Music Landscape - Dark Side of the Moon Part 2 - Tucson Local Media: Music Landscape - Past, Present, Local

Music Landscape - Dark Side of the Moon Part 2

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Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Side two begins with the "ching" of a cash register. In an almost robotic form, money is taken and dispensed into the register repeatedly creating an interesting beginning to the second half of "The Darkside of the Moon." The track "Money," (the other single off of the record other than "Time") introduces the listener into the working world. For us in the west, the accumulation and distribution of currency is a key element of survival. Have enough and you're okay, have too little and life could get very challenging for you. We as humans have adapted to this form of accumulation to the point of having adverse effects towards the well-being of society. The fact is that often times the desire to obtain money takes over the individual's personality and thoughts. Money creates a sense of security within the individual, a security that is necessary to be able to function properly in this world. No matter how you go about obtaining that sense of security, money is a prime method. This is why money is compared to a gas, as it induces a numbing affect on the person that has the potential to affect better judgment.

The mechanical sounds of the cash register are soon greeted by an upbeat and highly recognizable bass line, that sweeps the listener off back into a new journey. The song also focuses on the element of greed in society. Once money exceeds the amount necessary for basic survival, it often becomes a tool of vanity and self gratification. This type of thought process can lead to corruption within the individual, as the person may continue to splurge on himself while neglecting the needs of others with much less. Such is the case today, and reflects the downside of the capitalist economy. The song continues with an improvised bluesy solo and some freestyle jamming before entering back into the main verse. The song draws to a close suggesting that even though this money is ever present in our society, it is indeed very hard to come by. The problem for many of us, is that it seems too little to go around..."But if you ask for a raise its no surprise that they're giving none away." It is now that the voices make another appearance, as if we're listening to past voices from our lives going by. Snippets of spoken word greet us and eventually fade out as if passing through a dream in a state of semi consciousness.

We are greeted by a smooth transition into a very mellow opening consisting of keyboards, bass, and drums. The presence of a saxophone enters, adding an element to the record not yet heard. "Us, and them...And after all we're only ordinary men." This line is spoken in the heat of battle, as ordinary men are set ready to kill one another concerning the interest of their respected governments. This song depicts war and the lyrics are fairly specific, but I take it deeper than that. When I listen to this piece, I go into the mind of the recluse and the outcast. Many of us have shared the feeling of rejection in some form or another. This song gives the perspective of the recluse, from the outside looking in at the world. "Me, and you. God only knows it's not what we would choose to do" echoes through our minds, and it's not what we would choose to do. Who would choose to sit on the sideline watching the world go by feeling lonely and unaccepted? Much like the soldiers can think of much better things to do out in the fields than kill each other, we are similarly unconsciously killing each other by creating barriers and divisions between humanity each day. Everyone of us has had a time when we feel like we don't belong or feel different. We see the world (in our respected peer groups) as Us and them, further widening the divide between one collective consciousness.

"Up and down. But in the end it's only round and round." This is one of the most powerful lines on the record and really begins to put things into perspective. The spin of the earth goes round and round as we as humans continue to become submerged in our own little worlds. We see our lives as being highly relevant, but in the end, nothing around us seems to change. "Us and Them" is a rallying cry for peace and understanding between people, that we might recognize that we are not composed merely of individuals, but we are of one body, and one people. This line also encourages us as people to not get so caught up in our petty differences and our daily stresses. For in the end, all of the petty worry that we place on ourselves and discrimination used on others will have been for naught. The earth is spinning for the listener as well, as heavy amounts of saxophone lace the framework of the composition. The whirlpool of passion and intensity that was "Us and Them" blends right into a trance of reverberated keyboards. This instrumental piece encompasses a jazzy element not yet felt on the record, and lightens the mood for the listener proceeding such an emotionally powerful piece.

As if traveling through space, the instrumental "Any Colour You Like" drops us into "Brain Damage" as if feeling the after effects from a bad acid trip. This song makes a good use of repetition within the lyrics creating another hypnotic effect on the listener. "The lunatic is on the grass...The lunatic is in the hall....The lunatic is in my head." The portrayed lunatic in the piece seems to be coming closer and closer to our psyche, until the point when we realize that we are the lunatic. It is now that we begin to question everything that we know, everything that we are, and everything that we've been taught to think, feel and act. We realize that deep down inside, we're all a little crazy. This song is patterned after Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett, who suffered from a mental disease prior to leaving the band. The female backing vocals return, along with laughter and various other subliminal auditory messages spread throughout. The song bleeds into "Eclipse" the final track.

The last song is clearly the climax of the record, as it continues to build until the final closure of the album. The song sheds light on the fact that everything in our lives is based on sensory perception and repetition. That everything that happens to us, all that has happened, and all that's to come, is unified in one universal theme. That all life experiences are based on what we can see, touch, taste, smell, and feel, even listening to this album. It leads us to the final revelation that no matter what we do, nature will continue its course and we will leave this world the same way that we came into it. "Everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon." The last line is open to interpretation and can take on many different meanings. What might appear bright and pure on the surface (the sun) is actually a world of corruption under the eclipse of the moon. It leaves the listener with the impression that life is meaningless, but is it? You be the judge, and I encourage you the listener to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you for accompanying me on a journey through a timeless classic.

Included is a 45 minute documentary on the producing and mixing of the album, including interviews with the band and sound techs and producers for a more in depth visual experience.

© 2014 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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