Monday, July 1, 2013

A Preamble to a Preamble

- because i keep stacking point below point, jittering and chattering, and the thought train never left the station but there's a fifty-car pile-up. Must be a full moon.

"i'm racin', i'm pacin', i stand and i sit"

No, i will not listen to Eraser again. I'm on a neurotransmitter upswing and i've declared a full moon. I've got three posts lined up and i will not calm down.

"trust in my selfrighteous suicide"

Where was i? Half insane or just rambling? Howling.

Where was i? Every growl echoes another.

"i need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me"

"these are the songs that saved my life"

Where was i again? I was writing a blog post.

Back in a bygone age of active patriotism and accomplished missions, the zeitgeist, drained of Zarathustran blood, begged re-creation. The masses bleated, all in a pulse, begged for a bleeding, for a shredding, for a microphone feedback, for some nails on the chalkboard. Recording artists remembered their art, remembered their own need for a society which allows creation, and screamed whatever wake-up calls they could.

Some of these had no business commenting on politics. They did so nonetheless. Here are two of my favorites.

The fragile mad genius Trent Reznor, still nailed to nine inches of self-inflicted fame, with mediocre teeth hopefully forgotten, puts out Year Zero. It's anti-war and anti-Bush, anti-class and anti pacifism. Some of it is good. Some of it recalls the haunting metallic screech of NIN's past glory. But most of it is clumsy. Mostly, it reeks of the rot of a brilliant mind whose greatest contributions to posterity were always personal, existential screams into the void. Reznor's lyrics, his architecture, always flowed inward, following the depressive pattern of introverted rage. Though capable of much savage social commentary, it always stemmed from that personal betrayal, fury or hopelessness. Year Zero was built around a growing concern for the path of society, but it was obvious that Reznor... simply didn't actually give a shit. The personal involvement, the drive, the conviction, the abandon, was simply no longer there. Only a couple of songs in the album rang true as Nine Inch Nails material.

"Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise." My second example is Eminem, with Mosh. "If i get sniped tonight you'll know why - cause i told you to fight." Slim Shady, as opposed to the first example, was by virtue of being a rapper, already anti-establishment. Problem: Slim's a city boy. Slim raps about the projects. Slim doesn't do national politics or upper-class concerns like government. There's a hint of the same lack of interest as Reznor, but in Eminem's case the bigger problem is right there in the lyrics: "simplify the rhyme"? Oh, no, bad, bad idea, Slim. There was never any great philosophical tenor to his music in the first place. The complexity of his rhyming, the driving torrent of a self-developing mosaic, the barrage of words itself was always his strength. Mosh is not a terrible song, but it's too self-limited. It's an artist on unfamiliar ground, afraid to flex his muscles, being pushed into activism, and it's obvious it doesn't come naturally.

Now where was my Muse?

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