Sunday, October 20, 2013

Marmalade -- "I See the Rain" (1967)

I see the rain again
I must complain again

It doesn't have to be raining for me to complain, but it definitely helps.  

I will always complain when it is raining -- but I also complain when it's not raining.  To apply the formal terminology of logic, rain is a sufficient condition for me to complain, but is not a necessary condition.  

(Zing!  Zoom!  Those are the sounds of the previous sentence going right over the heads of its readers.  Sorry, boys and girls, but I can only dumb things down for so long before my brain refuses to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and kicks over the traces.)

I hate conversations that start out like this:  "So, how's the weather been?"  But today I'm starting off 2 or 3 lines by talking about the weather.

Nietzsche had one
helluva mustache
I am truly a man of many contradictions.  But remember what Nietzsche said: "Only idiots fail to contradict themselves three times a day."  Of course, he said it in German, not English.  

I can't remember an August and September -- and I've seen quite a few of 'em -- where the weather was better than it was this past August and September.  The late summer weather in Washington this year was fabulous -- not too hot and not too humid, and with less than half the normal amount of rainfall.

Weekends in particular have been perfect.  I became accustomed to taking my breakfasts (luscious, ripe local cantaloupe from my farmer's market and prosciutto) and lunches (cottage cheese accompanied with juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes from that aforementioned farmer's market) outdoors on my patio, basking in a sunlight that produced a pleasant warmth that suffused one's body but didn't produce a desperate longing for A/C, which is the usual effect of the summer sun in the Washington, DC area.

I simply couldn't believe how beautiful the pellucid blue skies were, day after day.  (People don't use "pellucid" as much these days as they once did, but I'm trying to reverse that trend.) 

I took dozens of pictures like this one:

But that's all just a distant memory today.  I'm writing this column on a Sunday.  It started raining Wednesday, and it hasn't stopped -- AND THERE'S NO END IN SIGHT.  I'm getting tired of gray skies and the smell of my wet dog after I take her on her morning constitutionals.

I don't need crappy weather because I've got a lot on my mind these days.  I was recently on the road for a week or so, and then I was occupied with my son's wedding festivities.  

Plus my increasingly obsessive efforts to get more and more free music through the Freegal service offered by a number of local public libraries has become quite time-consuming.  

In addition, I've been busier than usual at work -- I like to think of myself as semi-retired, and like my workload to reflect that, but the past week has been very busy.  

Finally, a young writer I've become acquainted with has asked me to read and comment on her new book before she submits it to her publisher.  My kind of editing involves going through the text line by line and word by word -- no detail is too small for me to worry over.  (God knows why this writer thinks my comments will be helpful, but she's a very interesting writer and I was very flattered to be asked for my help.) 

All of this has played havoc with my 2 or 3 lines production schedule.  Those posts you see each and every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday don't write themselves, you know.  (If I ever miss a deadline, please call 911 become I'm either dead or on my way there.)  

I try to build up a reserve supply of posts in advance when I'm going to be traveling or otherwise occupied, but the well is dangerously close to being dry, and I've been scrambling.

There's another problem.  It's apparently become impossible for me to just toss off a short, snappy 2 or 3 lines post.  

I actually planned this one as sort of a throwaway -- I'd quote the song's lyrics as usual, bitch about the weather and how busy I was, and unapologetically admit that I needed to phone one in for the reasons stated above.  Then I'd go to the music video, and -- badda-bing, badda-boom -- I'd be done.  (To quote Jay-Z, "On to the next one!")

But I can't even phone one in when I'm trying to phone one in.  The content of this post may be an inch deep but it's a couple of miles wide -- full of "luscious, ripe local cantaloupe" and "pellucid blue skies" and other pretentious filler.  Blah blah blah BLAH BLAH!

The Marmalade released "I See the Rain" in 1967.  It was their third single, and like their first two, it went nowhere on the UK pop charts (although it was a big hit in the Netherlands).

Jimi Hendrix supposedly said the record was the best British single released that year.  I'm not sure what to make of that, but I will say that the guitar fills do have a somewhat Hendrix-ish quality.  

"I See the Rain" was used (for no apparent reason) in a very odd 2002 Gap commercial that featured the late Dennis Hopper and Christina Ricci, and was directed by the Coen Brothers (speaking of phoning one in):

(By the way, there's another version of the commercial that uses the Beach Boys' "I Know There's an Answer.")

It's hard to believe that I've featured two Marmalade songs on 2 or 3 lines, and neither one of them is "Reflections of My Life."  Hopefully, there will be world enough and time to get to it some day.

But in the meantime, here's "I See the Rain":

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

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