It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, largely because I went on holiday, and I’m still recovering from the mental fug that left me in, and a mild case of writer’s block. A few things have transpired since I posted here. So, time for a short retrospect.
Pavement, O2 Brixton, Wednesday 12th May 2010
Their entire career lo-fi indie legends Pavement had displayed a flagrant disregard of convention, either musically or genre imposed, focussing more on the deconstruction of musical art rather than its fulfilment. Their live show is a glorious, ramshackle celebration of chaos, irony and bare faced lunacy. That’s not to say that Pavement don’t take their art seriously, it’s just that they don’t think art needs always to be so serious. Their entire back catalogue is spanned almost at random in a show that covered classics and obscurities in equal measure. The highlights were rabble rousing Unfair, Steve Malkmus throwing a hissy fit and throwing down his malfunctioning guitar on the floor half way through Summer Babe, and 5000 people shouting ‘NO BIG HAIR!’ at the culmination of Cut Your Hair.
Pavement are more punk than many a punk or hardcore band around today. I think some of this loose, lo-fi aesthetic and ethos is missing from the punk and metal genres. Once upon a time it was “pick up a guitar, learn 3 chords, write a song”. These days in metal it’s more like “pick up a guitar, a shed load of effects and Pro-Tools, learn Dream Theatre’s Octavarium, note perfect, from beginning to end, spend 2 years writing a prog metal epic”. But the pursuit of art isn’t confined to endless noodling, expanding, refining. Pick up Napalm Death’s Scum, and Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and learn a little about experimentation.
Cathedral, ULU London, Thursday 29th April 2010
Doom should be played loud. The bass emitted by a doom show should loosen your teeth in their sockets. Whether it was the lack of sound check (the bands collectively arrived late) or some stupid sound regulation is unclear, but one way or another this show was nowhere near loud enough. Because of this, Japanese serial killer obsessed doom merchants Church of Misery, a band I’m not particularly familiar with, failed to have an impact on me, so I spent their set outside catching up a long lost friend that I’d bumped into on the night.
Cathedral too suffered with the auditory depravation, but still managed to put on a spirited show. Playing various tracks from their lauded new album The Guessing Game mixed in with classics such as Hopkins (Witchfinder General) and Ride, in all other facets the show was everything a Cathedral show should be. Singer (and bone fide doom legend) Lee Dorian’s manic flailing makes for an entertaining spectacle, and the crowd departed with a collective smile on their faces. Good enough for me.
RIP Ronnie James Dio
There’s nothing that I can say about Dio that hasn’t been said a million times by now. There are few icons in the metal genre that can match his stature and influence. Dio’s gargantuan voice formed a vital part of the soundtrack of my formative years. It is Dio and not Ozzy that provides that voice for my favourite Black Sabbath song:
His legacy is a fitting enough tribute in itself, and should speak (howl, wail, scream) for itself. Rest in Peace Ronnie, you will be missed.
The Inevitable Nose is 1 year old
On the 31st of May 2010 it was a year since my first post on this blog (I urge you not to waste your time checking out my early posts, they are poorly written, inaccurate nonsense for the most part), which in the intervening year, has formed a vital part of my existence. Started as a mechanism to recommend music to my mates, it soon turned into a musical odyssey that would have a massive impact on my life. I’ve discovered musical forms that I never knew existed, learned that I know nowhere near as much about music as I thought I did, met people who have become good friends who I otherwise would not have met, rediscovered old friends, helped found a forum and fanzine and improved my writing skills massively. It’s sometimes hard to remain interesting, relevant and maintain quality, but writing this blog never feels like a chore, and thus far has propelled me to fascinating and inspiring places. To those who have tuned in over the past year, thanks for listening, it’s been an absolute pleasure.