Five Songs, 1/15/2019
Five Songs

Five Songs, 1/15/2019

We've got several folks here who are reaching high for art here.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside Of Light!'"

Pretension is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. If you have the bombast and chops to pull it off, pretension really just turns into ambition. And Godspeed You! Black Emperor really do have the chops to make it work. Yes, their song and album titles are nonsense, but who cares when you get to listen to something like this. The brigaded violins, the sweep of guitars, the stately waltz of the whole thing, it's just gorgeous. Also, this song is close to being as long as the entire playlist yesterday.

Gigan, "Bio-Engineered Molecular Abnormalities"

OK, let's move to a different kind of pretension! Extreme metal will sometimes dabble in science fiction imagery that is pretty over-the-top as well. Like, look at this song title! This comes from Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science. That's some high-test gibberish right there. Now, mind you, you can't make out a damn thing that the lyrics are about, so I can't really tell if they've carried that theme into the vocals.

As for the tune (?) itself, I like how cheerfully Gigan will throw in some seriously out there noise into their songs (?). It's not just random chaos, there's a plan, but it's far beyond the bounds of convention, even those of metal. I'm not sure if there's a micro-genre for this hyper-dissonant sort of death metal, but there should be.

Scherzo, "Suffering and Joy"

Forgotten Bay Area pop-punk band Scherzo put out one album in 1992, and then disappeared. I can't remember if they shared personnel with other bands, and a little bit of desultory searching turned up no real information. But, for all that, it's a good album, energetic and tuneful, and I used to listen to it regularly and even played it on my radio show a fair bit, and it deserves better than to be totally lost to history.

Also, if you play two copies of this song at the same time, it sounds a little bit like Gigan!

Janelle Monáe, "I Like That"

I don't do best album lists for years any more, because I'm old, tired, and lazy. Also, I always tell myself to go back and look at the previous year at the end of February, so I have a chance to listen to the stuff I pick up from other people's lists. And then I forget. Because, again: lazy. But if I WERE to make a best-of list for 2018, there's no doubt in my mind that Monáe's Dirty Computer would place highly on it. Declaring an artist "essential" is a stupid critic move, because people like what they like, but come on, Monáe is essential.

Don Drummond, "Jet Stream"

Come ON Plexasaurus Rex, we had this song TWO DAYS AGO.

The Allstonians, "Nickel"

OK, sure, an eighteen-second throwaway, that's fine as a replacement.

Joshua Buergel
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