Recent single "I Wanna Go to Marz" might evoke the cosmic dreaminess of the Carpenters' "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" but it's actually named after the sweet shop in the town of Grant's birth, Buchanan, Michigan, rather than the red planet. Most of its lyrics simply list the sugary treats on offer during his childhood, their names ("Bittersweet strawberry, marshmallow butterscotch") lifted from an old menu he was given by the owner when he made a pilgrimage there a while ago. The album's 70s soft rock sound is deliberate: the period chimed with Grant's first musical memories and a pre-adolescent period of happiness, though he says there was always a "black cloud" hovering overhead. The Guardian
I Wanna go to Marz - John Grant
Yet the yearning to escape appropriates uncanny devices, from alcohol to nefarious combustibles, fast automobiles and matching women to high-stakes poker games and off-shore bank accounts, fictional literature to bespoke jewellery, endless travel to exotic culinary habits. Each of them has the identical object - to seek and to find fulfillment (to develop one's potential). You would think an agenda as varied and as ambiguous as that assures success. But it does not. As in logic of the most elemental arena, the issue is not so much the answer as the question.
I won't pretend to advance either the question or the answer. I am confident we all know what works for us. I certainly do. And I very much doubt that my singularity (if any) is so extraordinary as to limit this especial insight to me. Perhaps the key to unlocking the grid is none other than believing what one sees. Today for example I strode along the shore of the beach to The Resort at Longboat Key Club at the south end of the Island. It's easily a mile from the condominium. I was intent upon going to the rock pier which signals the end before the bridge to Lido Beach and Sarasota. Purposively - and somewhat shyly I confess - I surreptitiously touched the toe of my Croc on the face of the rock as private evidence of my accomplishment. The walk back was less animated. I overcame the creeping inefficiency of age by wading into the sea in front of Beaches and swam the remaining way parallel to the shore, guiding myself underwater by the ridged face of the seafloor easily discerned through the translucent emerald water.
On the beach were sylph-like models of humanity, works of art as punishingly beguiling as they were unimaginably seraphic. Wisps of blond hair thickened by sea water, gossamer creatures by the sea. Was youth really so long ago? Am I mad to presume the invitation of admiration? Did the face turn back to look? to question? to imagine?
Plunging deeper, outward to sea, away from the mixture of sand disturbed by the frothing waves. The azure dome endless to the distant horizon. Swimming below the waves, barely able to see above and beyond. The taste of salt on my lips.
The volumes of sounds, colours and sensations rush toward the narrowing exit, propelled incrementally. I must capture it all! Before one or both of us escapes! The images of silent adoration arise like a Dutch master's painting. We two have ventured where I never expected to go.
I Wanna go to Marz
by John Grant
One two three four...
Bittersweet strawberry marshmallow butterscotch
Polarbear cashew dixieland phosphate chocolate
My tutti frutti special raspberry, leave it to me
Three grace scotch lassie cherry smash lemon free
I wanna go to Marz
Where green rivers flow
And your sweet sixteen is waiting for you after the show
I wanna go to Marz
We'll meet the gold dust twins tonight
You'll get your heart's desire,
I will meet you under the lights
Golden champagne juicy grapefruit lucky monday
High school footall hot fudge buffalo tulip sundae
Almond caramel frappe pineapple rootbeer
Black and white pennyapple Henry Ford sweetheart maple tea