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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 016
Sun, Feb 9, 2013
“Between Something and Nothing”
The Ocean Blue
Who remembers The Ocean Blue? 1988’s 120 Minutes darling hailing from Hershey, PA and produced by John Porter, The Ocean Blue were billed as The American Smiths. But in reality, The Ocean Blue and their first single “Between Something and Nothing” have more in common with a Liverpudlian band Echo & The Bunnymen. But The Ocean Blue were more than just students of classic British Indie Rock, singer and principle songwriter David Schelzel was a quite the connoisseur of art. It was Schelzel who said that it was Vincent Van Gogh who inspired the song, “Between Something & Nothing.” Writing about Van Gogh in her article “Vincent in Stitches” art critic’s Allegra Lingo’s description about Van Gogh best describes the lyric promise of The Ocean Blue’s first finest songs, “the line between something and nothing, the point at which the cloak of the blue sky is thrown off, erasing the protective layer between our own small lives and the promise of eternity.”
When asked what “Between Something & Nothing” is about, David Schelzel explained, “It’s not about a person, it’s about encountering art. It’s about death and life and all those things.” Since Van Gogh inspired “Between” I wonder if Schelzel’s love of art and all things Van Gogh inspired not only this song but his band’s name The Ocean Blue?
You can’t hear “Between Something & Nothing” without mentioning Schelzel’s guitar solo like tribute to Echo and The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant. Did you know when Echo lead singer Ian McCulloch first met Will, he told Sergeant, “I am Waiting for the gift of vision.” When you listen “Between” the guitar riffs you hear the spirit of Will’s gift of vision floating in between Schelzel’s glorious riffs.
Although Schelzel and The Ocean Blue, may have failed to crossover into the mainstream, but by swinging for the fences and creating this college radio smash, “Between Something & Nothing;” still inside their miss hit single beats the triumphant glory of their imperfect pop song. “Between” was recorded in 1988 and twenty five years, we’re still talking about The Ocean Blue, David Schelzel is keeping up their promise by echoing memorably close to eternity within the timeless wonder of The Ocean Blue’s “Between Something & Nothing.”