Miller was one of my heroes, and while it's impossible for me to pick out just one of his records, this one's always been near the top of the Miller pile for me. A month ago I would have agreed with everything you wrote above, and now I just don't know. All the things I used to hear in those lyrics--acknowledging the thought processes surrounding all that pain without succumbing to them--I now hear in a different and more sorrowful context. "Way Too Helpful" from Days for Days is just brutal to listen to now. You've obviously thought a lot about Miller's work as well; I just wondered what you thought. I guess I'm looking for a way to get back to the way it used to seem, which, as Interbabe Concern itself suggests, is a fool's errand.
And I forgot about it for a while, but I did have something to say; I dunno if Anonymous will end up seeing this or not, but this was what I replied:
Y'know what I've been listening to repeatedly since he died? "Ballet Hetero," off Tape of Only Linda. Weird choice, not that I consciously chose it. And I think I know what you're talking about, because that weird allusive run that makes up the last words before that thundering fuzz and guitar reprise closes out the album...
The little deuce coupe
The fox on the run
The fugue state aphasia
The ego dismantled
The kiss in the fourth grade
The sex in the bathroom
The theme varied slightly
The four-county crackdown
The Heisenberg threshold
The virgin conception
...just seems impossibly sad, now; a microcosm of the end of the world, as the light goes iron-colored and the planet stops turning. It hurts like a half-scabbed road rash, which I can't quit picking at.
Same thing with "It weighs on us now, precious and overgrown / And we've lost our old skill at being left on our own," which maybe sums up the whole business, now that I think about it.
Anyway. I'm sad he's gone, too, and it has changed some of the music. It probably always does, but it's worse with Miller because of that talent he had of getting inside your head, right?