Tuesday, July 25, 2006

that what is not


This post is perfect.

I have made a series of thumbnail sketches. I have gone for long walks were I ponder these sketches and their validity. I haev written seventeen drafts and thoughout them all I have made vicious cuts, eloquent additions, and granted clemency to those segments that pleased me. No words were spared my gimlet editorial eye.

Paragraphs were studied and sentences pondered. Individual words were compared with similar meaning but different sounding choices and judged on pitch, timbre and meter. In the end the entire piece was pasted to my wall for 36 hours to be studied once more, ensuring that I would read it at times when I 'was not ready,' to ensure that my editorial judgement was not clouded by bias or exhaustion. Every passage was judged and then judged anew.

Then I started over. New avenues were explored. Towering arguments supporting my claims were erected and then swiftly leveled, only to be built once more on a more powerful foundation. Rhetorical angles were stretched and tested for elasticity and bouyance. Adverbs pondered, adjectives viewed warily, prepositions vetted. Nothing has been left to chance.

What you read here today is, in the end, without flaw, without fault, without a single poor decision that could result in anything less than an experience that will, yes, enriched your life and, as a result, enrich mine. It is all things to all people.

'Electric Mainline (Live)' by Spiritualized

I'd like to send 'a shout out' as the kids say to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, a fellow perfectionist and by many accounts a right bastard to have around. Okay, he's probably a very nice, very tormented fellow, but he did after all unceremoniously sack his whole band (except the horn player) in the wake of their finest hour (1997's "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" and the incredible live document this recording is taken from "Live from Royal Albert Hall."). Why did he do that? Because he essentially trusted himself and himself alone to create the sounds that were in his head for the next two releases, "Let It Come Down" and "Amazing Grace."

Was he right? Debate is open. In some folks' eyes Pierce hasn't made a wrong move since he left Spacemen 3 and when you're a genius well, who else are you going to ask write your songs? But with a little collaboration, a little bit of strength in letting go of that control that can lurk inside your head to make this perfect little piece you can sometimes create something that, well, isn't perfect. But it's better.

This song is a collaborative effort, and although it was probably charted meticulously before they stretched this thing out to nearly seven minutes, it has touches that sound as if they happened by chance, organically. There's just no other way it could've happened.

The song starts in one place and slowly evolves through its players and its own will to someplace Other. Keyboard drones rise and fall and guitars tangle around eachother into a more and more intricate lattice work, followed by drums and even saxophone. Layer upon layer of sound piles upon itself until it can walk around the room, growing, expanding, running, breathing. Faster and faster. Transcendant, cathartic stuff, and even though I'm trying to learn the concept doesn't exist it's all somehow absolutely perfect.

3 Comments:

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Meow said...

Have you seen em play it live? The Royal Albert Hall show was actually the first Spiritualized show I ever saw, and because I was late (I had just moved to London from the States) I was late, got in my seat, and they played this song.

Life has been downhill since.

I've got a pretty good Canadian show up on my blog. Recommended.

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Meow said...

You know what I mean. Damn typo.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger chris said...

Ooo, fantastic. I'll have to check it out. Many thanks.

I've seen them twice, once on during the "Let it Come Down" tour and another opening for Radiohead in 97 or so--they didn't play it either time, but that show still pretty much tore my head clean off. There was one instrumental that I hadn't heard before or since--maybe it was a deconstructed version of this. I'm not sure, but it struck me because the drummer seemed to be leading the band through this crazy jazz freakout. I miss those guys.

 

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