This is urgent music. HUGE breaths and strong arms. Colin Stetson, a man born with a saxophone, a kind of Hercules of the woodwinds + Sarah Neufeld, who plays the violin with hard determination, with grace, imposes structure and adds filigree to the songs. This is what you want in your ears when you need a restorative dose of beauty, something that is definitively contra all the horrible stuff that’s been going on the past few days. This is music that will produce feelings of awe, and that’s kind of wonderful, kind of rare.
We marched up Broadway in one breath. Traffic lights blinked weakly in greeting. We said their names together. People stepped out of bars to watch us, extinguish cigarettes. A father and his daughter stepped into the crowd and everyone clapped. The cops stopped us at College. That’s where people shop. You can buy a set of mid-century modern stools in an antique shop there; you can buy books, burritos, and spicy chocolate drinks. The cops stood there just radiating disgust. They said, “Go another way.” We did.
[BUY All Are Saved]
Cymbals Eat Guitars’ album LOSE is a rich document of suburban Midatlantic existence. The kind of thing that’s a web of place names and local local local descriptions. So, you know, unbeatable if you’re from the place that’s under discussion, and probably only mildly interesting if you’re not. But these songs are so good. Jackson, Warning, Child Bride, Laramie, 2 Hip Soul, all classics. That’s more than half the album–and the other songs are just as strong, but they don’t stick with me as closely as those five. In Child Bride, D’Agostino sings “Skeletor/of the liquor store,” about a character’s mother, and good lord isn’t that at once such a ridiculously sweet rhyme and shattering lyric.
You can never sleep because you are a haunted man, someone who sees beyond this world into the next. You’re a writer, naturally, of disturbing–some might say ‘disturbed’–fiction. You live in Atlanta, which is itself a pretty haunted city. Full of the spiced ghosts of old barbecue sauces abandoned in municipal parking lots. You talk about language and the creatures that live behind and within language. People are like, okay, we get it, you’re weird. You talk about how there’s a serial killer inside every breath you take and Arby’s is a monument to sin, and people are like, jeeze, man, just, you know, take a vacation or maybe watch TV for a little bit or something. You raise a small garden of syntaxgrass on languageground in your back yard and then the neighborhood association tells you to get your shit together and plant some sunflowers or kale or rosemary, yikes.