Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Fractious, Elegaic Destruction and Redemption While French-Kissing a Light Socket

T shirt link
"Ashes to ashes
 Dust to dust 
 Jesus Christ and Lazarus
 They'd always have faith in the foretold healing.
...
Some buildings are built to be broken
Some buildings appear to be broken

No, I wouldn't have it any other way"-
- link











Must be the band ¡Forward, Russia!    (¡FФЯWДЯD, RUSSIД!)

           (Can I type that online without getting hacked?)


The band's music has been described as "art rock", "contemporary agit-punk", and "high-octane dance-punk".[7][20][21] When Give Me a Wall was released, the band received comparisons with Bloc Party, while the NME described them as sounding "like a peculiarly English take on emo".[20][22] The band's second album was described by Pitchfork Media as "a curious mélange of studied dance-punk and flailing hardcore".[23]

Jon Pareles, reviewing a live performance from 2006 in The New York Times stated "[their] songs aren't content with verse and chorus; they're packed with incident, and they're propelled by the indefatigable drumming of Katie Nicholls. Instruments unite for muscular, danceable funk, then splay apart like a fist suddenly opening."[24]

Woodhead's vocals were described as "post hardcore operatic screeching".[25]


Seattle Weekly:


..dramatic and unique. Driving melodies and math-rock rhythms found throughout drive the musical complexity of the group and the album...

The maelstrom of sound behind vocalist and keyboardist Tom Woodhead isolates the piercing clarity of his voice. When he shoots into falsetto, Only rarely will he allow himself to dip into the frenzy, but when he does the raw desperation is poetic.

Their sound is one thing, fairly easy to understand and enjoy, but the themes are something else entirely.

The lyrics can seem nonsensical and disconnected at times, but when taken in context of the song and album as a whole, are impressive. As a concept album describing the facets of life — from fear to love to hate to confusion to acceptance — "Life Processes" has a literary quality and tries to be exactly as it's named.  link


Ink19:

dramatic and verbose. Religious icons, regret, pitchforks and satellites all somehow find their way onto the album without sounding false, which is saying something after a debut that didn’t even have song titles.  link
Drowned in Sound:


Despite being a cliché of the laziest type, the idea of the ‘difficult’ second album is one that has endured simply because so many bands seem to be unable to avoid falling into its trap. Leeds’ ¡Forward Russia! launched themselves into so many people’s hearts two years ago with Give Me A Wall, an album so tightly coiled that every one of its enigmatic songs seemed to be bursting under the force of its own tension. It was a collection of songs defined by the whip-crack of drummer Katie’s snare and hi-hat, which meant that while it was instantly recognisable as part of the post-DFA dance/punk buzz it stood out enough for it to be a still-stunning work that can justifiably be called of the best debuts of the century so far.

And Life Processes is by no means a sequel; it feels more like the work of an entirely different band.

 ...the lyric “Did you ever study the Israelites? / They made a new life for themselves with such a peculiar change” – is anyone really going to be able to reply in the affirmative? ..

The real gem of the album. ‘Spanish Triangles’ has already been unveiled – all nine minutes of it – but it demonstrates a stunning calmness and fluidity. It builds slowly, powerfully but effortlessly, growing organically into itself. It’s worth noting that ‘Gravity & Heat’, for example, is almost three minutes shorter but feels much longer – ‘Spanish Triangles’ is the real culmination of their work post-…Wall and stands as the impressive, brilliant centrepiece. And ‘Don’t Reinvent What You Don’t Understand’, one of the shortest songs on the album, managed to move from one-two dance-punk to something undeniably epic, helped no end by Whiskas’ chiming guitars that seem air-lifted in direct from Explosions In The Sky’s Those Who Tell The Truth… era. And ‘Some Buildings’ is a three-minute lament stretched gloriously out for almost seven minutes, again given the chance to breath and mutate on its own. It doesn’t cut right to the feet like their earlier material but instead takes up residence in the gut, and by the third time you hear it all doubts will be blown away.  link

