Saturday, May 13, 2006

Maybe They Meant Velvet Underground, The Novel....The Black Angels 'Passover' CD

(Note; the following entry was taken from the diary of one Ms. Sarah Duncan, former editor of the fanzine, Cherry Coke. Thanks to Jordan Duncan for passing it along. RW)

Dear Diary;

Derby Day is here & I should be really stoked (I just love muddling sticks!) but I am sort of depressed. You know Diary, I always try to find the best in music, but I think for this cd by The Black Angels called 'Passover', I have run out of good words. They are really bad! And I am not even considering their preening hipster isms or dilettante, by-the-numbers poseur je ne sais quoi. Or the obvious nod in the band name to Velvet Underground. You have to expect that from a group with little original talent. Besides the name, they have based their sound and style around VU too, specifically, the 60's era version. It is enough to make me laugh to the point of crying, or maybe just one or the other. But since I don't know any of them (thankfully!), I think I'll just stick to laughing. The cd started out well enough, the first song has legs (that is what Aunt Buttons says when she swishes wine around in her glass) but they just don't walk anywhere very interesting. The second track 'The First Vietnamese War' is where they really lost me. The music is strong, but the lyrics are so affected and ridiculous that I had to go to their webpage to check how they weighed in on themselves. I figured it would be totally pretentious and I was not let down. The guitarist, Christian Bland (do you think that is his "punk" name?) had this to say; "We love the Velvet Underground. They represent the evil side of the Sixties." Then later; "The entire album parallels what's going on now with what happened in the Sixties. We do have a message and it's one of getting people to open up their minds so they can let everything come through" Can someone please turn off the laughing gas? I think I'm going to be sick! I cannot speak from experience since I wasn't even born in the Sixties but my Dad can. "What's going on now is sad but it doesn't compare. When they resort to drafting young men into their bloodletting machine then it will come closer. But as it stands, this is a grim, pathetic spectacle, a selfish, needless folly. It's ludicrous, but until more people start to care, others will just never learn." Gosh Diary, is that really my Dad or some totally awesome wizard who just knows everything? If I didn't know better I would have thought he was talking about this Black Angels cd. It's selfish, pathetic,needless and ludicrous too. But then, I am not an expert! If I were I would have said that Black Angels don't bring to mind or ears the Velvet Underground so much as they do Christian Death. There is a Gothic undertow that permeates their sound and singer Alex Maas' vocal affectations recall Roz Williams way more than Lou Reed or Nico. Alright, being generous I'll say he sounds like Roz Williams after the roof of his mouth has been swabbed with some Nico heroin snot. Okay, okay, maybe he sounds a little like Lou Reed too. With Billy Name's nutsac on his chin! Oh Diary, when I resort to thoughts and language such as this, it is time to bid adieu. Perhaps if I knew less or wanted a job in the music industry I would find The Black Angels to be stunning and genius, you know, like Brian Jonestown Massacre. But I don't. I can't even stand to read Pitchfork.
Okay Diary, the race is about to begin. I have bet 10$ on a horse named Barbaro to win. Everybody's says I don't know what I'm doing but I remain undeterred. I am going with my gut. And it has never let me down. Just like you.

Okay Diary, goodbye! Till next time we meet.



1 comment:

mimosa cottage said...

wow! i went to the web-site to see if they at least had cute chicks in the band, and to my suprise... THEY DIDN'T! just a couple of females that look about as excited to be performing as the espers (sorry to go there). i guess that means they're "for real"... or stoned, y'know to get into the drone/groove. cool. it's like i always say, it's the wall thats the problem, not the screwgun. xo