Neon Noon

Happy holidays, friends, and blessings to you on the sacred and secular traditions you celebrate at this time of year.

I’m sorry for bailing on last week’s Classical Sunday. It was a day of rest and reflection on the many blessings in our lives, including a new grandchild (as mentioned in my previous post), and I gave myself permission not to write a post that day. The day’s focus was on those family connections, complicated as most are by the ongoing and mostly government-mismanaged pandemic. But I’m back today for what will be the last post of the year 2021 for My Song of the Day for Today. Thank you for visiting. I appreciate you being here.

About a month ago, I heard a song on Apple Music that I found pretty enjoyable, and have thought a few times about sharing it (as I have about some of the band’s other music).

When I Shazamed the song, I was surprised to learn it was by Kasabian, a band I heard of many years ago when following the Twitter posts of a local brand and advertising firm, which would put up weekend playlists for folks to enjoy. I discovered a lot of new music through them, but alas, the company, which I’m pretty sure was Clark + Huot, merged and expanded, with an office in Winnipeg and New York City, USA. I didn’t see music digest posts after that, though admittedly, I probably didn’t follow the company’s evolution or social presence faithfully, either. But I was always impressed by their diligence in curating the playlists while tuned in.

Over the years, I’ve heard other songs by Kasabian, a rock band from Leicester, England, formed in 1997. I enjoy their sound and own a few of their songs, from albums L.S.F. (2004) and Velociraptor! (2011). While the band has sometimes been classified as indie rock, band frontperson and lead singer Sergio Pizzorno strongly rejects that title, saying he hates indie bands. Regardless of the box they fit in (or not), Kasabian has grown to claim a massive presence in the music industry. In 2010 and 2014, the UK magazine Q named them “Best Act in the World Today” and, also in 2014, “Best Live Act,” a distinction also granted to them in 2007 and 2018 by the UK’s NME Awards.

Reading these accolades has only added to my wish to hear and see the band live someday. I’m mentally adding them to that list of UK bands I’ve “missed by that much” (as TV’s Agent Maxwell Smart would say on Get Smart) or missed by foolish choices (for example, Elbow, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and Wolf Alice, though I did get to see an excellent set by the latter on the Glastonbury Music Festival’s 2021 online offering Live at Worthy Farm and they opened their set with one of my favourites of theirs, “Don’t Delete the Kisses” and did so just as drummer Joel Amey described in a Song Exploder podcast episode. (I reference some of the above in my post on the Wolf Alice song. Please give it a read.)

Okay, I digress… When listening to “Neon Noon,” I found it has one of those simplistic synthesizer-founded melodies that often makes me think of observing the Earth from a place up in high orbit. That type of tune always captures my imagination, taking me out of my internal universe and broadening my awareness about the world around me and its magnificence, but also its fragility and the absolute vulnerability of all life on it. With new life in Sweety’s and my family, the health of the Earth remains something that occupies a lot of my mind and heart. I posted three entries about this topic during COP26, the November 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

In today’s selection, songwriter Pizzorno tells the story of walking into his son Ennio’s bedroom to turn off the nightlight and being entranced by light and reflection. “I was at home turning off Ennio’s night light and I noticed that it was projecting psychedelic images on my shirt, so I decided to shoot a little video for Neon Noon using my phone and 4 mirrors. I hope you enjoy it – Sink Like a Stone.

“Sink like a stone, hear no sound, time stood still
Enter the void, leave no trace where you’ve been

Never thought you’d understand
The years are slipping out of your hand
And all we ever wanted to be
Was floating in the emerald sky
Our skeletons remain under a neon noon

Hands turn to dust, psychic waves fill the air
All what we have is what we’ve done to what we had

Never thought you’d understand
The years are slipping out of your hand
And all we ever wanted to be
Was floating in the emerald sky
Our skeletons remain under a neon noon

Sink like a stone, hear no sound, time stood still
All what we have is what we’ve done to what we had”

“Neon Noon,” by Sergio Pizzorno. Unofficial Lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

I believe the song is a rallying cry for society to care for the world itself, but also (like Pizzorno, in the mindset of a parent) for each other; not just our families and people we hang out with but also those who are unsheltered, without money, without friends or connections. In my judgement, our world is consistent in doing a deplorable job of caring for those who have no supports. It makes me very sad. I think Pizzorno captures this in his homemade video… his reflection symbolizes the person each of us needs to make a difference in the tire-fire that is our societal norm of governance and service-to-other.

It’s up to each of us to see those reflections, those commentaries on and from within our own souls, and to boldly step up and make a difference by safeguarding future generations. With the increasing severity of natural disasters, it’s more than obvious we need to do something.

May 2022 be the year we finally accept this call and opportunity seriously and take action to protect the lovely planet I sometimes dream of floating over, to preserve all the life and beauty on it. For the children. For us all. That’s the happiest new year I can imagine.

And for tonight, my wish is for you to “sink like a stone” into your pillow, to paraphrase this song and as a favourite meditation offers.

“Neon Noon” is the closing track on Velociraptor!

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video from Kasabian’s official YouTube channel:

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