I spend a lot of time reading CD liners. I could sit for hours reading lyrics to my favorite songs, so it drives me crazy when an artist doesn’t include them. For me the words are just as powerful as the music that accompanies them. Sometimes you catch other meanings or you can get a clearer picture of whatever the artist is driving at.
While Revolution on Canvas doesn’t come with music, these words are just as powerful without it. From some of the biggest names in indie rock comes a collection of poetry and short stories that range the spectrum of emotion.
In the foreword, Rich Balling, a professional musician, explains how he started this project. “The idea was to contact numerous musicians that I had shared floors and crossed borders with during my years of touring — many of whom had since grown to be extremely popular and had sold hundreds of thousands of records — and gather writing from them.” The result is Revolution on Canvas a collection of “lyrics that had never made it into songs, journal entries, poems, fiction, essays, rants, and even art.”
Balling wanted to make reading more approachable for the masses; and while the examples found in this book aren’t always grammatically correct, they are emotionally moving. From Justin Pierre from Motion City Soundtrack to Luis Dubuc of The Secret Handshake, this book has some great pieces in it. While some are only fair or easily forgotten, still they come from names you recognize and are therefore fascinating, but there are gems contained within these pages as well.
Schuylar Croom from He Is Legend contributed "Letter to a Gypsy" (first stanza page 16):
- Guard your comfort my dear, guard your heart,
as the sailor takes locks of hair,
and prisons a piece of cloth or picture.
The wealthy have overbought and undersold their memories.
Even if they duplicate your treasures,
they still will never love them
for the reasons you have learned to love them.
From Chi Chang of the Deftones comes "Murder, Prostitution and Other Forms of Democracy and the Institution of Marriage" (page 118):
- He had married-his secret mother
wanting-to be a whore
they fucked-like they were trying
to extract the ingredients of
the horizon, from
each other- and she could
at the mouth-as he tried to push
the tides-for her- and
in the time it takes
for an ocean liner
to sink- they had only reached
A fetal shore puberty-still
madly in love
years later- he would quietly
count her- freckles when she slept
when people ask
He could reply
you just ain’t hearing
Sal Bossio from Envy on the Coast wrote "My heart is pounding the whole way there" (page 104):
- I arrive in disbelief and can only stare at those buried eyes as
you scream, “it’s not fair!”
As I walk further in, you come running towards the stairs.
Our shoulders touch, I reach across my fingers through your hair.
Everyone is scattered all dress in black.
His sister starts to shout, “I want him back, I want him back!”
Your eyelids shut, you place your head upon me in distress.
Adrienne, I just can’t stand to see you like this.
Allow my collar to be the place where you let your tears rest.
Please don’t worry girl; you know god only takes the best.
Goodbye, Goodbye. I owe you this much, I’ll be your medication
Goodbye, Goodbye. I own you this much; I’m a safe addiction.
Those are just some of my favorites. Whether you are a music fan or a poetry fan, you will find something in Revolution on Canvas that speaks to your soul.