Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Jellyfish - "I Wanna Stay Home"

Jellyfish, mentioned here several times but never fully explained, are a mostly obscure California band who made two wonderful albums in the early '90s and then broke up.

Their first album, 1990's Bellybutton, sounded like Cheap Trick with Beach Boys instrumentation. It was immaculately written, performed, and produced and even gained some MTV exposure for the songs That Is Why and The King Is Half-Undressed. In 1993 they put out a second album, Spilt Milk, and it was weirder and more complex. It was like making the jump from Rubber Soul to Magical Mystery Tour in one album. The band added more influences, specifically Queen, and it is a beautiful record.

This song, I Wanna Stay Home, is a reflective tune, with acoustic strumming, subdued trumpet, and soaring harmonies. Lyrically, the title says it. While listening in the car today, the song really struck a chord with me. It got me thinking: To be truly happy with your home (both actual structure and city) is no small thing. People who have these things and are really happy with them tend to take them for granted, but not everyone is so lucky.

As my summer break from school has started I find myself spending more and more time in my apartment. And yes there are times I just need to get out, but for the most part, I love being there. I've always been like that. Sometimes, when I'm away, I think about being back, sitting in my recliner and reading as the sunlight pours in, or laying on the couch watching a good movie.

It's the same when I take a trip out of town. Mostly I just think about how glad I'll be to get back home.

It's not a new idea. Judy Garland said it best at the end of the Wizard Of Oz, and Diana Ross reiterated it in The Wiz with Home. Jellyfish are somewhat more cryptic. The narrator seems to miss a place he used to call home and is now looking for "the place I can take a walk on my blind side." He goes on: "When these memories fade / In my ripe old age / Please remember my dear / I wanna stay home." He's telling us to hold on to a place where we feel comfortable, and where we actually want to be.

It sounds simple, but the best advice always does.

Album: Bellybutton (1990)
Fave Moment: The middle eight; like all great bridges it's a completely different hook and, as a melody, could really have its own song.

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