"To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegence." - Jean Genet
Saturday, January 12, 2008
For Madeline: Atlas Sound - Children's Hospital
I am going to try and get started with the healing music project but its going to have to be a long-term project due to the amount of responses i received. I'd like to start with this song for Madeline. I first met Madeline at the Pitchfork festival. While we were playing I saw a girl in the crowd holding up a big hand-made sign that read "Bradford, I have a Heart Condition Too, Let's Be Friends." I talked to her later that day and she is a real sweet person.
She wrote to me fort the healing project:
my strange situations have been mostly heart related i suppose.
when i was in seventh grade my mom and i flew up to minnesota to get my first ICD/pacemaker. Not like they couldn't have done it anywhere, but there was a specialist, who was more like a houseplant actually, who my parents wanted to be around when i went under. The first day we got there we had a few stressful meetings with doctors. We got back to our room in the holiday inn or something and i was obviously in a sad state. My mom told me that i could throw a fit if i wanted. And i wanted to. I wanted to badly. She even informed me that i could swear as much as i wanted. I thought that was silly of her to say and all i could do was laugh.
the next semi-related event was probably in march. My mom and dad took me to Manny's Deli and told me that Dr. Webb, my cardiologist, and Dr. Franklin, my electrophysiologist had called. My device had a recall. I know i just sat there and took it. But i've always been so mad at them for telling me in a deli. a place where i couldn't have any assumed reactions because i hate to cry in public. i cant forgive them for telling me in a deli. at least tell me in an empty restaurant. Not a room where someone was having a business lunch discussing facts and figures for the fiscal year.
Well... I can relate...
When I was sixteen I was in a Children's Hospital for months at a time, mostly in ICU after intensive surgeries on my chest, ribcage, and back. It would be very complicated to explain the details of the surgeries but they are related to the Marfan Syndrome from which both my sister and I suffer.... I ended up becoming addicted to hydrocodone as a result of this and it took years to overcome that...
Here is me with a nurse who just so happened to be the mother of this notorious athens garage rock vinyl collector guy i knew who puts on shows and stuff. weird coincidence...
My sister wheels me out to go home... she had this same surgery when she was a child.
Children's Hospital (Screaming in the Face of Death #2)
i was given one ice chip an hour just one ice chip an hour not enough to quench my thirst i thought that my stomach would burst
dad, dad, dad, dad, dad....
give me some relief give me some relief i've had the most horrible dreams i've had the most horrible dreams
dad, dad, dad, dad, dad....
the girl next to me never shuts up she screams and screams and won't shut up she screams all night and won't shut up she screams for her mom, but she won't shut up
dad, dad, dad, dad, dad....
i need some relief, i need some release will you pray for me? will you pray for me?
i was given one ice chip an hour just one ice chip an hour not enough to quench my thirst they were afraid my stomach would burst
and the girl and the girl and the girl and the girl and the girl and the girl and the girl and the girl
screaming in the face of death she was screaming in the face of death screaming at the angel screaming at the angel
we're only children screaming in the face of death screaming in the face of death screaming in the face of death screaming in the face of death screaming in screaming in screaming in screaming in screaming in screaming in
For those of you who might not understand the lyrics, when you get out of icu and regain conciousness you can't just drink and eat normally because it would shock your system. You are literally allowed to suck on ice chips, only like one every hour, you thirst and thirst and beg for more and there's nothing anyone can do. The girl next to me was a really sad situation. She was the daughter of a high profile player for the Atlanta Braves. She contracted E-Coli from a Whitewater amusement park and was in terrible pain and screamed constantly. Her parents had to leave her at night and she just screamed and screamed and I tried to drown it out with my walkman. One day I woke up and her bed was gone and there was no screaming. She had died in the middle of the night. That's how I spent my sixteenth summer. Which might explain why I refer to that age so much on Cryptograms. It was like an invisible summer that never happened. It was also in the hospital that i wrote the first lyrics for "Spring Hall Convert." As I previously wrote about a long time ago on this blog, I was inspired by a picture I had in my backpack in the hospital. The picture was of my best friend Sarah in a hallway at my High School bathed in light from a window in the ceiling. The line "So I woke up..." is about waking up from being in ICU in a coma. The references to radiation were inspired by kids in the same hospital, little kids, being treated for leukemia and cancer. I've always empathized so much with these kids. The song "Quarantined" on the Atlas Sound record is about children living with AIDS. I am kind of fixated on childhood illness. I will always feel like a sickly kid.
This song samples Charlemagne Palestine's"Two Fifths" from the Album "Four Manifestations on Six Elements"
Download it HERE. It is a very theraputic and calming record.