They will never be a cool band, no matter what they do, they will never be seen as innovative artists and favorites.
A few years ago, there was not a band any more scorching in a sentimental way like Thursday, i say “a few years” but it might as well be a lifetime past, in another time and another place it almost seems; sure there were bands that were a lot more scorching with anger and regret (Saetia, Usurp Synapse) and more emotionally sad and desperate (Xiu Xiu for starters), but Thursday was something that was bigger, bolder and more earnest, something that made them both real and at the same time like the ol’ rock bands of yore, full of a mysticism and detachment. They were like few others.
Of course, that was a long time ago.
Thursday will always be the band that tries too hard, the band that are way too brash in their sentimentalism, too poetic in their lyrical approach and just over the top enough not to be considered cool; sometime in 2004 the band became immersed in a lot of pressure for being in a major label, and many of their members mentioned the possibility of breaking up. Then they released City By The Light Divided, an unabashed poppy rock album that chased for a hit single and easy listening, betraying their best assets, making them seem like a dumb band at long last. Not that many people didn’t consider Thursday dumb before, casting them as crybabies who just whinned and whinned through their music that wasn’t savvy enough to be considered truly punk and not arty and pretentious enough to be considered truly indie, people in both sides of the critical frame considered the band another emo bunch who got dumped by their girlfriends and decided to bitch all the way to the bank and Myspace. For the most part, it’s their loss, since their early output is worth at the very least an occasional listen.
If there was a band that underlined the word “post” in their sound, it’s definitely them; the guitar lines and fractured rhythms did reference hardcore but broke through it for grander pastures while they also retained another post, this one with the suffix “punk”, by namechecking “Ian Curtis” in a song and voicechecking Robert Smith in some of the more anguished tones by throater Geoff Rickly, with lyrics full of existentialist quotes and insufferable feelings; hardly anybody mentioned Thursday along with then emo stalwarts Dashboard Confessional or Saves The Day, since their music was more dissonant, more universal and mature.
One of the band’s best talents, it turned out, was the ability to craft well-thought out albums, to the point of almost seeming like concept albums; Full Collapse featured many songs that were not only labyrinth-esque in their arrangments, but also hard hitting and going for the heart. “Understanding In A Car Crash” has poetically charged lyrics, but also parts that make it both a fist pumping hardcore number and a sad narrative to be sung by yourself, at different moments in the same song; “I Am The Killer” screams for most of the song, and confesses that it still hides it’s face in the coming days. But it’s “Paris In Flames” that defines the band and it’s moment in time and space, about intolerance for a big chunk of the song but having a chorus that’s memorable for pointing that “we all sing these songs of separation...”, refering to fellow emotional hardcore and not so hardcore bands that treasured sincerity in their feelings (or faking that) as badges of honor and artistic proclamations; the band looked beyond it’s short comings, while still homaging At The Drive-In in a big way, and created some challenging yet very well written songs about more complex emotions than lost love and nostalgia.
One undeniable thing about them, though, is that they are of their time, reflecting their surroundings in a way that might seem a bit misplaced if heard today as new music by unexperienced ears; and it’s more evidently on their 2003 record, War All The Time, which reflects the time like few albums without addressing world events directly. While it’s easy to write it off a record that uses the backdrop of 9/11 and the wars in the middle east as more universal emotional fodder, that's hardly the case, as most songs don’t really talk about those events, only the opening lines, “Falling from the top floor, your lungs filled like parachutes, windows come rushing by. People inside are dressed for the funeral in black and white...” and the title track point to the sentiments of the people in the U.S., where pride is either needed to save yourself from drowning or enough to be put to sleep, listening to the lullaby. Elsewhere, Rickly uses the metaphor of being “Asleep In The Chapel” for fundamentalist religious thoughts of revenge, taken by both sides of combatants in the “war on terror”, leaving spirituality out of religion to use it as an excuse, and "Signals Over The Air" talks about attraction and seduction; musically, the band leaves their fondness for ATDI a bit to let themselves flourish in their own style, making each song different from one another yet stringing them together so they can complement each other.
