Chemical Sounds (album cover)

Poor Ron Hawkins, no mere mortal has ever had to achieve such absurdly over the top expectations. Even though he’s never let me down before, it may not be possible for any human being to live up to my uber hyped-up anticipation of his upcoming concert. It’s just that it has been so long since I’ve seen him live; it’s just that he’s on my list; it’s just that, well, he’s Ron Hawkins.

You may recollect from a previous post that I was first introducted to RH about thirteen years ago when I first started dating my husband. Back then music made me nervous. What was good? What did I like? Now I see listening to new music a little more like tasting the local brew at an English pub. Diversity is good. Homegrown is good. Not perfect is good. (I’m a believer in flaws; believing in them seems to be a better philosophy than despising yourself for being less than perfect.) So by those standards, Ron Hawkins is a god, although, by those standards we are all pretty much gods. Hmmm. Not sure what to make of that.

Still not convinced? Completely lost? Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. It’s a rather confusing place to live. And for those of you who know me personally, this ought to explain the near-constant befuddled look on my face. I’m going in circles here. I’ll try to focus. Ron Hawkins. Song lyrics. I’ve included some of my favorites below. Hopefully these will clarify what I’ve been unable to say.

The Secret of My Excess (album cover)

from “Butterfly” off of The Secret of My Excess

I’ll give you a secret
that I know you’ll never keep
you give me the killing floor
and I’ll promise not to leap
’cause deep inside our skulls
there is a nest of small cocoons
you’ll wake one night in a cockroach sweat
underneath an insect moon
shakin’ like a butterfly
shakin’ like a butterfly
shakin’ like a butterfly… stuck through
shakin’ like a butterfly
shakin’ like a butterfly
shakin’ like a butterfly… it’s true… so true

Even though it’s downright creepy, I like the image of a butterfly stuck through because I think it explains our fagility and vulnerability as humans. At times each of us acts as though we live in isolation from the rest of the world (in a cocoon), but inevitably our actions have broader implications, whether it be the wife who cheats on her husband or the woman who gets and abortion (as Hawkins explores in the first two verses of the song). And while Hawkins develops this image, he simultaneously suggests that there are two cocoons on the verge of rupture, the second one within each of us that leads to the a tumultuous change of self. Maybe it is more precise to say that the rending of the cocoons in our brains leads to the eruption of events outside our beings. Finally, his choice to represent this figuratively as a butterfly impaled with a pin is interesting because it seems to suggest that the metamorphosis is beautiful but risky too. And all of that from one song. Including his most recent album, he has written 95 of those. Do you begin to understand my obsession now?

In case you are curious, here’s the concert information. Saturday, November 3, The Tralf, doors open at 7 PM, show at 8 PM. Tickets on sale at the door and through Ticketmaster.

Hawkins’ most recent album is called Chemical Sounds and is only available from Victimless Capitalism, though I assume he will also have copies for sale at the show.

Sources: The album covers and song lyrics can all be found on Hawkins’ website.