Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV

Today is the 9th anniversary of probably my favorite record ever, Coheed & Cambria's Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. I thought I'd write a little thing to commemorate the occasion.

Despite being a big fan of the early 2000's post hardcore, especially Thursday, Coheed and Cambria wasn't really a part of my musical landscape. I sort of remember seeing part of the video for A Favor House Atlantic and thinking I should probably check out that band with the weird name.  So, after a few times of browsing the record store and stopping to look at the album with the impossibly long title and the big red IV on the cover I decided to bring it home with me.  I was immediately hooked
from the opening strings of Keeping the Blade.

The music on this album was unlike anything I'd heard before, it was heavy, complex, angry, and catchy as hell or as a friend described it "pop music from another dimension." Plus, The Willing Wells were in an entirely different league than any music I was listening to at the time. I had been a fan of 70's prog, but the way Coheed seemed to incorporate those styles into their songs just blew me away and then they'd follow an extremely proggy passage with a chorus that was so catchy it wouldn't leave my head. Good Apollo became a constant companion of mine. I was going to grad school in a town an hour away and student teaching at a school almost 90 minutes away. I spent a lot of time in the car. A lot, and Good Apollo was there for it all.

I graduated in May and was hired for my first real job in June, Good Apollo was the soundtrack. I married my awesome wife in June, Good Apollo was there. She surprised me by having the DJ play
Wake Up at the wedding. We danced and I hoped nobody would notice how dark the lyrics actually are.

At some point during the year I acquired the other Coheed albums available at the time and played the hell out of them too. I also started to noticed that the albums seemed to be telling some crazy story which only added to my appreciation of the band.

That's three major life events, and a fourth would be on the way. In late August my first daughter was born prematurely and had to be transferred to a NICU at an out of town hospital. I probably listened to Good Apollo as I drove from the hospital where my daughter was born hours earlier to the one that would try to keep her alive. When my wife was cleared to leave she joined me and we spent a week at The Ronald McDonald House. I'm pretty sure Good Apollo stayed in the car the whole time. Thankfully our daughter made a quick recovery and we were able to return home.

In October we bought our first house. The transition from college student to adult with a family happened incredibly fast and Good Apollo was the soundtrack. That album always pulls me back to the emotions of those days, new family, new house, new job, it was an insanely awesome and stressful year.

A few years later when money was a bit more plentiful and our daughter was a little older my wife surprised me with tickets to see Coheed and Cambria with Heaven and Hell for my 29th birthday. This really began my wife's love affair for the band and both of us became hooked on seeing the band live. Now we both have Coheed tattoos and we'll be hitting our 15th Coheed show this Tuesday. I'll listen to all the band's albums fairly regularly, but Good Apollo is still my favorite and will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, on it's ninth birthday let's all raise a glass to Coheed and Cambria's Good Apollo Volume 1, put the album on and turn it the hell up.

Watching his tale with the words he unfolds
Conscience and cold, we’d never know
They scream as he laughs off the dust from his eyes
These words will now learn of the dreams in his mind

Could this be that hard for me?
To configure a new love in vain
To my new entity or banish it home to the grave
No one is safe...

With the quickness strike out for the less of us doubt
Mercy of the man who put the pen in our mouth
Word write us well signed, "Forgiveness for sale"
I’m through being full, of all the might you want killed
The fiction will see the real
The answer will question still
In your body to blood as your parents once wept
You will follow their lead one by one, every step

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