Perhaps the problem with Thursday is that they are such an early ’00s band that it’s hard for them to get out of that time period; because now it’s 2009 and they are about to release Common Existance, which seems very confused to me, like they can’t fit anywhere because they don’t know who they want to be. Are they trying to sound like At The Drive In again? Do they want to do an AFI type song? Do they think they need to approach a sort of My Chemical Romance sound? Do they have to chase their audience? It seems like something really insecure from their part, trying on different things so the kids today can like them, instead of doing their own thing, documenting the way they try to relate to an ever collapsing world, but mostly what they achieve is demonstrating how low do you have to be to appreciate the real impact of a full collapse.
I never in my life though i would be searching in Wikipedia for Richard Clayderman, the patron saint of every annoying bar pianist that dare give us the dullest and blandest versions of the most well known piano pieces in existance.
In an event that turned out to be an urban legend, it was said during the late 90’s that Mr. Clayderman was dead, unable to join Yanni and Kenny G to reap the fruits of supermarket music and yuppie poseuring stardom, which seemed quite odd and out of character for such an artist; then, it’s 2009 and lo and behold, i gaze at a giant billboard on top of a building announcing Mr. Clayderman’s show for February 14, Valentines Day. So i think a ghost will be playing for true and pretend lovebirds, one which takes all the soul out of the piano and gives us back a very well mannered corpse to consume.
And guess what else? The ghost’s name is not even Richard Fucking Clayderman, it’s Philippe Pagès; that doesn’t make him sound like a sensitive wrestler at all!!...by the way, stop acting as if Mickey Rourke just crawled out of his own grave, he was amazing as The Cook in Spun.
Not many people can really brag that they got their title as “Prince Of Romance” from Nancy Reagan, and i never thought RC fans really cared about original pressings and reissues, but thanks to Wiki-wiki-wild i know...isn’t technology great?!
But, to make this post worthwhile, let me tell you about Repo Man; weird, B movie-ish but surreal and at times incredibly hilarious and all around entertaining piece of cinema that you can watch over and over again, also quotable as fuck. Iggy sings the title song, the Circle Jerks play in a bar scene, polyesther suits and everything, a sort of loungy version of “When The Shit Hits The Fan” (and it’s the Earl Liberty & Chuck Biscuit lineup, no less!), dude from the Plugz scores the movie; fucking classic fun weird trip, and i looooooove it.
PS: Does Richard Clayderman have any album cover where he isn’t leaning over his piano and resting his elbow in it? He's like the Immortal of the new age shit, always on the cover of his own records.
KRR035: Robe. - Glacial cd-r Drone that's dark, melancholic and envolving; inspired by the atmosphere generated by doom bands like Earth, Sunn O))), The Goslings and Asva, yet Robe. avoids distortion and chords mostly to concentrate on the ambience of real doom, of hopelessness.
KRR019: Rubbish - ¡Disturbio! cd-r Frequency abuse, audio collages and harsh as shit noise blasts make up the over-an-hour material that is ¡Disturbio!; yet the way it's cut up and arranged, presents a very particular and quite annoying way of doing sounds that may cause even noise fanatics to turn it off before it's over.
Comes in half sized slim DVD case with insert and discs are stenciled. Edition of 50. Listen to excerpts and downloads two tracks: (check label site soon for link, solving problem as i type)
KRR037: I/C/O/C - Hammer For My Riches cd-r First I/C/O/C on KR since the label's first release, I/C/O/C returns with a hardened, merciless assault that's harsh yet trying different things throughout. At 40-plus minutes, one of the project's longest discs.
PRICES: MEXICO = $50 pesos mx each (postage paid) U.S., CANADA & CENTRAL AMERICA = $7 u.s. dollars (postpaid) EUROPE & SOUTH AMERICA = $8 u.s. dollars (postpaid) REST OF THE WORLD = $9 u.s. dollars (postpaid)
Write or PM for trades, wholesale prices and questions.
