Black (Midi) Country, New Road

i

i like my vocalists to sound like they’re standing on a windowsill yelling at a police negotiator

bestfullyy – YouTube

So do I.

Also, I like it when they shout things like this about Instagram:

I move through the tanned bikini bodies of the girls I knew from secondary school who exist now to me only as ornaments mounted on the inner wall of my skull as I scroll, and disappear the moment I log off my i-phone.

A chaotic ensemble of music riding a torrent of upset amusing ideas that rise up and up on a relentless wave of anxiety punctured by gear shifts down exhilarating and uneasy alleyways.

I’m more than adequate

Leave Kanye out of it

Black Country, New Road are my new favourite band.  They’re like Black Midi but better somehow.  This is the new thing for me.  The logical extension of post-punk into a more discordant, less coherent sound.  A social media sound.  A sound like a social media feed where tragedy, joy and cuteness are a tender forefinger stroke across a glassy screen, a scroll though jazz, metal and funk with a scatterling of sort of related phrases and shrieks.

Why do we make a fetish of change?  Due to it suiting consumerism we have made everything else, all things, all beings, feel that they must adjust to the idea that it too must change.  Do we not die?  Are we not born?  Is not life still a confusing  and slippery fish?  Change human.  Change God.  Change mollusc.  Ancient ecology of the swamp: how can you be on trend for the apocalypse?

The music that Black Midi and Black Country, New Road make is not pleasurable really.  Obviously everything is meaningless, everything is obviously meaningless, and absurd, and that can be helluva funny (lol), but also angry, confused, upset.  Sad?  Not really.

Sad makes sense.

So the music is all the things at once without being sad.

You may have noticed that the author is writing a post that reflects the music and life he is talking about.  You may notice how he talks in the third person.  This is both clever and a tactic; a way to deal with things that are simply absurd.  Like how advertising and social media tell you about desire and life, but life and desire seem to be dying on the vine.

How you suddenly want to read Juvenal and Old Testament prophets (the unpopular ones) again.

Or how you feel like Cassandra.

ii

I like metal.  It’s so anti.  Most music is very positive; very “my emotions fit into society and will be accepted”.  Boring.  And: why fit into society?

Not all metal.  80% is dull: musically or lyrically (or both).  But the best is boss.  When I need to understand what the universe is really like I go to the band Sumac, the album What One Becomes, the song Image of Control, and I listen to that.  That is what the universe is.  On one level at least.  A discordant battery.  And how much do I love that the first track on their next album is over 20 minutes long?  Answer: I love it a lot.  It’s music.  It’s as long or short as it is.

In alternative reality one I am the bass player in Fela Kuti’s band in the 70s.  In alternative reality two I am the drummer in something like Whores.  How much do I respect John Bonham for crossing James Brown riffs into Led Zepplin? More that I can articulate here.  It’s the precise crossover that Rage Against the Machine understood.  Funk into metal.

Sumac have time though.  20 minutes is a long time.  In 20 minutes we can muster a lumbering beat and ringing chords.

*

I went to therapy Monday.  I remembered that part of me wants to “burn it all down”.  Let’s hit the wrong chord.  Let’s dance on the off beat.  Let’s pull the pillars down on our shorn heads.

*

Bibliography

Published by

John-Paul

I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s