Ahem. These two songs by Cookies, Go Back and Music for Touching, are so fucking catchy and exciting, and they most definitely represent the most interesting and wild out-of-nowhere music I’ve heard in a long time. I can’t remember when I was so blown away by a new or new-ish act…(probably Adam Moerder’s Fitness stuff was the last truly crazy debut I heard).
Go Back is a little in the neighborhood of Holy Ghost’s more seductive songs, though calmer, and with a killer little gear-shift slide that recurs throughout the song. Ben Sterling (the guy behind Cookies) sings desperately, pleadingly, “I just wanna go back, baby/to the way it was before, baby/Don’t you wanna go back, baby/to the way it was before?”
Music for Touching brandishes that Benny and the Jets piano-pound-cum-beat like a deadly weapon, but the song moves past that pretty quickly, it gets interesting and stays interesting from the start, right when Melissa Metrick begins singing. “I’ve been waiting too long, I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting too long, I’ve been waiting for you.” Metrick delivers some intensely dismissive and imperious huffs in this song, the kind of filigree that makes a great song sort of unforgettable.
Invisible bandits, skulking out of habit. A boy who was a 4th grader in 1989 grew up to become an actual ninja, though he does not make a living from his craft. Most of his business comes from curious inquiries to his craigslist postings, people who want to see him chuck a throwing star or two into their drywall, or who want him to use his nunchuks to help them roll out dough. On occasion he will lurk and spy in the service of someone who suspects their spouse of infidelity, but he does not relish this type of freelance shaming. He longs for a time when he might use all his talents in the service of a larger pursuit, something noble and thrilling perhaps, or at least more lucrative than $25 per hour house calls where he exists only as a walking diversion.
Navigator sounds like a soft death to me, like slipping away sweetly into a tender gray state of pure satisfied retrospection, a pronouncement (like Wittgenstein at the end of his life) that life on the whole was good and enjoyable and you made it, proudly, to the end. Real Estate do this type of song so well–Municipality and All The Same also touch on similar feelings: sunny Sunday afternoon thoughts of mortality, the truly mundane (screen door views of a backyard, planters that need to be taken in) side by side with the truly unfathomable (….). I’ve been listening to Atlas a whole lot recently because I finally work once again in an office where I can listen to music, and Atlas is quiet enough but engaging enough that I can play it two or three times a day without bothering anyone else or without getting bored of it. This album is pretty incredible, to tell the truth. I didn’t think that much of it when it first came out, but it’s wonderful.
This was when terrestrial developments were getting weird: birds were learning how to fly, insects were really into predation, and there was a lot of heat to the sun’s light. People still were abiding by all the usual etiquette though. When you encountered someone on a forest path, you embraced them full-on, maybe offered them a plant-chew or meat-chew if you had one. The music of this period was brutal and forceful, as one can imagine, with lots of simple percussion, like hard blocks of air colliding. It was all entertaining in the way that witnessing a wildfire can be enthralling, or watching the tight waves of a lake lap on the shore can provide diversion. Music was included in the group of these so-called ‘natural televisions.’ Useful, but not particularly valued or contemplated.