it was an intentional thing, but i'll take the input into account--if it works it works, if it don't it don't, regardless of what i might have intended. i meant for the change during the bridge to provide a little jolt to balance things a bit, but i guess it wasn't enough from your POV.

i've really been getting into minimal, repetitive rhythms lately in general. maybe some choice layering of additional rhythmic counterpoints would be a good idea though.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:46 AM on September 19, 2008

I hear you with the minimal/repetitive thing, sg, I know what you're aiming at. I just meant that it could have maybe a bit more rhythmic interest and still stay within the digital machine beat aesthetic. "Choice layering of additional rhythmic counterpoints" sounds like a fine idea to me!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 PM on September 19, 2008

"Choice layering of additional rhythmic counterpoints"

sorry if that came off a little heavy-handed. of course it's just highfalutin talk for "a few more clicks, rattles and buzzes here and there."
posted by saulgoodman at 7:55 PM on September 19, 2008

Wow, I love the guitars. I mean, I love the song (Plato's allegory of the shadows is one I tend to take out of about 3/4 of the songs I write it seems... not even songs, anything I write), but I really love those guitars. Very nice and thanks for posting it.

And as for repetitive rhythms, I'm a big fan so I'm cool with that, but I think the repetitiveness works for this song (not a slight on f@m, I just think it definitely works for this). Then again, I love Can and turntablism and this Explorer series album called Kenya & Tanzania: Witchcraft & Ritual Music is one of my favorite albums of all time (and until searching for it, I didn't even realize that it might be out on CD--I should really think about these things more often).

Man, high falutin', that's me sorta in a sad way...

So, yeah, beautiful stuff, Mr. saulgoodman. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:44 PM on September 19, 2008

I'm sorry I didn't comment sooner -- sleepy pete told me how much he loved this and I do as well. The guitars are indeed extremely beautiful. The lyrics genuinely touched me. I'm very glad you posted this.
posted by melissa may at 3:53 PM on September 20, 2008

the chorus keyboards are sweet. textures are indeed dreampop.
posted by February28 at 4:56 PM on September 21, 2008

Good stuff. Reminds me of Jatun.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:22 PM on September 21, 2008

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