Thursday, 26 June 2003

Deloused in the Comatorium [DITC], the new se­man­tic ex­pe­ri­ence from The Mars Volta. Read my pompous re­view, but first go buy the al­bum.

When At the Drive In split a while back, my friend Kyle was pret­ty miffed, they were one of his fa­vorite bands. From the splin­ters of this band emerged two new mu­si­cal di­rec­tions: Sparta and The Mars Volta. Unfortunately Sparta seemed to get their act to­geth­er a bit too fast, and in­stead of a new mu­si­cal di­rec­tion, the band’s sound foundered in the seas of medi­oc­rity [at least for me it did]. Their brand of rock­in’ was a bit too, um, un­o­rig­i­nal and cooki-cut­ter for my tastes. In fact, I couldn’t tell you what one of their songs sound­ed like right now, de­spite hav­ing seen them in con­cert, and lis­tened to their al­bum, and I must not for­get pal Kyle.

The Mars Volta, took con­sid­er­ably longer to pro­duce a full al­bum. Wisely so, if this de­lay has in­creased the qual­i­ty of DITC. Granted, they re­leased the Tremulant EP awhile back, but its three songs, seem to me more of a test bed for their sound, be­fore the full blown ex­pe­ri­ence emerges [and getes paid for].

Tremulant pre­pared lis­ten­ers for the in­ven­tive se­man­tic mum­bo-jum­bo and ex­per­i­men­tal punk [re­dun­dant or just that mar­gin­al?] sound that The Mars Volta had de­fined as their own. Their lyrics are shall I say, in­choate. An ad­mix­ture of var­i­ous lan­guages [eng­lish then span­ish are the heav­i­est thank­ful­ly] and spack­led to­geth­er phonemes and mor­phemes, lis­ten­ers pret­ty much have to re­ly on the singing to get a han­dle for what the songs are about. The lyrics for Eunuch Provocateur off of Tremulant can be found here. [As you will note, one of the lines from this song be­came the ti­tle of the LP].

Stupidly, the lyrics for DITC are go­ing to be avail­able for mailorder pur­chase some­time next mon­th, mak­ing them that much hard­er to ac­cess. You re­al­ly have to want to know what the fuck he is say­ing if you are will­ing to pay for it. Personally, I will wait till some­one does buy them and then sticks them on the ‘net.

The vo­cal pirouttes of Cedric Zavala are what make this al­bum for me. His tenor is crisp and clear and loud, but thank­ful­ly not pierc­ing. Its like wind off of a moun­tain, or if you live in the city, what your clothes smell like af­ter you toss in about eight dry­er sheets with them.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez can wring some mighty wild sounds out of his axe let me tell you.

DITC be­gins with a steadi­ly grow­ing sound of syn­the­siz­er and dis­tor­tion, and then Cedric comes in with his elec­tron­i­cized voice, and you know some­thing huge is about to hap­pen, then you are teased with some false starts be­fore C re­al­ly lets it rip in­to the first true song ‘in­er­ti­at­ic esp.’ This seems pret­ty straight­for­ward The Mars Volta, the mu­sic is seg­ment­ed in­to sev­er­al mod­es, usu­al­ly with quick but full stops be­fore launch­ing in­to the next sec­tion. Beware though, The Mars Volta can switch gears seam­less­ly if they want to, and some­times they want to.

‘roulet­te dares (the haunt of)’ presents a slight­ly more melod­i­cal­ly vari­ant, though smoother, ex­pli­ca­tion of what­ev­er the hell C is singing, it ris­es and val­leys, then peaks and then falls again, some­times precipices lurk right in the mid­dle of things, but the song is quite mel­low and quite cathar­tic at the same time.

‘drunk­ship of lanterns’ bor­rows its end from their Tremulant fin­ish­er ‘Eunuch Provocateur,’ and ‘ci­c­itriz esp’ is al­most just like Tremulant’s ‘Cut That City’ ex­cept quite a bit longer. I don’t feel that they are just re­cy­cling this be­cause they can­not hack it. To me it seems that Tremulant tru­ly was a test­ing bed, and they took what worked from that EP and beefed it up for this al­bum.

This was re­al­ly hard to write, be­cause DITC is so queer. Somehow The Mars Volta has made it pos­si­ble for two ob­jects to ex­ist in the same space at the same time, con­trary to the lit­tle mu­si­cal physics I am ac­quaint­ed with. Songs can be mel­low but un­re­pen­tant­ly cathar­tic from one sec­ond to the next. It works. 810. Thanks to Phil for the rec­om­men­da­tion.

Weezer, buh-dy

Thursday, 18 July 2002

Weezer, budd-y! Last night was a good con­cert night and could on­ly have been im­proved if the Strokes hadn’t had to can­cel. Of course, there was the in­evitable road­trip as­so­ci­at­ed with at­tend­ing a con­cert in the mid­west but O My how fun it was. I got some free con­cert tix to a 12 lo­cal band show in September and a drum­stick. The first band Phil, Kyle, Cramer, and I saw was lou­d­er­milk. Apart from be­ing rather small and ef­fem­i­nate they rocked out pret­ty well. The singer had a good scream. Then we went in and got our seats.

The next band on was Sparta. They are good, punk rock mes­sage with a laid back con­trolled stage pres­ence. Next up on sec­ond stage was my pleas­ant sur­prise of the evening. Hometown Hero kicks lots of ass. They re­al­ly got in­to their act and were goof­ing around quite a bit, but not so much as to pre­vent mas­sive gui­tar riffage and rock­ing out. I def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend buy­ing their CD. Dashboard Confessional was next on the main stage and he was bor­ing as hell. Emo mu­sic just ain’t my thang, in fact, it makes me an­gry lis­ten­ing to it. All of the sweater­wear­ing thick­rimmed glass­es wear­ing hug­gy pseudo prep-hip­py hy­brid sen­si­tiv­i­ty first Emo kids re­al­ly dug him though.

Next on sec­ond stage was AM Radio. These guys were all about get­ting the crowd to have a good time. I en­joyed them but prob­a­bly wouldn’t buy their CD. They are the type of band that you go see live. At the end of their set, they had the guys from Hometown Hero come on stage and the Dashboard Confessional dude did as well. Once he walked out every­one start­ed scream­ing as if he were Jesu Cristo him­self, which stole the spot­light from AM Radio who were do­ing a damn good job. After their set I got one of the drum­sticks (I was right up again­st the stage), and we went to see Weezer.

First song played, my fa­vorite, Say it Ain’t So. Suh-weet. Next song Dope Nose, even bet­ter. What fol­lowed was hap­py rock bliss. They played Hash Pipe and El Scorcho and of course Buddy Holly. They played Keep Fishin’ my fa­vorite song off of their new al­bum. It was good. They lit up the big bright W and even had py­rotech­nics. The en­core was Death and Destruction, which was a rather strange choice, but hey, they’re Weezer, and weird.

show was over by 11 we didn’t get back to Purdue till 2, took us forever to get back to the in­ter­state. Then we ate at Denny’s and I had the lum­ber­jack spe­cial. Once we got to Purdue, I crashed at Phil’s place for 3.5 hours, got up at 5:30 and drove back to ND to come to work at 8. I was on­ly two min­utes late. so to­day I am a zom­bie.

In oth­er news, I am al­so now us­ing the yel­low bar for ran­dom links. thanks for shar­ing now shut up adam.