Did you ever study the Israelites?
They made a new life for themselves
With such a peculiar change
A key geographic or dietary switch
Could do just the same for us
 
So don't go draw the blinds link


Well, I came late to this band.  They're either broken up or on hiatus (re-emerged in 2013-14 and disappeared again).  So I'll load this  shamelessly clickbaited headline and post with review excerpts hoping to catch a critical mass of folk who will hear, pray and beg the band to at least make their third massive critical album.  Because, as  is said of the  pregnant and potentially prescient second album:

the end result, though diverting, is a slightly uncomfortable mid-point between the two albums. And Life Processes could quite possibly be a transitional album, a first step in a bigger, bolder direction that doesn’t quite let go of Give Me a Wall‘s quirks;

only time will tell.....  link

Where are the bandmembers now? 

The literate singer/lyricist/brainchild ...

The only  walking thesauraus 
(and from the Bono school of stealth-embedding Bible references in lyrics)
 capable of a lyric like.. 


"Choose life/

We all can lean on figures and crutches/

It's such an easy thing to do when you're so unaware/

We all can change our tegument's function/

Replace the outer shell with something more neoteric link

...now runs a  mixing studio , and seems to run the band's active Facebook page.  I hope he is  life is happy and his tegument is neoteric.

 
link
The  drummer  (I hope Rolling Stone has included her in its list of drummers to know (See:
"A
 drummer so badass he makes Keith Moon sound like your mom playing Rock Band. (Ghost of Keith Moon, please don't haunt us).".

She says:

“Working at college is great. I get the same holidays as the teachers, and the kids are so funny. Sometimes I interrupt them when they’re talking about music, and they look at me as if to say, ‘As if you know anything!’”  link
The guitar player (brother to the drummer) is now part of  Duels.

The bass player?  Someone thought this was his Twitter.  I'm not sure it is: but the bio is priceless: "Father. Husband. Guy who poops."

Maybe someday they will Google themselves, 

                  find this post, 
                            and come back for more.

In the meantime, enjoy this Spotify sampler  playlist.
(I  didn't check his  vital Spotify playlists, but I bet Paul Leader already knows about this band )

Some vintage video interviews here.

We are becoming devoted children
And I am becoming like all good children
Yes we are becoming devoted children
We are set in our ways

As God turns away

Then this is a standard of silence
That you can expect to receive
All discontentment reduced and surrendered
Sub-parity
They are bleeding the night
Bleeding the night
Bleeding the night for themselves  link



Monday, May 01, 2017

More from Bono on the psalms

A year ago, Fuller Studio posted the great Bono/Eugene Peterson conversation on the Psalms; it's here.  Of course, at the time, I wondered what gems were left on the cutting room floor.  My prayers were answered a few months later here.

Now, on the anniversary of the film, they have released further interview excerpts with Bono, filmed a bit later.

Here they are below, from this link.

 Tim Neufeld, at this link, posted some power quotes:
Psalm 82 is a good start. [It says] defend the rights of the poor and the orphans. Be fair to the needy and helpless. Rescue them from the power of evil people. See, this isn’t charity, this is justice.

I try to get to the place where the song is singing me.

We [U2] have a hunch that God is not that interested in advertising . . . . It’s art, rather than advertising, that the Creator of the universe is impressed by.

Taylor: One thing you’ve learned about God through your reading of the Psalms. Bono: “He listens.” Taylor: One thing that you’ve learned about yourself through your reading of the Psalms. Bono: “I don’t listen enough.”

I want to argue the case for artists – or potential artists – who might be listening in on our conversation and are not giving expression to what’s really going on in their life because they feel it will give the wrong impression of them. We don’t have to please God in any other way than to be brutally honest; that is the root not only to a relationship with God but the root to a great song . . . .

I think all art is prophetic.

I went finally to Jerusalem… And I went to Golgotha, and I went to the site… where death died. That’s where death died. And so, I don’t really believe in it anymore. It has no power over me as it had when I was 14 years old.





“Where Death Died”



Bono & Mako in New York City (photo: John Harrison)
+ Mako