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Tianliang Wang Goes to War!

somos's picture
IWM# 331

IWM serial ID: 00331

Late at night, and I see on TV
You saying that you give away CDs
You say you have all my music,
I call and say sign me up quick!
Been waiting months, nothing to show for it.

People playing music in the parking lot.
Blasting hidden tracks from tapes I never got.
This world's mockery
Has laid me waste--I need
The Pantera Panacea that you promised me.

I beg and plead, send catalogs to me.
Can't buy CDs, I should get them for free.
But every day, I sit and wait,
The mailbox is empty.
BMG, you did this to me.

Only boring backbeats on the radio.
All I want is all the songs I used to know.
But there is nothing sent.
Now I see your real intent;
You're laughing as I call and beg again.

Yeah, we'll see.
We'll see who's the last one left laughing.

Now the silence here is deafening.
This vulgar vocal void's destroyed
what my life should mean.
If I had had my music then,
who knows how life would be?
BMG, you did this to me.

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my liner notes

Story Time!!
Okay, there's a story to this one. It makes the song much funnier.
When I was a little kid, every six months or so we would receive music club catalogues in the mail. They were all addressed to the same person: Tianliang Wang. Now, our last name is Wangsgaard, so it's close, but still, "What the heck, right?" We knew of no one by that name, and so usually, we'd just throw them out. But every once-in-a-while, I'd find that one had been placed conspicuously on the counter, as if someone were expecting this Tianliang guy to just show up one day and find it.
They eventually tapered off, and I forgot all about it until several years later, when a friend of mine asked if it still happened. "No," I replied with amused recollection. "Wherever he is, he never got his catalogues." And then suddenly my mind jumped ahead about five steps and determined that, wherever he is, he's probably really pissed at those CD Club companies for never sending his stuff. So pissed, in fact, that he's quite possibly getting ready to blow up BMG headquarters (which I just assumed at the time to be in California.) I reasoned it thusly: I love my music, and I would go crazy without it. This Tianliang Wang guy, wherever he is, sure never got his CDs, and he seemed pretty insistent. His life must be a desperate ruin. I pictured him living somewhere in a dank, dark, cellar-apartment, an old matress on the floor his only furniture, a pull-string bulb his only light-source, and cockroaches his only companions.
And then one day, he snaps. He gets decked out like Rambo and goes postal, exacting his revenge for a life wasted.
That thought sparked the idea for this song.
If there were a music video for this, the last section of the song, which I call Tianliang's War March, would be the part in which he would be seen walking down a palmtree-lined road at dusk, covered in grime, and blood, and sweat, with several massive weapons strapped to his body, and two belts of ammo circling his chest. He looks haggard and spent, but finally vindicated. And behind him, a reddish haze of smoke and fire sears the horizon. It is the echo of his fury, now sated; the a bedlam his vengeance had created; a Hell from which escape only the thundering reports of explosive wrath.
Or something like that.
Maybe someday I'll make that music video. Anyone here reading this is welcome to give it a shot!
Anyway, that's the story. I know not everyone who ever hears the song will get to hear the story behind it, so some of the humor is lost; but you've read it now, and like it or not, it has. now and forever, been burnt into your brain. Enjoy!

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