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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sunn 0))) and Boris - "Altar" (Southern Lord, 2006) [key tracks: The Sinking Belle, Her Lips Were Wet With Venom]
Passion week continues, and I keep posting. Lucky you! I will try to keep up this week, so keep checking back. My record collection is (without duplicates) just under 500. Can you dig that? I desperately need some vinyl slip bags. I also want to sit down and listen to a few records so I will try to keep this post short.
Carl's Favorite Songs - #48 - Hell by The Squirrel Nut Zippers
If you know this album, then you are cool. If not, hey don't feel bad guy. It's no secret that the Melvins have a cult following. What may surprise you is that it extended deep into Japan, and Boris is an homage in name and sound to King Buzzo and his crushing experiment. Sunn 0))) is also a tribute of sorts, as they were heavily influenced by Earth, another Melvins-esque band. So what happens when this new generation of stoner drone ambient doom metal team up? You get Altar. Musically, I won't even try to explain it. Without a point of reference, I don't know how to. Remember when electronica hit big and there were all of those trippy new age CD's... Moby made a living off that crap... well imagine if that same sound was done by a metal band. See, it makes no sense unless you hear it. Let's just say it is atmospheric, heavy, and very interesting. Songs build into a swell of anxiety, then end leaving you wanting to reset the needle to the beginning of the track again.
The best part of this LP is the packaging. As you can see above, there is a beautiful green marbled vinyl... actually 3 of them. The CD tracks appear on disks one and two, while the third LP is a two sided song new to this album. The album itself opens up to a full color libretto (booklet) inside, filled with gorgeous pictures of the bands pictures separately in black hooded monk robes hiding in a corn field, some artistic shots, some fantastic illustrations, and a group photo. There is also long introductory letter by Kim Thayil (yes, of Soundgarden!) who came out of seclusion to play a little guitar on this LP and wax poetic on the drone scene. Joining Kim are also guest appearances by Joe Preston (Melvins) and Dylan Carlson (Earth). At $29.99, it was worth every penny... except that it is too fat to fit into a vinyl sleeve (meaning I will need to buy another unspoilt copy to leave sealed as my play copy will get abused).
It was hard to sit through the Easter play Sunday for me. Its the same old play as always, which is usually good, but something was off this year. The lighting was sloppy, the songs seemed hurried, the drama was stiff, and in the back of my mind I was distracted. My distraction is this; Easter is the time of the year when we focus on redemption, on healing, on reconciliation, and on the Godhood of Christ. So as I sit there, watching my fellow parishioners act out the healing miracles of Jesus, I can't help but feel furious that a good man in my church was allowed to die from pancreatic cancer recently. Worse yet, a good friend of his and equally good man has the same thing and is just counting the days until he has the same fate. There are times when it is really hard to reconcile the idea of an all powerful, kind, loving God with the fact that so many bad things happen to good people. And yet the squawking, nosy, gossip loving, judgmental woman (the one who always lets out a loud sob and makes a small scene leaving service when the message is emotional) finds it within her to be the first one standing at the end of the play, clapping her heart out demanding a standing ovation. She was standing as soon as the house lights came up. Did I miss something, or is she merely displaying the cruelty of life... the good die in horrible ways, while the crooked and annoying flourish in their own world of back patting and attention grabbing. And all the while, God is up there, detached, letting his physics, biology, and chemistry slowly but steadily devour this Eden... If you can believe in times of frustration like this, you know your faith is real.
Horns up, Easter style.

1 comment:

Matt said...

You know it is a bit troubling at times. This apparent hands off approach by God to His children especially when it seems like people that are living like hell (yes that means you Keith Richards) are still alive and well.

I think we miss the miraculous that God does sometimes (not the Binny Hinn miraculous). Not always the healing of cancer but softening of hearts and changing of lives. It doesn't however make these situations any easier or make it feel more palatable. I cried at that funeral and I don't remember the last time I did that. I think the gravity of that whole situation struck me as a husband and father.

I continue to pray for that family,and to know God and His way better than the day before.