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Under The Milky Way Tonight
07-25-2015, 08:00 PM #1
Ruby Wolf Member
Posts:10,142 Threads:719 Joined:Oct 2012

"Wish i knew what you were looking for Might have known what you would find"

07-25-2015, 08:14 PM #2
Ruby Wolf Member
Posts:10,142 Threads:719 Joined:Oct 2012
07-26-2015, 02:26 AM #3
Ruby Wolf Member
Posts:10,142 Threads:719 Joined:Oct 2012
Quote: The Heavenly Reverberations of the Church's "Under the Milky Way"

The year 1988, when the album was released, is just far enough back that the world was quite different than it is today. The Internet was still in its infancy, with the first major computer virus appearing, and the first commercial email provider being launched. Prozac also made its debut in 1988. The first George Bush was elected president of the US that year, taking over from Ronald Reagan.

Popular music at that time consisted of a lot of slick dance pop from George Michael, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Whitney Houston. Mixed in was the last gasp of hair metal bands like Whitesnake and Poison before grunge would help wipe that genre out. Guns n’ Roses were riding high and the Church’s Australian compatriots INXS were everywhere with “Need You Tonight”, “Devil Inside” and “New Sensation”.

Into this musical climate came “Under the Milky Way”, a moody, jangly song that didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the pop chart. The closest contemporaries in sound were R.E.M. and the local “paisley underground” scene of Los Angeles, which included bands like The Bangles and Rain Parade.

The largely acoustic “Milky Way” stands out on the mostly electric Starfish. The chord structure is questioning, dark, and mysterious – evocative of its starry night title. Lyrically, it’s somewhat disconnected and ambiguous. It’s not a straight narrative. Rather, we’re left to color in the details.

I’ve read various interpretations of the meaning behind the lyrics – from it being a reference to Amsterdam’s Melkweg (translated as “Milky Way”) music venue (due to an erroneous press release issued with the song) and even to it being an account of a sexual encounter in Memphis, Tennessee. I think we can safely assume that the Memphis in the song most likely refers to the original Memphis in ancient Egypt, an interest of history and occult buff Kilbey.

“Milky Way” nicely links with the immediately preceding song on the album, “Destination”, with the use of that word in the lyric “It leads you here despite your destination / Under the Milky Way tonight”. Another nice touch is the placement of the shimmering synthesizer that comes in immediately preceding and foreshadowing the line “something shimmering and white.”

The words that really make the song, though, are “Wish I knew what you were looking for / Might have known what you would find.” The first part of the phrase is recycled from a previously unreleased earlier song called “Anna Miranda” where he just sings “wish I knew what you were looking for”, and we’re in the dark as much as he is.

On “Milky Way”, he adds the line “might have known what you would find”, making it a whole other thing and totally changing the effect. Now he’s clued in, but we’re still not. Will he reveal more? We want to keep listening to discover what was found. Can we read between the lines of the rest of the song to discover for ourselves what she found? We’re left with the impression that it’s something dark.

Besides the engaging lyrics, the song is unusual for its left field “bagpipe” solo. In actuality, the instrument is not a bagpipe, but an electromagnetic device called an ebow used on a guitar and recorded through a synclavier synthesizer.

07-26-2015, 04:31 AM #4
Octo Mother Superior
Posts:41,281 Threads:1,556 Joined:Feb 2011
I have to say I really enjoy being out of the way of light pollution to really see the Milky Way.

Didn't listen to the music, I never do.
07-26-2015, 04:52 PM #5
UniqueStranger Art in my heart
Posts:14,995 Threads:444 Joined:Jun 2012
Hey Octo...thumbsup.gif I haven't seen the milky way in so long. Hopefully soon we will can retire and have a complete lifestyle change and get out of the bright lights of cities.

07-28-2015, 05:34 AM #6
Nomadic wanderer. Member
Posts:58 Threads:7 Joined:Jul 2015
(07-25-2015, 08:00 PM)WykdWych Wrote:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Milky_Way

"Wish i knew what you were looking for Might have known what you would find"



what a great song by a great band!

brings back memories of days of yore.
07-28-2015, 06:00 AM #7
Nomadic wanderer. Member
Posts:58 Threads:7 Joined:Jul 2015

07-28-2015, 07:09 PM #8
Accidental Stoner Member
Posts:8,647 Threads:79 Joined:Feb 2011
Spotted the first two stars yesterday.

Night returns to the North.

I kinda like it.




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