Say what you will about the Warehouse, but when that "free" disc comes in the mail, I feel like a kid at Hanukkah. This year was no exception, and, in my opinion, surpassed recent offerings. Between you and me, there's only one song that I skip, which will remain nameless. Get it? Seriously, though, I'm thrilled to have a good live version of "Snow Outside," as this has turned out to be my favorite track off of "Away From The World." But the real stunners of this CD are "The Dreaming Tree," "Typical Situation," "Recently," "Sugar Will," and "Kill The King." The last two, especially, are enough to keep any "no hits, just deep tracks" fan happy.
Part of what's so exciting about the inclusion of "Sugar Will" and "Kill The King," is the fact that summer is coming, and this could be a foreshadow of what's to come! This would be a real treat since "Sugar Will" hasn't been played consistently since 2004, and not at all since 2010. And besides a single, mind-blowing appearance of "Kill The King" in 2011, fans haven't been blessed with that beauty since 2006. All in all that song has only seen the stage 8 times. But it isn't just the rarity of these songs that make them so unique. The songs themselves are gems in their own right.
"Sugar Will," reminds me of something that could have been played by the Grateful Dead, and not just because the name is a little similar to "Sugar Magnolia." It has a slow-ish, steady, way about it that makes every cell in your body relax. And of course the lyrics, "Sugar ain't poison, but sugar will kill me. Too much of a good thing, maybe not so good," can be applied to anything from sugar itself to...well, anything short of love. Because, remember, you can't get too much of that. "Sugar Will" also takes us back to the days where Leroi's solid sounds dominated the horns section. Plus, there's a funky guitar portion where Stefan, who was just nominated as one of the top 10 rock bassists, tears the house down.
In a way, "Sugar Will" and "Kill The King" are musical opposites, despite the fact that neither have set lyrics. Where "Sugar Will" showcases each musician on his own, "Kill The King," features one of those DMB exclusives where the whole band just merges into one jaw-droppings story. And, if "Sugar Will" warns against the dangers of obsessive "love," "Kill The King," speaks to real love; the kind where someone's laugh or smile fills another with strength, inspiration, and a belief in himself that far surpasses what he thinks of himself on his own. Therein lies the difference between true, healthy love and codependence. The first actually raises your sense of empowerment and makes you feel better about yourself, where the latter leaves you feeling like a strung-out junkie.
Whether or not this summer will see live performances of these rare, and possibly opposing, dishes remains to be seen. In the meantime, we have Warehouse 10 to listen to, and that is sweet as a little red bird.