Sunday, April 26, 2009

Transformation rock.

What is there to say about the day that wasn't said by just living through it.  Yesterday was beyond the brushes, beyond the best words.  I owe it to posterity to say the lesson was duly learned not to double down on a bag of Hopi mushrooms when the first round of Lucky Charms is circling the drain.  Maybe I should've opted for a nap and a salad.  A long walk.  Prayer.  I pulled through and all internal organs meet the dummy class test;  they are operational, I am alive.

Howler's.  Last Night.

It was a great show with friends and neighbors, Dark Lingo, who don't so much sound like, but very much evoke the shambolic domestic dynamism of Royal Trux.  They are an awesome force to behold, tribal and funny--without ever being noodly and silly.  There is an obscure density to their music, and yet, the couple's personalities play clear and magnetic through their music:  It is a sincere hope that they'll wind up at the great Brickbat Books in Philadelphia someday to underscore my sincerest claim that the Pittsburgh live scene is formidable--and that DL embodies the best elements of it.  The Burndowns, another local blast--and heldover admiration from my blogroll (frontman Steve Anderson is the voice of 7" Slam, a blog that gets written far too infrequently), followed.  One thing I love about Pittsburgh is how expertly--and uncannily in unison, this live climate ferrets out fashionable acts, trends that squat on the crests of waves, dudes in skin tight broomstick-leg jeans, and "little black glasses" as Lingo's Nick nails it.  The Burndowns make fantastic and superbly clear, unfussy punk rock.  When rock and roll of any variety works it does so by untethering its own energies from the past, without denying its debt.  The Burndowns made my head ring, and on the brief walk home (which is to say I had only to cross the street) I earmarked Stiff Little Fingers, Jerry Lee Lewis, the first Clash record, The Sonics and inexplicably, Tony Conrad, for the week to come.  With both Dark Lingo and The Burndowns what excited me most--and maybe this is a compliment owed to the music community on the whole as, at this moment, I can think of no egregious exceptions, is that I have such a thin stylistic connection to what any one of them does.  I don't dress like them, the music I listen to day-by-day sounds nothing like theirs.    But the connections they foster are electric, instant and halcyonic.  

I sacked out on the couch with the dog, saw the first half hour of the Rouben Mamoulian version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde from 1931 and passed out before the young, itinerant Frederic March succumbed to his own nocturnal chemistries.  When I left him our night was dignified and intact.  We'd been seduced by it, but were--at least when I went to sleep, mannerly and human.  

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