Sunday, October 31, 2010
The only reason I know its not night is the sun is out, otherwise who knows.
Hard to get the old brain working right now, I'm really just writing because I've found if I write first thing when I wake up I have an easier time doing it throughout the day. I know thats the kind of thing you always read in writing technique books, or teachers tell you and it seems like, well not necessarily like a falsohood, but it seems like it doesn't really add up. At least it always did to me. But yeah, either its become true as I've gotten older and matured as a writer (after all, writing is now my main source of artistic expression, being 3k miles away from all the people I used to make music with) or, more likely is that it has been true all along and I've just been too stubborn to see it.
I'm listening to Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom. After I added the icon below and looked at the release date I was struck by a strange synchronicity. Released Halloween, '95. I got off work at 4AM last night/this morning and spent the following 4 hours working on one of my scripts and drinking Sierra Nevada, all the while listening to Alice In Chains eponymous final album, reveling in its dark and twisted glory. Guess what? Also released in 1995. That was a rich time creatively for the music industry in general. Grunge as a buzz word was dying, but the truly great bands that had gotten umbrella-ed under the term had evolved anyway. Alice was, in my opinion, the best of them. Alot of people didn't like the '3-legged dog album' but from the first time I heard it I was in love. I mean, Dirt is an undisputed masterpiece, but on that final album, the next album proper after Dirt, things had worsened for Layne Staley and you could hear the dark and twisted rings of his soul come through in the music. People I knew complained of his lack of effort with the lyrical content of the album (case in point always being 'Nothin' Song') but I have always thought they were great, really showing how his own path had gotten so disembodied and frightening, right down to the horrors of the simplest tasks of everyday life (and here I'll use others' bane, the aforementioned 'Nothin' Song' to illustrate. Fear of interacting with his cat to the point that he may kill it, whether maliciously or out of dazed neglect I don't know, but its fucking disturbing regardless).
Now, Temples of Boom is, to me, the Hill's Masterpiece. Fuck what the world calls goth, this is potentially more goth than what is grouped beneath that for the most part misleading label. Released on Halloween no less! What hip-hop artist does that? I mean, and this album was made to freak people out. And it works. At the time it came out I was smoking pot all the time and I remember the first time I listened to this it virtually left me physically ill. Disturbed. The tones and timbres are all dark and ethereal; haunting organs hang in the air like blood red velvet curtains, low end bass creeps like goblins stalking you in a rain-soaked alley, disonate piano chords strike and ebb, strike and ebb, like a knife brandished for murder. And then there's B-Real's stark, raw vocal attack. Intense, violent and frankly, unnerving. When he sings about having illusions and then goes into the violence of Boom Biddy Bye Bye you get the very real impression that this guy is living in a very different place then most others who rap about partyin' and violence - everyone else seems a bit too boisterous and outlined to be real. But B-Real, well, it sounds like the demons he exorcises and infects his listeners' world view with are indeed real, and just possibly waiting around the next corner...