Posts from October 2001

30
Oct 01

Freaky Trigger

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Freaky Trigger updates! — wahey, took me long enough. But you can and should take great pleasure in Anthony Easton making his bow for us with a review of Bran Van 3000’s new album, and a darn good CD it seems to be. Our belov’d leader Tom contributes deep thoughts about vocals, I contribute ill-mannered ravings about lyrics. And thus is the pop discourse again revived.

29
Oct 01

STAIND — “It’s Been Awhile”

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STAIND — “It’s Been Awhile”

Rock bands (the epitome of masculinity, some might say) getting weepy and sensitive (in other words, feminine) sells a lot of records. It’s crass, it’s sappy, and it’s often insufferable. But, then, there are those moments, when you’re vulnerable, and the lead singer from, say, Staind is working up a semi-convincing head of self-loathing steam, and then he says IT:

‘It’s been awhile, but I can still remember just the way you taste’

And I realize that it’s 4 o’clock in the morning, and I’m wallowing in some sort of romanticized stupor, thinking about Love and Happiness and Being With Someone, and I’m getting all sigh-ridden and mopey about the entire love business, the good AND the bad (because, of course, when you don’t have it, you begin to appreciate it, even the nasty bits, which help in making the good bits even better, of course). It’s 4 o’clock in the morning, and I am awed and stunned by this song, and I’m about one good blast of distortion away from getting something in my eye. That doesn’t happen, though — the song just circles in on itself, like a sad old dog chasing its tail, happy to just dwell on what’s gone and what’s out of reach. And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass of what was everything. So this is how it feels to be free.

It snaps me back to intimate moments, where I remember that taste, and I smile sadly, because I never realized that I could miss that taste until now. And I’ll try going to sleep, and not think about that sensation, and the warmth and closeness and tenderness, and maybe I wake up tomorrow feeling better about everything.

All because of a few stupid words.

27
Oct 01

EMPEROR – “Thus Spake the Nightspirit”

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EMPEROR – “Thus Spake the Nightspirit”

Really, if primitive garage sludge is all that interests you, just spike your hair and spray-paint me an anarchy symbol. Those who complain about black metal becoming pomp and pageantry are complaining about it becoming metal and is “Nightspirit, nightspirit, embrace my soul” really that much cheesier than “We knocked on the doors of hell’s darkest chamber?” No one has yet explained to me why songs about imaginative fantasy are worse than songs about sodomizing fiteen-year-olds or smashing the state (which is an imaginative fantasy of its own, I suppose).

So the opening chords surge inwards like spear attacks. Then drums clatter and a cackle begins. Synths hover, screaming doom, as guitars dance toward and away from climaxes terrified of the evil they suggest, before exhaustion of a sort is attained and a fearful incantation is intoned. And I’m all for the straightforward and brutal as much as the next guy but, come now, after a point, straightforward and brutal and unpretentious is just, well, straightforward and brutal and unpretentious. Like life, you know. Four minutes of fantasy and terror never hurt me before and I don’t ask more from my metal.

At last!

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At last! Thousand reaches its end! More of a whimper than a bang, but at least I finished it.

I am now pretty determined

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I am now pretty determined that I’m going to finish Thousand today. Wooo! This instalment is considerably better than the one that went up earlier this morning. I have about twenty songs to go. Keep your eyes peeled.

A particularly feeble

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A particularly feeble penpenultimate instalment of Thousand: I wouldn’t bother reading it.

26
Oct 01

Thousand

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Thousand: this morning’s update.

25
Oct 01

KENNA

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KENNA – “Hellbent”

It’s a very simple song, alternating between dreamy, ambient verses and chunky, 12/8-driven refrains, along with a simple 303 bridge. Doesn’t sound like mush to describe it, but Kenna appears to be one of those rare songwriters who knows that simplicity can be more powerful than complexity. Of special note is the singing; it isn’t that Kenna has an amazing voice (he doesn’t) as much as it is that he harmonizes with himself in a wildly appealing manner. Yes, the song is another expression of alienation and loss of control in the lucid-Radiohead vein, but I can’t fault a mildly derivative message when the overall package is so tailor-made for my tastes. At the very least, it’s light-years more interesting than The Strokes.

Rebellious Jukebox

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Rebellious Jukebox: Jess Harvell, ILE gigolo and Arthur Russell fan, has restarted his music blog. Will Oldham, Nick Cave, John Coltrane – check it out. While we’re at it – no, I don’t know when ILM and ILE will be back. I don’t know why they’re down, either. We’ll have to wait and see.

24
Oct 01

It looks like the end of

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It looks like the end of A Thousand Songs is nigh (certainly it is if I keep doing two updates a day!). But I should mention that due to extra downloading since the experiment started back in January I actually have 1,053 songs to listen to before I reach the alphabetical end. So there are 85 to go, not 32, i.e. about 3-4 updates. I have to get them done by the end of October, though, because I’ve rather foolishly promised to spend November writing a novel.