JEFF the Brotherhood is back with a new album. The first song I’ve heard from it is called “Black Cherry Pie.” It is a slow, heavy, nihilistic track with slightly more instrumentation than the usual duo set up.
And then at 40 seconds, there’s a FLUTE SOLO!
The lyrics are crazy–glass in my teeth, driving vans off cliffs, knives in eyes, with the simple chorus of “black cherry pie.”
And then just as you sorta forget that here was a flute solo (although it is hard to forget), a second one comes up at around 3 minutes. And since you can’t help but think it sounds like Jethro Tull, I’ll tell you that that flute solo is by Mr Jethro Tull himself–Ian Anderson! Huzzah!
As you can see by the photo, the Brotherhood has always been fans of Jeffro Tull, so this is a nice flourish.
[READ: February 15, 2015] “Labyrinth”
This is the first story I’ve read by Amelia Gray. Now, any story that is called Labyrinth pretty much invokes the idea of a maze and a minotaur. In this short work (only two pages) Gray takes these basic ideas and twists them in an interesting way.
Dale is a local farmer who holds and annual Pumpkin Jamboree to raise money for the fire department. It features a hayride, face painting and a corn maze. The narrator, Jim, tells us that Dale had recently been reading about Hellenic myths, and that this year he wanted to do something different with his maze. So he’s made a labyrinth. The difference? In a labyrinth, there’s only one road and it leads to only one place.
The folk are disappointed saying that there’s no point if you can’t get lost. And they’re even more upset when he says that each person must go in alone–there’s no way folks are letting their kids go in alone. Even when Dale says that people believe the center of the labyrinth possesses magic, allowing you to discover the thing you most desire, the folk start to wander off. But Jim, feeling bad that Dale went to so much trouble, volunteers.
Dale gives him a trivet etched with strange symbols, which he says is the Phaistos Disk. And then Jim heads in.
In the first row Jim can still hear the other folks talking about him. They tell the story of “some asshole” who dropped his cigarette on the hayride and how Jim hightailed it out of there before anyone else (leaving a bunch of kids). They all laughed and Jim was angry and ashamed. But as he continues he hears them start to say nicer things about him, like that they are impressed that he went in alone. Even the girl whom Jim liked, Connie, says she’s proud to know him. And the further on he goes the nicer the voices get.
Jim is thrilled with the way people are talking about him as he reaches the middle. But then he realizes that he must have gotten his foot caught on a branch of something–he seems stuck. And that’s when the story grows even more interesting.
I enjoyed this brief story, I thought it was fun and an interesting twist in the labyrinth story.
And yet, I’m a little bummed that we don’t learn more about Dale’s motives–was he doing this to get revenge on Jim for fleeing the fire? Is there more at stake here? Or was there something else going on. In fact the whole story felt like a small but interesting part of a much bigger epic.