Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Mouthful of Cavities" - Blind Melon

Some musicians will always be larger in death than they were in life. Shannon Hoon, the former singer of Blind Melon is one of those icons. Hoon was blessed with amazing vocals, which prior to the band's break, had already caught the ear of Guns N' Roses lead singer, Axl Rose. Blind Melon stumbled on success in the early nineties with their multi-platinum single "No Rain". The video for the single featured the infamous "Bee Girl", and received huge airplay and attention. 

Bee Girl
Every singer or musician has fantasies of playing with their favorite band. Blind Melon made this fantasy a reality for one of their fans, and collaborated on "Mouthful of Cavities". Jena Kraus was a huge Blind Melon fan, and kept showing up at their shows claiming she could sing. The band finally gave the unknown girl a chance and was blown away by her talent. They invited her to sing back up vocals on "Mouthful of Cavities". Her sweet staccato perfectly compliments Hoon's heartbreaking whine.


The late Shannon Hoon
Following in the footsteps of other grunge legends, Hoon over-dosed on drugs and suffered a heart attack in 1995. The remaining members of Blind Melon put together an album called "Nico", in honor of Hoons' baby daughter. Proceeds from the album went to programs that help musicians with drug and alcohol problems.

Blind Melon re-surfaced in 2008 and released a new album "For My Friends", with a new vocalist, Travis Warren. Warren does an amazing job filling in for Hoon and has a set of vocals that bears an uncanny likeness to the deceased vocalist. Shortly after the resurrection of the band - Warren and Blind Melon went their separate ways - citing irreconcilable differences. The band is still looking for a lead singer, but mention that these things take time, as "there are some pretty big shoes to fill."

 
This is a mouthful of cavities literally
In my opinion, "Mouthful of Cavities" appears to be a testament to Hoon's struggle with drug addiction. The term "Mouthful of Cavities" may not be so much a metaphorical reference as it is literal. Many drug addicts have a a variety of dental problems. The combination of chemicals they ingest and lack of personal hygiene cause many addicts to destroy their teeth. He alludes to someone's (or his own) mouth, again later in the song, "See I haven't seen him smile in a little while." The lack of a "smile" is Hoon telling us he's unhappy. In several lines of the song he outlines how strong his addiction is, and "How I’m desperately in need." He's recognizes his weakness and pleads, "please give me a little more." The most tragic part of the song is when Hoon seems to admit he knows that his addiction will kill him, "Cause one of these days, this will die/So will me and so will you.


Mouthful of cavities [Headful of...]

Your soul's a bowl of jokes [My soul's...]
And everyday you remind me [...I remind me]
How I'm desperately in need

See, I got a lot of fiends around
And they're peaking through nothing new
They see you
They see everything you do [And everything...]
See everything on the inside, out [...inside, yeah]

Oh, please give me a little more
And I'll push away those baby blues
Cause one of these days this will die
So will me and so will you

I write a letter to a friend of mine [I got a letter from a friend...]
I tell him how much I used to love watch him smile
See I haven't seen him smile in a little while [And I haven't...]
Haven't seen him smile in a little while [...seen you smile...]
But, I know you're laughing from the inside out [ommitted...

Laughin' from the inside out
I know you're laughing from the inside out
Laughing from the inside

From the inside
From the inside
From the inside
From the inside out

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