I followed Lars’ blog on NPR and after listening to yesterday’s Altar of Plague and I wound up here with Wreck and Reference. Lars describes this song as the band’s “most melodic and mysterious.” If this is the band being melodic, I can’t imagine what the rest of it is like.
The song opens somewhat conventionally but quickly shows something unexpected with some rapid fire drums. And then the vocals come in. The guy sounds like he is drowning–both in his angst and in the recording technique–he’s either under a ton of reverb or just buried in the mix. The lyrics are incomprehensible, although they seem quite impassioned. After the verse there’s a lot of noise and snare drums–martial without exactly being military-like.
I guess there is a melody in there, but it’s not an obvious one. The song has an accompanying video which you can watch at the link above. It’s as peculiar as the song. Incidentally, this song comes from their 7″ called
Content, which is pronounced “No Content.”
[READ: April 18, 2013] “Supreme Cloud Ear”
This issue of Lucky Peach was the China Town Issue. So all of the contents were about Chinatowns across the country. I really enjoyed it, as there were so many interesting things to read about. This short story was set in a Chinatown. A young couple is planning to meet Beverly. Well, actually Andrew has met Beverly but the narrator is meeting her for the first time. There’s an air of power around this meeting, Beverly is practically a mythical figure as far as the narrator is concerned. We enter the room where she is preparing something and there is stilted and awkward dialogue. And indeed, for the longest time, we don’t really know why everyone is so secretive (it’s very well done).
Beverly maintains a detached aura no matter how much the narrator tries to talk to her. After a few minutes, Beverly says she has to go on a delivery. The narrator says that she has forgotten to get wine for their dinner, so she’ll tag along. Beverly is clearly not happy about the company, although again, we don’t know why, exactly.
Beverly says that there’s a wine store down the street but the narrator won’t leave her side. Resigned to the company and making sure that the narrator is prepared for whatever might lie ahead, Beverly invites her along.
As the women travel, we learn that Beverly deals in mycology, or mushrooms. And, it turns out, her dealings may not be 100% legitimate. The trip takes them into a dark alley, where Beverly changes out of her frumpy clothes and into more athletic wear. She also gives the narrator a gun to hold on to, just in case.
And that’s when the story suddenly gets very interesting.
I was really surprised by the way this story turned out. The building of suspense was great, as I thought that Beverly was some kind of sexual partner or something. I never would have guessed that mushrooms were involved, not the kind you eat anyway, and that “Supreme Cloud Ear” was what the mushrooms make. And the final few pages were just packed with excitement. This was a fun story.