My Secret Marilyn Monroe

September 12, 2016 6:47 PM

About 24 years ago, between 1992--1995 or so, I played in a popular art rock band in Panama City, Florida, called Killing Darlings. An old friend recently gave me access to his stash of the lo-fi recordings we produced over the years with that band, and this is one of them. There's a longer playlist of recovered tracks over here on Sound Cloud.

From the playlist decription:

This playlist collects a selection of live and studio recordings of Panama City, Florida art rock band Killing Darlings, originally active from around 1992--1995.

Featuring Steven Mizener on guitar and vocals, Shane Byrd (later Derek Groves) on lead guitar, Dustin Gilbert on bass guitar, and Marcus Haines on drums, Killing Darlings established a devoted cult following and helped to innovate the lo-fi recording scene of the early/mid-90s, but disbanded just as more affordable digital recording equipment was first becoming widely accessible, having never produced an official studio release.

Musically, Killing Darlings drew on diverse influences like Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Eno, Shudder to Think, Fugazi, The Smiths, Yes, and many others to craft complex, layered arrangements that balanced soaring pop melody hooks against atonal and discordant elements, foreshadowing later popular indie rock bands like Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, and Radiohead.

My Secret Marilyn Monroe,
let's take a walk around the bay
before you go
and the fog rolls in
covering the ships' masts
in a moist salt cotton skin

Oh what does it mean,
my dear love, when you're gone?
What does it mean,
my dear love, when you're gone?

What do you believe?
Is there really a world
or have we all just been deceived?
And if we have
What does it mean
to be deceived?

Oh what does it mean,
my dear love, when you're gone?
What does it mean,
my dear love, when you're gone?

My secret Marilyn Monroe,
oh don't go...

posted by saulgoodman (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Hey cool, sounds great.
I love how stuff from that time period is heard now through the haze of old tapes, and it all has that same feeling: sort of a warm, warbly wow and flutter with a bit of hiss. I have tapes of our (shitty) 90's band that have a similar patina, although the songs and performances are way better in your song.
posted by chococat at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love the sound of old tape. It's so hazy and everything gets squashed together in a good, murky, dreamlike way.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:50 PM on September 14, 2016

This is cool! I'm getting some Soft Cell, some Fine Young Cannibals.

So what does it mean? (The song, I mean.)
posted by ajryan at 12:59 AM on September 18, 2016

Funny you mention Fine Young Cannibals! Now that you do, I remember they were another background influence, along with The The... But we listened to and absorbed so many kinds of music in those days, when life was all about making music together.

Hmm. The meaning of the song. Here's my reading of what it's about: There may be some relationships you make in life with people who seem to be engaged in a bigger project of making sense of life and the world together with you. I've had several deep friendships of that sort: intimate friendships and romances that had the feel of a running conversation on the meaning of everything, in the context of our unfolding life experiences and ongoing learning.

These have always been among the most valuable, rewarding, and life sustaining relationships I've found.

It's hard not to see someone you have that kind of relationship with as beautiful, and like a kind of secret lover you meet with from time to time. And without those kinds of deep, intimate relationships, it's easy to start feeling lost in a fog, like there's no meaning to things.

Of course, on a more surface level, it's just about pining for a lost love.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2016

That was a fun listen.
posted by sammyo at 7:46 AM on September 26, 2016

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