Cover Friday: Let us lay in the sun


Conceivably, there is a lot to be irked about. I’m not heading north for the Sasquatch Festival as I had so hoped to do when the lineup first surfaced. In fact, I’m not ditching town during the three-day weekend at all. So as other Oregonians armed with backpacks, inner tubes, hiking boots, uncooked baby back ribs and beer in coolers, and plane tickets leave in droves, I get to sit in front of my computer. I can think about their enviable activities, and judge them.

But even hypothetical jealousy just sounds so ugly, doesn’t it? There’s no need to elucidate on those fantastical possibilities. It’s as pointless as playing that “Well, if he were to call me, I might . . . ” game and I’m not feeling terribly dreamy right now. In fact, I am not in much of a writerly mood at all. But I am sure that even those most dedicated to introspection feel the same way. It’s the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the weather outside is perfect, and I have a date with the Avett Brothers tonight. Really, why dwell on what can’t happen? I’d fully expect you to reach out past the http barriers and punch my in the arm for whining.

So what better way to commemorate the enjoyment of the moment than a cover of one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums ever? Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” which shares its title with the album it can be found on, captures that whole “To His Coy Mistress” sense of time’s winged chariot. The imagery from both works bear similarities, as both Andrew Marvell’s and Jeff Mangum’s narrators suggest sitting in the sun and enjoying all the beautiful things present. If either writer could foresee their respective futures – Marvell dying impoverished and unknown as a poet and the dissolution of Mangum’s band after only two albums allegedly due to Mangum’s flirtations with madness – we might never have gotten the poem or the song. Each man would have been too busy chasing their mistresses, chewing through their moments like victims of starvation. There’s a reason why the present tense is the most alluring one to read. OK, here’s Matt Pond PA’s cover. Now I’m off to play.

  • Matt Pond PA ~ Winter Songs ~ Altitude

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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