Saturday, September 12, 2009

Where The Hell Are You???

Here I am, closer than I appear.

Dearest Friends, that's the question Dearest JC posed below. Short, sweet, and shot straight. And it's one I thought best answered by a comeback, plarticularly since he mentioned me in a very kind post of his a few days ago. But how to make my re-entrance? Where to begin?? What to say???

You don't want the litany of reasons, primarily because it'd be pretty banal. An uninspiring mix of work, laundry, garden watering, erranding, that amounts to the taxing reality of summer bachelorhood. Admittedly, there is also the running, which might be a story worth telling, but not now. Suffice to say I've wanted to spend more time here, and the evidence can be found in the half-formed bits of prose that are moldering in the corners of my Blogger "Edit Posts" box. And in my frustration - les visible, but most tangible.

So, I think I have it now -- it's time for a cleanout, a pump 'n' dump, a spray 'n' pray. They will necessarily be the abridged versions (and there still may be some mold stuck to them), but here's the first from the pile of what might have been over the past weeks/months:

I have a terminal weakness for compilation CDs. They make me feel all savvy & clever, getting a brace of killah-not-fillah tracks from multiple bands, all for the price --sometimes discounted-- of one disc. Yes, I know these days you can achieve the same by trawling the net and sampling its wares. Yes, I admit that often the killah to fillah ratio is low. But yah boo sucks to all that, I still love them.

The problem is that I usually get fixated on two or three tracks, and pay scant attention to the rest. Take the "Yes New York" CD that on a whim I tossed into the car stereo the other week. When I got it back in 2003, I locked in on Radio 4's "Save Your City," "Olio" by The Rapture, and DFA's remix of Le Tigre's "Deceptacon." So tracks 2, 8, and 14 got heavy, heavy rotation. Fast forward to 2009 and imagine my utter surprise when track 4 grabs me by the ears and shouts in my face:


A squealy intro of feedback. Chugging guitar, Fizzing distort,. Shouty vocals. Densely erudite, eloquent lyrics that sliced straight through flesh to plug directly into my soul.

Today I woke up uncertain
And you know that gives me the fits
So I left this land of fungible convictions
Because it seemed like the pits
And when I say, "conviction" I mean it's something to abjure
And when I say "uncertain" I mean to doubt I'll not turn out a caricature

My God, in a flash I got this song so utterly, so completely. I made that trip. It was a pure epiphany, and the only thing the white light/white heat couldn't completely drown out was the little voice screaming "What the Hell took you so LONG???" at me.

So now I'm somewhat obsessed with this song. Somewhat? I mean totally.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Ballad Of The Sin Eater (buy here or e-here)

And so begins the return. Thanks, Dearest JC, for kicking me up the jacksie. It feels good to be back. To misquote another track that's had heavy airplay in the FiLmobile of late: I won't fade away...

Joy Division
- Digital (buy here)