Thursday, December 08, 2011

12. Pixies, "Monkey Gone to Heaven" (1989)


Back when the noble purpose of this blog was to provide more or less illicit music downloads—the kind of criminal enterprise I had indulged in another era by making tapes for friends—the writing was not nearly as prolix (or erudite!). When I threw up the first three Pixies releases shortly before shutting the whole thing down for a couple of years ... something about getting a job and tired of all the hassles of offering downloads (perhaps the epitome of unrewarding labors, although come to think of it writing into the void like this is not always that much better) ...  I found myself entering a kind of frenzy attempting to write about Doolittle and this song particularly. I think I about said it all at that time, as eccentric as it may be, so I'm simply going to reproduce it here. This is also known as taking the easy way out: "This is my favorite [album by the Pixies], and to put a point on it, I think 'Monkey Gone to Heaven' is where everything comes together in a glorious and eternal 2:56 that stands up to repeated play and endless analysis, stoned or otherwise. Consider the deceptively nonsense lyrics of the final verse and chorus (aka 'searing climax'): 'if man is 5 (3x) / then the devil is 6 (5x) / then god is 7 (3x) / this monkey's gone to heaven.' You can't overthink this, it just keeps deepening and deepening into itself, with man represented by the digits of one hand, the devil by the ancient lore of the number 6 (particularly when 3x, of course, but here presented 5x, effectively echoing the number of man), god by the same, viz., the number 7 (rhymes with heaven), in symmetrical relation 3x to man, underlined by a host of unholy shrieking. Then the monkey appears. The strings throughout are very nice too. This is amazing stuff."

No comments:

Post a Comment