Dusted Features

Going Where, You Say? by Stewart Voegtlin

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Features

Stewart Voegtlin knows where we're headed, and what we need from 2004 to get there.

Going Where, You Say? by Stewart Voegtlin

Right off a Goddamn cliff, that’s where. Though unrest – and the uncertainty it germinates – has an interesting way of juicing sound from all available musical fruit. Yet, besides having the obvious misfortune of enduring another term of W., I feel sort of cheated by the lack of ‘protest’ music out there. What’s there is tamer than a de-balled tomcat, and what isn’t is likely locked in some suburban garage somewhere, smoked out with generic cigarettes and drowned in cost-cutter beer. Shouldn’t musicians be committing some sort of sonic seppuku onstage, on LPs, CDs, and/or on the Whitehouse lawn? Instead, there’s Sheryl Crow, Bono and Springsteen? I suppose this is what might be called ‘populist,’ but with a Rovean spin-machine so adept at Orwellian reconfiguring (up is down; bad is good; etc), the ‘populist’ is the fascist, or the liberal, or the elite – or some amalgam of the aforementioned – so what’s the point? Is the pervasive idea to find your raison d’être? Guess it’s misplaced as easily as the car keys, ’cause I don’t see any sort of cohesion, other than the educated vitriol propagated by bloggers Kos, Josh Marshall, or Chris Bowers (all excellent reads, by the way).

But, wrapping your head around the blogosphere ultimately only brings the despair (remember those early exit polls?). So, you do what you do when you want to forget, bury, or numb: read, listen, and/or poison. As Smokey Duke sez: Good times, great oldies. Here’s to amnesia; here’s to rotting skull hangovers. Here’s to wake-‘n’-bake forgetfulness, and all to few of those states that went Blue.

Some LPs, some CDs:

No-Neck Blues BandParallel Easters (Sound @ One)
Tom CarterGlyph (Wholly Other), and Monument (Kranky)
Glenn KotcheNext (Quakebasket)
FenneszVenice (Touch)
Double LeopardsLive in Brighton, Winter 2004 (self-released CD-R)
CorruptedSe Hace Por Los Suenos Asesinos (HG; Japan)
Taurpis Tula1976 (Tour only CD-R release)
Panda BearYoung Prayer (Paw Tracks)
Animal CollectiveSung Tongs (Paw Tracks)
Sunn O))) White 2 (Southern Lord)
Gang Gang DanceGang Gang Dance (Fusetron LP)
Wolf EyesBurned Mind (Sub Pop)
Wilson & HeathThe Royal Scam (self-released CD-R)
Dark ThroneSardonic Wrath (Moonfog/The End)

Some Reissues:
Prick DecayGo Go Gamelan (Pink skulls #11 CD-R)
ExtraditionHush (Shadoks Music)
Jun KamikuboNothingness (Shadoks Music)
Speed, Glue & Shinki Self-titled (Shadoks Music)
BeheritDrawing Down the Moon (Spinefarm)

Some words about some LPs, CDs, and CD-Rs: (all listed musos are boldface’d):
Panda Bear’s Young Prayer is hands down the most beautiful and ethereal listen of 2004 (even if recorded in 2002). It’s odd that a record so infused with a nearly palpable sadness can be so hopeful and inspiring. Young Prayer also out animals the Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs, which, while not as interesting or diverse as earlier efforts, still sates. And seeing the Animal Collective live for the first time reassured me that music was only getting weirder, and all for the better. Amazing interplay, amazingly original and powerful, Messrs Tare, Bear, Deacon and Geologist have their mitts in some crafty shit, if only they’d let others near the reservoir.

Atlanta mutants suburban Wilson & Heath provided the most entertainment this past year, whether it was via disturbing on-stage word-association, burning mounds of dog hair, crackly lo-fidelity Japanese knock-off electric guitar feedback, or an a capella version of the Doobie Brothers’ “Old Black Water” whilst embracing, petting, and kissing unsuspecting audience members. The recorded Wilson & Heath (The Royal Scam self-released CD-R) is a more singular affair, showcasing the duo as a fusion’d plating of Perdition Plastics era Kevin Drumm and the Rainbow Electronics swab of Domo Masami Akita. Great stuff.

Taurpis Tula (Heather Leigh Murray and the WIRE’s David Keenan), Double Leopards, and Sunn O))) weigh 2004’s collection plate down with some mastadonic sonics. These three ensembles have more in common that one might think: I wonder what Heather could/would do with O’Malley’s Gibson? I wonder what Marcia would do if Chris and Jon were swapped for Greg and Rex? I wonder what Keenan would do with Attila Csihar’s macabre glossoalia? Ah, and the segue-way is provided: Significantly, 2004 marked my return to the Metal, Black: Burzum’s first (Burzum/Aske), third (Hvis Lyset Tar Oss), and fourth (Filosofem). All of these are remarkably focused, and potent records; all bring the gooseflesh and get me reading Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, and Twilight of the Idols again. And all of these are fetching more than $50 ea. on eBay.

And the list has only begun: There’s Bathory’s first two: Bathory and The Return (RIP Quorthon); Hellhammer’s Satanic Rites, Apocalyptic Raids and Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion (Hail Tom Warrior). Tons of others, too: CarcassSymphonies of Sickness (not “Black Metal’ per se, but intense shit, nonetheless), Beherit’s Drawing Down The Moon, Dark Throne’s early A Blaze in the Northern Sky and 2004’s Sardonic Wrath, Gorgoroth’s Pentagram, and Mayhem’s classic De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. All of which are great – if not excellent listens. Yet, the Black Metal brethren didn’t take too warmly to Dark Throne’s latest, Sardonic Wrath. The consensus seems to be that it’s too monotonous, too Discharge, too G.B.H. Huh, I love Discharge and G.B.H. Hail Colin.

Doom metal found its way back, too, with Thergothon’s Stream from the Heavens and Fhtagn-Nagh Yog-Sothoth. Thergothon, sadly obscure and unsung, is gorgeous funerary doom metal, with preternaturally low-end vocals, enigmatic keyboard/organ washes, and pulsing, droning guitar work. Someone please reissue these LPs? Southern Lord(s), are you reading this?

Closing out the babble are a gaggle of boots (Sabbath’s Behind the Wall of Spock, Tim Barnes & Chris Corsano Duo, some Khanate – live in Oslo, live in Stockholm; some ASVA [brilliantly benign conflation of Melvins, Coil and La Monte Young!]), some listenin’ easy (Arvo Part’s Tabula Rasa, Morton Feldman’s For Philip Guston, and the near entirety of Antonio Carlos Jobim [thanks Mr. Photon]), some used paperbacks (Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian; Lowry’s Under the Volcano, and the aforementioned Nietzsche), some e-mails (all the good ones came from Dylan Nyoukis), and a lot of liquids (Wild Turkey 101, Jameson, Laphroaig, Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Guinness Stout, Schlitz and Colt 45. tallboys.) Cheers, everyone.

By Stewart Voegtlin

Read More

View all articles by Stewart Voegtlin

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.