Avalon was a hit single, and the title track to Roxy Music's eighth (and latest) formal release. Recorded in 1981-1982, the LP never eclipsed Top 40 on the U.S. music charts; nevertheless, it remains the band's only North American RIAA certified Platinum record over the course of their 39 year (and continuing) existence. Many consider the band to have been a pre-cursor to modern pop; avant-garde electronica (Brian Eno was an original member, so that's basically a given); new wave; post-punk; glam; new romanticism; indie... and on, and on.
Avalon itself, coincidentally, gained an even fresher air of popularity in 2003 with Sophia Coppola's four-time Academy Award nominated Lost In Translation. Bill Murray exhibits a particularly enchanting aura while performing a karaoke rendition of More Than This, another of the LP's hit singles. In what is essentially the film's apex, the elder-Murray attempts to slyly woo his younger, but similarly existentially-exiled companion Scarlett Johansson after a surreal and spontaneous night of bonding in a foreign land. And in that particular moment, the viewer's perspective is lulled away from the memetic age, appearance and linguistic disparities - the dense and often disconcerting foundation of the film.
Yet, if you listen closely to the words, the aural and aesthetic invocations of the scene juxtapose the reality against the fantasy. Although Johannson and Murray manifest a clear empathy and perhaps even romantic bond, they too are bound in separate relationships. And though each of the protagonist's counterparts remain peripheral when not portraying a sheer annoyance, both characters remain respectful of the sanctity of marriage, collusive with that whole gratuitous inability to reach even each other because of the traditional ( Invisible English) cultural/societal/age barricade.
So empathy and human passion succumb to the proverbial wall of self-induced impotence, and the two alienated individuals are recused to further alienation. Why? Oh, just the exact same factors that were the root of their initial alienation.
But it's all illusory. A film. A song...
Indeed. But for many, it is real. A bit like being in an empty theater, trying to explain why you're lonely by showing a movie of yourself singing about HOW THERE'S REALLY FUCKING LITERALLY NOTHING MORE THAN THIS. HOLY SHIT. IT'S LIKE A PERFECT FUCKING CIRCLE OF NOTHINGNESS.
A catch 33 1/3, if you will.
Now, hopefully you are beginning to catch my drift. There is a marked theme in what exactly THIS is. But, what does the purge of jabberwocky insofar have to do with Avalon?
Note: employing literary asides and moving visual accompaniments while addressing a point is fun.
Ah, but Steely Dan already covered that. Will now move on...
THIS, being my Apple & your screen (ooh, how surreal) is Avalon. Indeed, subjectively, the final resting place where King Arthur, I (feel free to substitute the royal we at your leisure... it's all fab to me) Am Here. Atop a mystical hill surrounded by Goddesses... nice.
Take a moment to contemplate a collective vision, cuz' this is where the subjective becomes irrelevant.
Queue this one up again, and watch closely.
Everything is so lush and beautiful. Like, heaven (but it's not, there is no heaven; this is Avalon, just use your imagination)
When one bears witness to an entire scenario; sharply-dressed, astute, admiring the grace of a woman through a rose-colored champagne fog...
Alone, lamenting cruel fate.
What, goddesses are blind? Like... is that why she's dancing alone? Why does the tuxedoed man weep at her beauty?
In A Hard Days Night, a reporter asked George what he called his hairstyle. George replied "Arthur."
Huh? Oh.. yeah..
No one sees everyone; and here is no one and we are dead. There remains nothing to be seen.
*adjusts the screen*
Hello, welcome to the Fourth Dimension.
Should you ever see us, we would be much obliged to dance away the heartache.
Or, to just hold your hand.
Wouldn't it be nice?