The Price – Because All Art is about Sex and Death

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fChDI6ZoPw

A few years back while I was wasting time in Cubicle Hell, I was avoiding work the best I could by spending some hours down an Internet rabbit hole. During this particular session, I quickly saw something that said “all human art is either about sex or death”. It’s those little ideas, little titles, little catchphrases, they all stick in my mind somewhere and I put them down in a notebook that consists solely of song fragments that I want to come back to later. And it probably reminded me of the badass movie (in its first half anyway), Cemetery Man, which was originally titled Dellamorte Dellamore (which is Italian for “Of Death, Of Love”.) And on an unrelated note, if you’re still holding on to the ridiculous thought that homosexuality is a choice, then Rupert Everett would have switched immediately after seeing Anna Fulchi naked on the set of that film. I’m just saying. Go ahead and Google it, we’ll still be here when you’re done. 

Or just watch the whole movie on YouTube right here…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-mKJdrFE3U

So, I thought “Sex and Death” would be an excellent name for a song and a cool way to reference a mid-90’s Italian art-horror movie. But at first, it was my usual cynical thought because I thought might find some way to invert a trope about love songs. Like I couldn’t actually write a love song, it had to be ironic in some way. 

 Searching the Googs for the term “sex and death” lead me to an awesome page where they discussed the evolution of reproduction and how physical death is a consequence of sexual reproduction. One-celled organisms don’t age. Barring physical factors, there’s no reason that single-celled organisms can’t live forever. But we became more complex organisms on the way to sexual reproduction (i.e., involving more than one person to procreate. How poetic is that? Death is the cost of love. It’s the price we pay to feel. A great love song would be how you love someone so much that the price is worth it. I, especially, am terrified of death (even though there isn’t a point of being scared of an inevitability, I guess that’s the paradox of emotion. We cannot be Vulcan but God knows I’ve tried.)

So, Sunspot could use a love song because we certainly don’t have a lot. Our topics do deal with relationships a lot of the time, but in a very oblique way and often fairly misogynist. It had been a while since we wrote a real straightforward “love song” and I think it’s because I usually fucking hate love songs. They usually don’t have anything new to say and people sound like they write them because they just want to get laid. And I guess there’s not anything wrong with that, but I’m a particular kind of prude that feels that using music for the express purpose of manipulating people into wanting to have sex with you demeans the art.  

Now that I’m typing that I realize what an asshole I sound like. But there’s something in that feeling that I can’t shake (even though it’s a completely self-defeating idea and it sounds like some sophomoric standard of art vs. commerce (albeit commerce in “sex currency”, which sounds like a totally sweet name for a song.))

I think John Belushi might have put it the most succinctly….

Anyway, getting laid is why 90% of people pick up the guitar in the first place and I know that. But i really felt like to be successful you had to earn it and not in the cheap way (for example, if you’re playing Poison songs to drunk girls at an afterbar, you’re trying to get them to like you in a cheap way. You don’t like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, really… do you?) It’s like the whole cover band thing, I really have nothing against cover bands because I’ve seen some amazing musicians play covers. But I’m not interested in watching people play songs that they’re not invested in, in order to be a live jukebox, I don’t see the art in it. I absolutely see the musicianship in it, but I don’t see the art in it. 

 And I realize how ridiculously arrogant that is, but it’s true. And I know that art is completely subjective and in the end the only thing that matters is the connection that you make between you and your audience and it doesn’t matter how you achieve that connection as long as you do. I get that and I’m coming around. Slowly.

What I’m getting at is that girls were absolutely secondary to the whole process. In my arrogance, I was always interested in ladies that thought of me as an artist and not just a band guy… am I degrading “guys in bands” here? Absolutely I’m degrading guys in bands here. And most love songs just always seemed stupid because there’s no hook, there’s nothing clever, there’s nothing new. And that lack of anything new to say drives me fucking bonkers. I feel like if you can’t do something new then it’s not worth doing and those that do are worthy of my mockery. I’m not claiming that any of these things that I’m saying are smart, I’m just saying exactly what I believe when it comes to art and creation and the stuff that I hear on the radio.

Listen to this and see if you agree with me…

But it’s not my responsibility to worry about what other people write, maybe it is time for an actual Sunspot love song and while I originally thought that “Sex and Death” was a cool name for a track, maybe “The Price” will be less off-putting (and that is something I actually do think about, whether or not something we release will turn people off just from the title.) Anyway, “The Price” is probably a more obnoxious cliché than any other than I could think of and Twisted Sister already brilliantly titled one of their best songs the same thing (from their essential Stay Hungry) and maybe we could pick up some Sister fans along the way who accidentally wandered in. 

 So, back to the themes of the song, if death is the price of sex, then what aspects about sex make it worth paying that price? What kind of song could say that? Mortality is a massive bummer and getting a little ass doesn’t really justify it. So, it can’t be just sex, it’s got to be love, because in a love song, love can make anything worthwhile, even fucking dying, so there you go.

If you’re too busy to look the big words up when you listen to the song, then know that “parthogenesis” is a kind of asexual reproduction. “Oxytocin” is the hormone that some scientists call “the bonding hormone” because it’s released when we do intimate things with each other and they believe it gives us the feeling of “love”. Also, Superman II is when Clark Kent gives up his Kryptonian powers to be with Lois Lane, but you should probably know that already if you’re reading this blog article in the first place.

Download the song absolutely free right here!

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Lyrics

Every song, every book, every work, ever made,
since time began,
they’re all about the same things, sex and death,
so let’s go back to

All the single-cells,
who lived primordial,
they didn’t have to multiply,
they didn’t have to age and die.
When we left the ocean,
for sexual reproduction,
the reaper came soon after,
to turn us all into cadavers.

Our brain machines made dopamine,
and split us off in twos,
so without death there would be no love,
without love there’d be no you.
Biology is tragedy, but I don’t think that’s true.
All good things must, all good things must die.

We pay the price for love.
And I would never give you up.

Parthogenesis is just paralysis,
A Darwinian dead-end,
a limitation we could transcend.
Even though someday,
we’ll get old, ugly, and gray.
It’s an easy sacrifice,
it’s a bargain at the price.

Reality is bittersweet,
but there’s no day I’ll rue,
for without death there would be no love,
without love there’d be no you.
Biology is tragedy. I don’t care that we’re doomed.
All good things must, all good things must die.

We pay the price for love.
And I would never give you up.

Maybe it’s the oxytocin talking when I say,
that I refuse to let you go until I pass away.
Who wants to live forever?
Something I’d never choose,
I’ll sacrifice eternity
Just like Superman II.

Our brain machines make dopamine,
and split us off in twos,
so without death there would be no love,
without love there’d be no you.

We die and pay the price for love.
And I would never give you up up.
All things must die and pay the price for love,
And I would never give,
would never give,
would never give,
would never give,
Never give you up.

Our brain machines made dopamine,
and split us off in twos,
but without death there would be no love,
without love there’d be no you.
Without death there would be no love,
without love there’d be no you.

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