Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Song of the Day: 'Waiting Underground' by The Patti Smith Group

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 5:07 PM

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Everything was soaked that morning of the march, and then made clean again. I rifled through my records and pulled out Patti Smith Group's Peace and Noise LP, mostly recorded lean, terse, no tricks. Songs find their way to the listener through a seasoned rock 'n'  roll band whose leader is a minstrel, a teacher rich in myth, magic, danger and grace. I turned to the silenced TV beaming image upon image of women, a sea of energy, impossible. No one could have seen this coming. And I turn up the foreboding "Waiting Underground," the piano in descending chords, the band pushing the tempo, electric guitars banging out grit ... but it's in her voice where you find the power. There by the ridge be a gathering/There we shall await/The beat of your feet/Hammering the earth/Where the great ones tremble/in their snow white shrouds/Waiting underground. The bridge moves up, comes down harder, with the same piano cutting a path to the voice, calling to all who hear it. Short bursts of feedback pushing, charging the song into strength, and it's in the action of each face I see. It is hard to turn away and Patti Smith shouts one more time that we are more than here, appeased, we are alive.


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