Monday, August 1, 2011

Look to Your Orb for the Warning

As most anyone who writes on one of these blogs could attest (and I figure almost everyone reading one writes one, too), sometimes life steps in and hands you a heavy load that suddenly makes an out of print gem, the newest release or any genre argument seem very, very insignificant very, very suddenly. And typing anything at all about them seems to matter even less.

It's funny, then, that when staring down something that pulls me away from records and writing about them, I still turn to them for comfort.  And not necessarily the mournful Nick Cave/Leonard Cohen/Hank Williams sections of the shelf, either. For some reason, this particular little storm - while no better or no worse than what millions deal with daily - sent me straight to fuzzy headphone epics and I have been immersed in layer after layer of Mastodon and Monster Magnet (it just took too much effort, I guess, to venture outside of the "M"s).

I picked out these two not to listen closely but instead to not listen closely. I had hoped the noise would be a blanket.  And, of course, I got the opposite. And, again, of course, it works all the better.

So I got Dave Wyndorf, who has experienced demons a'plenty and has a gift for capturing disaffection, dissociation, disorientation - and enough Jack Kirby references to keep me pulling out comic books I haven't dusted off since 1980. And then I have instrumental themes on Joseph Merrick and loose concepts around Moby Dick and Tsarist Russia and I end up now obsessed with the drums, of all things. It's at once a distraction and an intense therapy. It's a shelter, a mirror and a window. In the end I am discovering this music all over again. It's like finally taking the time to dissect and learn why you liked it to begin with. And while tomorrow I figure I will be back online scouring the the new releases and ordering the stuff in faster than I can play it, it's comforting to force a step back, remember why music matters and to experience again exactly how it does.

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