STILL AVAILABLE (very few copies left): METEK - 31 cd-r REVERSE MOUTH - Harsher Fist cd-r BUZZARDHAWK - Observations Of Your Proportion 3" cd-r HYBRID FREQUENCY - Transgression Of Human Dignity cd-r
DISTRO found at the KR Store: *SLOW LISTENER - I Like The Idea Of People, I Just Don't Like People cd-r *TERRORTANK - Filling Empty Spaces With Nothing CD-R *ARMENIA - Diez Sangrantes Piezas Metafóricas CD-R *I/C/O/C - Weesick EP cd-r *AMNIOSIS - Amniosis 2xCD-R *I/C/O/C & AMNIOSIS - Doppelganger c-60 *THE NEW PARALLELOGRAMMERS - Series Of Snakes CD-R *VA - Beauty Of A Dead Dog C-60 (feat: VIKI, BAD PARTY, PISCIS, MONOSODIC, AMNIOSIS, LAPATENTEPENDIENTE, MARIO DE VEGA, and more) *HYBRID FREQUENCY - Ñ [Hispano Hablante] CD-R *HYBRID FREQUENCY - A Family Portrait CD-R *HYBRID FREQUENCY - America: Land Of The Free CD-R *HYBRID FREQUENCY & MAGGOTRIBE, split CD-R *TIMBRE MARGINAL fanzine
Today i got an email from Amazon, a notice on an order i placed but hadn’t shipped yet; i thought “Finally!!! I can’t believe it’s actually coming my way now!!”. For a few seconds while the email opened, i was giddy with thoughts.
Turns out, giddiness can be a fleeting thing.
Upon reading the email i learned they had cancelled my order for David Keenan’s England's Hidden Reverse, the paperback edition of a biography of three of the most inspired and important bands coming from the industrial music revolution, namely Coil, Nurse With Wound and Current 93. The order was placed many months ago when a release date was set but then it disappeared, pushed back until even Amazon gave up on them.
The hardcover version, released some years ago, has been out of print for a long time and second hand copies demand quite a few hundreds of dollars.
Why? Why keep a book out of print? The fact that it’s sold on eBay and the like means there’s an audience for it, so why hold it?
But, considering the subject matter, i bet Mr. Keenan enjoys the fact that it’s out of print and commanding quite the pretty pennies, making his tome worthy of such rarities as C93’s Dogs Blood Rising (Mi-Mort tape version), an original pressing of Coil’s How To Destroy Angels 12” or one of the hand-drawned and signed copies of NWW’s Insect And Individual Silenced. If only...
Or are you a cunt like Julian Cope who, by letting his books become rarer, cultivates a bigger cult figure, subject matter or writing skills be damned? Gawd i hope not, what the world needs is less of the likes of him.
So Mr. “Most Everything I Review For The Wire Is Either Sub-Par Or A Work Of Genius”, release the motherfucking book!! i want to read about John Balance, Steven Stapleton, David Tibet and all the people and places they crossed paths with. Release the paperback edition because i can’t pay 200-or-so dollars for a hardcover version, not only because i don’t have that kind of money at the moment but because i don’t want to be disappointed by it and feeling like an idiot for spending so much on something i might not love.
And once i get my hand on a copy, you better not be a Simon Reynolds or a Julian Cope, i don’t want to read your pretentious opinions, i want to read about the music and the bands!
So, if you have something to do with the delay of your book, go fuck yourself David Keenan!
Unrelatedly, Ron Asheton, guitar extraordinaire for not only the amazing Stooges but also collaborator of Destroy All Monsters among other projects, was found dead today.
It’s really sad because he was one of the very greats, the author of the imposibly-simple-yet-orgasmic riffs for “I Wanna Be Your Dog” or “TV Eye”, one of the noisiest and most steady rhythm players in rock (so much that, when the band reformed with James Williamson on guitar, Ron was relegated to bass and he was incredibly solid and forefronting in the sonic excess of the songs...in other words, he wouldn't let himself be in the back, you had to notice his sound and he locked himself up in the rhythm tight as fuck); his solos were wild, free and bluesy, stripping it of it’s past in the hands of black folk players but having as much sentiment; thousands of guitarists still try to blend the recklessness with tradition the way he did.
Sunday i saw a mini-doc about Iggy and also listened to Metallic K.O., not having the slightest idea that something was wrong; it’s a sad day for someone that might not have smeared peanut butter or slashed his chest onstage but delivered something as brutal and exciting as that from his guitar when standing onstage.
Go listen to The Stooges and Fun House like right now, any chance is as good to listen to those immortal records. Farewell Ron.