I probably should know better

Lately, I’ve been happily subjecting myself to extremity– stuff like The Rita and Sewer Election and Werewolf Jerusalem; and it’s as comfortable as an old chair. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I’m an aficionado of the genre (and it is a genre), and I’m more than willing to announce my dilettantism. Frankly, I long thought it was a one-note (ha) exercise in extremity – caught up in a haze of pseudo-transgressive imagery and elitist, bomb-the-suburbs-in-your-mom’s-Nisan nihilism. Hey, that’s all fine and good in most ways, I grew up listening to Crass and Misery, and it’s as safe as any other thesis – of course, real chaos doesn’t need a blueprint, or scene.

But if noise has an emo contingent, then it’s harsh noise. This is heart on a sleeve shit here, often going to great lengths to inform you that this is all an emotional exorcism, a soul annihilation that culminates in purifying fire, in shifting blocks of impenetrable sound. Emotional armor in other words. I knew the Dennis Cooper-lite sado-machimsmo of a lot of the stuff was all theatre for fat dudes with turborat fixations – but they ain’t maniacs, they’re pussycats, and they like Con Air just as much as you do.

I was showing a Rita album that took inspiration from various Giallos to my girlfriend today (as she’s been known to dig some Fulci and Argento), and she asked me why it always seemed like sexual violence and the women as object was so often the subject of their transgression, of their emotional retardation, of their quest for the end of the world. I couldn’t really answer her. And she’s right, a lot of this shit is just sexist, even if it’s under the guise of showing the rest of us just how BAD reality is. Thanks for the heads up, dudes.

But still there’s something there. When wall noise hits that right inner ear space, it can help you achieve those trance states, those moments of clarity. And it’s in those moments that the astringency doesn’t seem particularly brutal or harsh, just there, unassuming, reacting against nothing, but itself. And it’s hard not to wonder about the hands behind it, the brootal face in the examination of the big bad world. All existing for a moment in a howl of punishment– the feeling of the great rejection. I imagine it’s the sound the lobster hears when it’s boiling — that great moment of clarity in total meaninglessness. And yeah, Emo as hell, squirming in the nothingness with less pose, but just as much portentious pose. I guess it’s not terribly different than the black metal I dig, festooned in the signifiers that only seem to hide something much more human underneath. Fear.

Of course, this means fuck all when your girlfriend comes and gives you a slice of apple with some goat cheese, while Bill Dixon’s Vade Mecum spurts away in timeless reflection.

But burn away fellas. Please do.

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