Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wintersongs, Pt. III

Hailing from the gateway to Wisconsin’s North Woods, Justin Vernon made his mark with the seminal Bon Iver release For Emma, Forever Ago. Recorded in solitude in a remote hunting cabin and released to great acclaim in 2007, Vernon followed the release with the gorgeous Blood Bank EP in 2009. Leading off the EP is the eponymous track.

With a photo of a snow-drifted car on the EP’s cover and the song leading off with a wind-blown howl, it’s difficult not to think of winter when the first few notes of Blood Bank hit like a stiff, icy wind. The fourth verse (Then the snow started falling…) depicting getting a car stuck in a snow drift undoubtedly reminds me of driving in the snow and some of the contents carried in the the winter emergency kit in my first car’s spare tire well in case of such emergencies (an old Marine Corps-issued survival blanket, flashlight, German Army surplus folding shovel and a coffee can with a candle, matches and some Power Bars.

(fan-made video, driving I-94 from from MN border to Madison)

Bon Iver – Blood Bank
Well, I met you at the blood bank
We were looking at the bags
Wondering if any of the colors
Matched any of the names we knew on the tags

You said, see look that's yours
Stacked on top with your brother's
See how the resemble one another
Even in their plastic little covers

And I said I know it well
That secret that you know but don't know how to tell
It fucks with your honor and it teases your head
But you know that it's good girl
'Cause its running you with red

Then the snow started falling
We were stuck out in your car
You were rubbing both of my hands
Chewing on a candy bar

You said, ain't this just like the present
To be showing up like this?
As a moon waned to crescent
We started to kiss

And I said I know it well
That secret that we know that we don't know how to tell
I'm in love with your honor, I'm in love with your cheeks
What's that noise up the stairs, babe?
Is that Christmas morning creaks?

And I know it well, I know it well
And I know it well, I know it
And I know it, I know it
And I know it, I know it 

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