Thursday, September 12, 2013

See the World Given to a One Love Entity

Frances had an awesome Wayne's World moment recently. She was thinking about aliens for some reason, I guess because aliens show up in kid-oriented content sometimes. She said, "You know those aliens that come and land? For them, we are the aliens." I was like, "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude"

I eased into this. I saw another band, and I talked to the one guy who was in the band, and that guy was in this band Guardian Alien so he told me about it. All he said was that he was in the band, and that they had played in Chicago a bunch of times. Then I looked them up and they were on a reasonably large label and they had made this video. And I was like, well I'll be damned. That's when Frances got involved. Cause I was watching the video, and she wanted to see it too, and I was like, ok sure, and we watched the thing. And she had all kinds of questions about it, and she would reenact parts of it, especially the part at the end where the alien guy makes the universe go all nutty by grabbing the frame. She was super into that. Months later she would still ask to watch the video again. So she has a relationship with this band.

(I was just writing last time about the similarity of childhood and intoxication. Here's a great example. Watch the video - I mean you should do that anyway cause duuuuuuuuuuuuuude - but watch it and if you're like "It's not for kids!!!" it's probably cause you know it's all druggy drug world. The kid, she doesn't know that. It's a story, and it's fun cause it's weird.)

(The trick is figuring out how to find joy in the brain expansion of weirdness without, you know, getting fucked up.)

This one was in heavy rotation last November and December. Also I saw them play and they were great to watch. As the guy I know who's in the band and who's also in the other band put it, "It's a pretty appealing band". They bring it. Drums are key. The drummer dude Greg's the focus. I shook hands with him. What a grip. He's one of those guys whose stature isn't as big as their affect. Wiry. And taut arms. His foil is front-woman Alex. Tall, blond, partial to wrong-ish spandexy things, low voice, straight freak. Throw in trip-master Turner and hang low and shake it out Eli, and you're on your mushroomy way to drugville of the loud ear and eyegasm variety. Like the Dead but they're cool and the drums are fast the whole time and the jamming isn't based in blues or country. Hence "they're cool." You know, like a LOUD La Monte Young with death metal drums that keep turning into hippy drums but stay fast.

Greg Fox is trippy trip it out man too tho. He like, dreamed up the whole thing. Literally. The video's about the trip. They made it all arty and weird so the white people would dig it but it's a pretty simple narrative. Ship comes down, rasta alien dude gets out, approaches Greg, hands him this weird-ass mirror thing (Frances calls it a "universe cube", I prefer to think of it as an "iPad") and it says "See the World Given to a One Love Entity" on it. The press materials claim he actually had this experience and it inspired him to quit his arty metal band Liturgy that metalheads disdain as too arty and not like, boring enough to actually be metal and start Guardian Alien which is like, what I said above, hard jams.

Now if I'm gonna be cynical, and yeah I am, dude was tripping hard and the brain manifested the rasta guy (which, cultural appropriation white privilege kinda weird to me). Further cynicism indicates that the "one love entity" concept and the lyrics you can hear, which are like "YOU - UNIVERSE - all things one..." ring hollow, unexamined, where I find nothing that resembles what I would recognize as "love" inside the words or the sounds. In that "love" is a stand-in for "smoke pot, relax, jam out". My thing is, if you can afford to relax, you're like, lucky. And someone else paid for something you got at some point.

This is the cynic in me though. The cynic kept this record out of the rotation after the initial enthusiasm. But the cynic thinks too much sometimes, eh? Frances picked it out recently cause like, she LIKES how it SOUNDS, man. So do I. A lot. I grumpily whanged it on my turnie and after a minute I was like, aw damn, wow, shit, this thing is pretty great. It slams into being triumphantly and just gradually winds out for three quarters of an hour. The drums are great. Great. "It's a pretty appealing band."

And, to my point, who the fuck am I to decide what someone else's motivation is? No one, that's who. This record has the power to bring people together. Specifically, Frances and I, who have somewhat divergent musical tastes, can agree on this one. After she picked it this week she was afraid to play it cause she was worried I was gonna ask her to paint something or whatever, but on reassurance that no product would be exacted, the freedom to enjoy reappeared. Free from agenda is free from anxiety. Relax, jam it out, find your way.

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