Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Genre Confusion

My hair is long for my gender and age. It causes confusion. Little kids tell me I look like a girl, solicitors that come to the door ask my if my mom or dad's at home, kids at punk shows think I'm a hippy. I mean I guess I am, you know, comparatively. In that I don't really dig Discharge.

When I go to flyover country, I get the sense that most folks make me as a metalhead. It's comforting, kinda, like there's a box I can fit in there so people don't look twice. There's no box for me in the liberal elite city spaces I typically inhabit, so I find myself being asked for excuses or explanations from time to time.

Guys, what I'm going for is wise old sage. Mystic. Dude that gives not a fuck. I haven't done anything to my hair, except, you know, wash it, in twenty years. All the time and money I save on haircuts goes into thinking deep thoughts about stuff. It's true. Grow your hair long and you'll see.

Zodiac Mindwarp reinvented himself, so the story that I read goes. He wrote about rock and decided he wanted to be a rock star so he went on and be'd a rock star. Simple. Adoration, groupies, drugs, the whole bit.

I don't have the stamina for that. Also I kind of don't like metal. My plan is to continue self-actualizing by calmly writing about music, and maybe take up yoga if my lower back keeps flaring up. That and some other stuff.

Metal or no, I dig this record. Tattoed Beat Messiah. Yeah! One thing that's cool about this band is how they abet genre-confusion. You hear the name of the band and the title and you're like, summer of love, dude, pass the hashish pipe, man, one love, bro. Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction! Heeeeeaaavy! Then on comes the record and it's hard-ass dudes in leather jackets spitting out chunky riffs and odes to bad girls and breakin' the law. You know, like Priest, man. Dananananananana WOW WOW! Reeeeee-diddleiddleiddleWAAAAAHHHH! Fuck, man. Priest.

Genre confusion. Let's spread some more of that, please.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's That?


Kwassa Kwassa - Quoi Ca! What's that?

Nimble guitar, with lines that prance and play. Limber and happy, frolicking, bouncing; the organ fast, the bass like popcorn. Each in isolation would be hypnotic but this music resists psychedelic groove, stacking the lines to keep you in the front of your mind instead of the back. The vocals party with joy.

Two guitars played by Ringo Star and Diblo. Ringo plays "twin lead" to Diblo's "lead guitar". Ringo Star isn't even the only guy named Ringo in the band - one of the two drummer/percussionists is Ringo Yaya Pezo. Ringo party y'all!

The back also credits "Pepe Solo/Fifi" (not sure if that's one person or two) with "Animation" (the quotes around it are in the listing). Man, what did Pepe Solo/Fifi do? Dance? Actually figuratively bring the music to life? Video accompaniment? Synth? There's no credit for organ, but someone played it. It's a supporting character for sure but pretty prominent in some of the tracks.

In case you didn't know, I came up on Floyd, Zeppelin and the Beatles, followed by Guns n' Roses. My lizard-brain is a sucker for barbecue rock. The lizard-brain eats comfort food and novelty smells bad. Other genres require a leap across a chasm. Here, hear popcorn bass, not a "rhythm section". Still the low-end anchor but freer, not locked with the drums. You gotta switch gears and maybe you don't have that gear. You can party, but you can't party hard.

Kwassa kwassa, stripped of its relevance context, becomes a hard sell, despite its obvious awesomeness when you put the record on. It's hard to hear, you know? All you hear is what's different from the stuff you know. That's a blocker on relaxation and peace. It's a blocker on party hardy y'all.

I want to bring peace by uniting, exploding, and evolving genres. I really want to do that. Also by trying to make context less relevant as a blocker. I want to give you the kwassa kwassa party. What's that? All you need to do is relax. Receive.