SOUNDTRACK: EARTH-All Tomorrows Parties, October 5, 2011 (2011).
Anyone who likes Black Sabbath a lot knows that they were originally called Earth. About mid way through this concert, the lead singer/guitarist of Earth says that he grew up listening to Black Sabbath and reading HP Lovecraft, so Earth is clearly something of a tribute. Incidentally, he grew up in Manalapan, NJ which is just down the road from us.
All of these bona fides means that I should love Earth. But I have to say that although I didn’t dislike this show at all, it’s really not my thing. Earth creates long droney songs. I tried to measure a couple of BPM of songs and came out with 60 for one song and 42 for another (by contrast Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” is 180 BPM).
The songs are all instrumental and range from 8 to 12 minutes. Again, nothing objectionable about that. Indeed most of the songs are cinematic and cool sounding. My problem with them is that there wasn’t a lot of dynamism in the songs. The bass wasn’t crazy heavy or loud or chest rattling (as I had been led to believe Earth’s bass was). The melodies were pretty, but it came across as soundtrack music–for a very very slow zombie chase, perhaps.
According to some basic history, Earth used to be a heavier, noisier band, but have morphed away from that, and I suspect I would have liked their earlier stuff a bit more (although the one older that they played, “Ouroboros is Broken” wasn’t that much different from the rest.
NPR broadcast most of the All Tomorrow’s Parties concerts, and I enjoyed listening to them all. But Earth is just not my thing. You can check it out here.
[READ: October 20, 2012] “A Farewell to Yarns”
I mentioned the other day that I read one complete piece in the three Outside magazines since I subscribed. It was this one. The thing that I have enjoyed about the Outside articles that I have cherry picked is that unexpected writers pop up to write an essay. So here’s Ian Frazier, comedian and essayist, writing for Outside. Weird. (Or maybe not so weird, he’s an Editor).
And, unlike many of the other things I’ve read in Outside, Frazier is not, repeat not going to do anything brave or daring or stupid, he’s just going to muse about a topic. I like it.
Basically, this whole piece is a compliant about how with everything documented and digitalized it’s impossible to tell fibs about the one that got away or as he calls it, “an outdoorsman’s sacred right to exaggerate.” What I like is that he takes us all the way back to ye olde mapmakers who wrote Here be Monsters which leads to this wonderful idea that I have never considered “the pictures of the monsters must have been accurate; how would the mapmakers have known what to draw unless eyewitnesses had told them?”
And he moves on through those who spied the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. He even talks about one I had ever heard of, a hidden city in Siberia called Gorod Koka-Kola, built during the cold war as a reproduction of an American city, they speak English and live and behave like Americans–perfect for spymasters to practice Genius–and how would anyone ever know if it existed in remotest Siberia?
But Fraizer’s greater point is that “Lies make the wild scary and alluring.” He grew up in Rural Illinois afraid of the Argyle Monster who haunted Argyle State Park–and, boy, how many adventures he had or dreamed of having back then. (more…)
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