Lars from NPR’s All Things Considered picked this as his summer music preview song. I don’t know a thing about Six Organs of Admittance, but their discussion of this song makes it seem like this is atypical for the band (which has a massive output). Evidently they’re usually more droney sounding. But man, this song is pummeling and wonderful.
It’s seven minutes long and opens with a simple, plodding heavy bass riff. The vocals are kind of whispered and strained. But then comes the guitar solo–a raging piece of distortion that complements the bass. And that’s just the first three minutes.
The second half of the song features a quieter section–the bass is quieter, while the guitar noodles around and the vocals play over the rhythm. The song slowly builds again, and by the last minute or so there’s another fierce guitar solo. Until the song is exhausted by the final distorted notes.
This is some beautiful noise. And, no I have no idea what the band’s name means.
[READ: June 27, 2012] Deadeye Dick
Deadeye Dick is the last Vonnegut book that I was completely unfamiliar with. I had no idea what it would be about. So I didn’t realize until very late in the book, and then I looked online and confirmed that this book is set in the same location as Breakfast of Champions, Midland City, Ohio. Indeed, some of the same characters appear in this book as appeared in that book. But more about that later.
Vonnegut is not known for his happy books. Misanthropy is pretty rampant in his pages. But this book is one of his bleakest books yet. The story concerns the Waltz family–Rudy (the protagonist) and his brother Felix are the only children of Otto and Emma Waltz. Pretty early in the story we learn that Rudy is a double murderer. Yipes!
As with most Vonnegut stories, this one is told in a convoluted and non-linear fashion. He foreshadows (and really just casually mentions) a lot of crazy things that are going to happen in the book. Like the fact that Midland City is going to be devastated by a neutron bomb. In fact, his preface (like with many of his prefaces) tells us a lot about what’s in the book and who the characters are based on and the fact that there is a neutron bomb (but the reality of a neutron bomb is different from what he says). There is something about knowing this information ahead of time that impacts the way you read the story. Whether you think maybe he’s not telling the truth about what will happen (can the narrator really be a double murderer?) or maybe somehow the foreshadowing makes it even worse when it actually happens–the revelations are perhaps more deliberate. But the style–a recursive style in which he says what happens and then he goes back and fills in the details, makes the events that much more powerful.
The funny thing about this story is that a lot happens to the characters in the beginning of the story and then not too much happens to them after that. But that early stuff is pretty exciting and it has an impact all the way through. (more…)