"We never change our tune, we change ourselves": Poets of the Fall

It's possible that it's just the hipster in me, but I love having a band in my Top 10 that nobody else this side of the Atlantic knows about. It gives me ample opportunity to be the harbinger of good music. It helps a lot when the band you wrap up with a bow and present to people with that "I-have-something-you-will-like" kind of glee... is actually something wonderful. I have probably put Poets of the Fall on every single mix I've made since I discovered them in 2008. I've never found them to be a bitter pill for anyone so far.

Oddly enough, one of my favorite memories about Poets of the Fall includes none other than the German exchange student Christian, mentioned in my last post. It was I who infected him with Poets and it was he who suggested that we celebrate his first American Halloween by dressing as the characters from the (iconic, fabulous and really cool) music video for "Carnival of Rust". I hadn't really dressed up for Halloween in years, but I told him that if he was serious, I would make it happen. In retrospect, that project was the highlight of our acquaintance. Together we tracked down a sandy-colored sport coat for him, and a gas mask for me. He wore slacks and a hat he already owned. I borrowed a dress from my sister, and a large porcelain dolly from my grandma, and made myself an oversized pinwheel lollipop.

Christian expressed some concern that we would not be recognizable. I had already resigned myself to this and didn't mind, but one afternoon a few days before our party debut, I cut out of red and black felt, in Gothic lettering, the letters to spell "Carnival of Rust" and pinned them across the yoke of his jacket. And intimacy, thy name is applying makeup to another person! (Or otherwise using another person's earth-suit as your canvas.) It was with great tenderness and delight that I painted his face white with powder from Hot Topic and black with who-knows-what to crack the mask like porcelain.
And thanks to whoever took this picture. It's somehow the only one I have of that night.
At the themed milonga we walked before the judges for the costume contest, competing for best duo, and Christian now told me he was afraid we would be passed over: "They will think we are too creepy!" By this, I think, he may have meant "too obscure a reference", but lo, the first prize went to "Those two, whatever they are." Never a prouder moment that year. We took our spoils (a bottle of wine and a big bag of peanut M&M's) back to his house and consumed them according to our appetites (wine for one, candy for both) and talked about linguistics and philosophy and language barriers. Some of my favorite topics, apart from music.

This would have been a postlude to what I thought of as our friendship. What a way to make a last stand!

At another party we attended, Christian got so tired of being asked to explain his costume (which did seem to disturb the slightly buzzed state university students in their ironic half-costumes and skimpy princess outfits), that he took to simply saying "I'm a creep!" I think, this time, he may have meant "I'm an eerie living fortune-telling mannequin from a steampunk music video by an amazing Finnish rock band- you wouldn't understand." I myself never minded being an obscure reference for Halloween. The truth is, in those times of trying to fit into social circles where I didn't really belong, I wouldn't have been any more identifiable if I'd simply gone as myself.

Thank goodness for the lessons we learn from times like that. :)

I've shed a lot of who and what I thought I was during that period of my life, but the Poets of the Fall remain with me. They are my underdog band, the band with a devoted hometown crowd in their Scandinavian sector, the band with a handful of loving constituents here in on American soil. This is the band for whom I'm Jenny Appleseed, planting bits here and there, waiting for a legion of fans to grow (and a North American tour to be announced). If I had the cash I'd just go to them and hold the proverbial poster proclaiming my love in miles traveled. I listen to the Poets of the Fall because they are unique and uplifting, and I listen to them often.

The Spotify list is called "We Never Change Our Tune".

For Your Playlist: Side A
1. "Lift" from Signs of Life
2. "Carnival of Rust" from Carnival of Rust
3. "Dreaming Wide Awake" from Twilight Theatre
4. "Sorry Go 'Round" from Carnival of Rust

For Your Playlist: Side B
1. "Cradled in Love" from Temple of Thought
2. "The Ultimate Fling (The Director's Cut)" from Revolution Roulette
3. "Don't Mess With Me" (live) from the Carnival of Rust EP
4. "The Beautiful Ones" from the Lift EP

You can't listen to much of them on Spotify. As such, only half of these songs were in my original Poets of the Fall sampler list, but the ones filling the gaps are still pretty good, especially the live version of "Don't Mess With Me". PotF have 5 albums to date and they're each worth every cent, in my opinion. It's really hard to pick a favorite. They are all clearly the same band but each has kind of its own nuance, like a set of siblings that strongly resemble each other but are not quite twins:
Photo by Tami Webb
By the way, one of these is my wonderful Prince Genuine, and yes, I introduced him to Poets of the Fall too, and yes, he also likes them a lot. His favorite song is "Lift" which was kind of what I was hoping. :)

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