Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Hot Seat", About To Choke, 1996, Capitol Records

This song, from Vic's 1996 major label debut, got a lot of press at the time of Vic's recent hospitalization, specifically because of the lyric referring to being in a coma. It is, however ironic, a good representation of Vic's ability to musically highlight issues in his life.

The album, which was produced by Bob Mould (from Hüsker Dü), was supposedly Vic's big breakout. It had slick production, a strong marketing campaign and allowed Vic to be heard by a larger audience than his previous, grassroots releases. Titled very 'tongue in cheekily' by Vic, who predicted that the album would fail, or that he would 'choke', it is home to many 'fan favorites.' All of Vic's predominate themes are on the album, including the theme of death..his usual staple.

"Some of this record is a bit obsessed with the premise that through death life is nourished," Vic said, in a press release for the album. "Like when you throw a dead fish next to a plant it grows better." Vic goes on to insist that his work is purely fiction. That said, 'Hot Seat' confront a near death experience with such honesty and candor, that it's hard to believe his statement.

Lyrically, 'Hot Seat' is a relaying an events in which left Vic in a coma, after a drug binge. It's sort of a song to himself, where he's milling the fact that, regardless of his steadfastness, and focus, he will falter...again, to the temptation of addiction. His directness is one of the things that made Vic's writing so desirable to me. I applaud the honesty that he poured out, and his ability to put taboo subjects at the forefront of his writing. That's what I am gonna miss most, I think.

"I didn't want to think that all of my songs deal with this, " Vic continued, in reference to the themes of the album. "But I swing the stick and these are the things that I hit. I reached into my grab bag at the fair and these are the ones that popped out. I'm just trying to do some sleight of hand here, baby. It has some I Ching logic to it."

Further reading:


Ventolin and Vivarin and primatine
secret tequila shots and a patch of morphine
in the morning and in the throes
what a great day to come out of a coma
I've been in the hot seat sweating it out
oh sweating it out
sweating it out
sweating it out

I touch the telephone it falls away
I think they call it empathy
but not this way
I put my lips on the sound hole
my tongue is finally warming
but my brain is charcoal

I've been in the hot seat sweating it out
oh sweating it outsweating it out
sweating it out
not much later, fall out of favor
pretty soon
I know I'll do precisely what I wanted not to do
maybe I slipped up and learned a lesson
to work my proclivity
towards second guessing
I was too naive and enthusiastic
to keep my trap shut
and my monkey in a motherfuckin' basket

I've been in the hot seat sweating it out
oh sweating it out
sweating it out
sweating it out

1 comment:

  1. "My procilivity towards second guessing" That seems to be my own motto. What a writer.