Undertow Track By Track

Track by track introduction to Mark Seymour’s Undertow album, written by the man himself.

Author: Mark Seymour; Liberation Records.

Date: 4 April 2011.

Original URL: http://mushroomgroup.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/album-bio-mark-seymour-and-the-undertow-track-by-track/

 

Article Text

A man spends eighty grand on a palm tree to decorate the home of his mistress. On the other side of the continent a little wooden boat founders on the rocks of Christmas Island killing 48 asylum seekers. An Australian prime minister once said “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” but the rules don’t seem to apply for some. The older I get the less I know. I hear the outrage of youth in the voices of my children and I hope they will never be confounded by the void. “Maintain your rage” I say. Then I hear an old man softly singing ‘Danny Boy’ to his dying wife in the afternoon sun and I ask, “What are songs are for?” Maybe one day I’ll know but right now I can only tell when songs are dead. Where does the mystery go? The mind is a creator and a slave. Feed it or it dies. When all else fails there is always work, moving through the country, the hum of wheels and engines, wind off the southern ocean, the roar of sound, Muddy Waters in the Tarago, open chords, back beats and long wailing guitars, the sound of a band. We started jamming at sound check, booked a studio in Hallam.

CASTLEMAINE
Dreaming of Gurus, false gods, cults and peddlers of fear. Some people will say anything to win friends. The search for comfort, happiness and escape.

I KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT YOU
The Cuckold who goes quietly. A lover’s car seen in someone else’s driveway.. events are moving beyond his control… humiliation and the courage to face it

LITTLE BRIDGES
The phone rings downstairs in the kitchen and as he rises to answer it she bursts through the front door and rushes down the hallway to pick up. She beats him to it. He stands on the landing at the top of the stairwell, listening as she speaks of him.. unaware that he’s listening.

SYLVIA’S IN BLACK
Sylvia came to live on the high side of town overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The years unfolded and with the wealth and privilege came routine and repetition.. She was fond of a drink. She got out.

LEGEND OF THE SNOWMEN
(dedicated to the memory of Tony Medina)

Money will never compensate for the pain and suffering inflicted on Australian workers who have been exposed to asbestos dust.

“Everything that sustains the wealth creation of our society has been built on the graves of workers who’ve perished to get us to this point.” -Bob Carr

ELDORADO
Crown Casino. The face of Australia. The multitude clamoring to win, to be seen, to be showered with the flush of success. Every kind of Australian is there. Multi-culturalism running wild. Eating, drinking, gambling. Children crying in the carpark at midnight. Blue bloods dripping with wealth in the ballroom. The sound of faux bird song broadcast from speakers hidden in the trees along the boulevarde outside. And faux crowds laughing and cheering from speakers outside the sports bar at three in the morning.. when there’s no one around the Indian women come out to sweep the mall.

CRY IN THE RAIN
What is left when vanity is gone?

CLASSROOMS AND KITCHENS
My mother Paula, in the kitchen at Corryong. My earliest memory of her then and now, in the nursing home in Kew.. intoning Hail Marys, waiting in the light

THE RED LADY’S GONE
I once owned a ’72 HQ Monaro coupe, vermilion red.. People said I was making some kind of statement.. I was. I loved the damn thing but she was taken by some covetous junky from across the river at 10 0’Clock at night while I was down at the pub. She was parked outside the apartment, kill switch on, but the thief found the switch while kicking tyres earlier that day.. Said I was asking too high a price. Decided to take it anyway

GIVE ME ONE MORE RIDE
Desire before the fall… desire after the fall.

THE PATSY
Someone who takes the fall when a plan or conspiracy comes unstuck. He’s the bloke (or lady) up front who is left hanging in the breeze after the focus groups have run off like deer in the forest. Was Charles the 1st truly guilty of treason? Was Lee Harvey Oswald the only shooter? Did Fraser’s henchmen set up Billy McMahon? Or what about Kristina Kenneally? Now there was a lamb to the slaughter. Sometimes the patsy is willingly duped.. because he is a greater victim of his own vanity than the frailty of those who plot around him.

 

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