Sade Sundays: Variations on a Phantasmagoric Experience
By: Joshua Rampage
There are a candid few who can welcome an inconvenient and uncomfortable interruption into their lives so readily, but I was getting a little bored with feeling healthy every day anyway. So I did some smooching and before anyone could start snorting, I was sick. Self-diagnosing led me to believe I was suffering from the early stages of Pig Flu. I began to obsessively check my nose for an upward-tilt and my butt for a burgeoning corkscrew tail, but found evidence of neither. Instead, I was forced to accept an annoyance specifically reserved for those who are already irritated in the first place; the kind of flu where you arenâ€™t completely incapacitated, but you arenâ€™t exactly doing handstands either. The Result? I found myself muttering â€œfuck thisâ€ a bit more often than usual.
That said, the best thing about coming off a cold is realizing that you can resume doing whatever it is you do, unabated. If this includes playing croquet, smoking cigarettes and having a couple cold ones, even better. Deluding myself into believing I was completely recovered, I attempted to contend with the Current State of Music with the intent of finding something worth a damn to share with Michael and the rest of the world-wide-webs; not an easy task by any means, not in this economy.
I get depressed. When Julian Casablancas is making solo albums and Iâ€™m feeling a bit snotted up, I get THIS CLOSE to sticking my head in the microwave. Itâ€™s true. While perpetually cringing, I listened to the first 4 tracks on his latest offering, Phrazes for the Young, and set the micro to defrost. If it is in fact Julianâ€™s world, and Iâ€™m just a squirrel trying to get a nut, then consider my cheeks fucking full and Iâ€™m ready to start stashing the goods and preparing myself for a long, cold, dark and rainy winter.
LAKE on the other hand reminds me of Weekend At Bernieâ€™s, and all of a sudden I feel like Iâ€™m on vacation in the Hamptons on Labor Day and Iâ€™ve just discovered my boss, poisoned-dead in his big-shot mansion, but am conflicted on doing anything about it because Iâ€™m sort of in love with the summer intern and my friend thinks we can milk it for a couple days longer. Mike reminds me of Andrew McCarthy in this way.
LAKE – “Madagascar”
Fuck this. Even though Iâ€™m living in a converted-roller rink on the outskirts of sick, I canâ€™t disguise my disdain for a majority of releases in the tail-end of a feverish 2009. I want to find music that would reflect the swirling colors and spinning pinwheels of hallucination that was my infliction, but the heaters are cooling faster than my forehead. And when I say heaters I mean hot applesauce and when I say applesauce I mean of the cinnamon variety and by cinnamon Iâ€™m talking about when you mix that shit in by hand.
By: Michael Tapscott
The feelings still linger; the hurt soul, the weak cough, the roaming aches. I have Joshua to thank for this. He mentioned he was going to need to feel â€œten years betterâ€œ if we were to get together on Friday, but the night before at the Rickshaw Stop this same man had been whispering lines from Noah Baumbachâ€™s Kicking and Screaming in my ear. Yes, the phantasmagoric experience of this yearâ€™s flu model was coming. I knew it, and Josh gave it to me.
Instead of interpreting this gift as a grave insult, I took it as an invitation to a shared experience. The nightmares and repetitive dreams of the fever were to be as a window to another world, a journey outside of the body. This was not a universal nightmare we were sharing but prophetic American visions. The night spent dreaming of Fort Knox was a sign. Invest in gold!
In the afterglow of a forgotten day at the office, I found myself under five blankets unknowingly surrounded by more prophetic props. I was reading Phillip Rothâ€™s The Humbling and listening to High Times by Washed Out (C22, Mirror Universe Tapes, currently sold out, but widely available and popular on the blog scene). While Rothâ€™s whining sufferings of an old, broken and out of work actor werenâ€™t necessarily speaking to me, the lo-fi sketches of a new New Romantic were.
Washed Out – “Belong” (Side A)
There was something vaguely tropical in High Times that made me feel better. In other low times Iâ€™d found solace in a screen saver, so perhaps my register is low but at least it is easily rang. I understand from daily blog research that Washed Out is now considered pre-imminent source of â€œglo-fiâ€ or â€œbro-fi,â€ with a set of peers including Memory Tapes, Neon Indian and Ducktails. There is a fidelity mask that Washed Out wears, had my fever not been so thick perhaps I could have called bullshit, but at that stage in the game the shoe fit.
Of course, the gift of the fever can be the gift of a new age, a spiritual and physical reawaking. And despite an ultra-lame title I sought further succor deep into the new Prefab Sprout record Letâ€™s Change the World with Music. I was not reading the signposts on this journey.
Every once in a while, a great artist seems to hit on a new direction, like Neil Young with the Dead Man soundtrack or Mussolini with fascism. Whether the new direction is chosen tends to lie with the bravery of the artist. Mussolini ended up hanging upside down in a town square while Neil Young is giving less and less relevant geriatric folk-rock to the world. You tell me who was the braver artist.
Paddy McAloon, the sole proprietor of Prefab Sprout seemed to find this crossroad with 2003â€™s I Trawl the Megahertz. An extremely brave record of orchestrated instrumentals and one odd, long spoken word expedition, it was composed after McAloon had suffered from a bout of blindness. Reawaking!
â€˜This new record does not continue that journey however, it is in fact a â€œlostâ€ album of songs from 1993 that sounds like a slickened and commercialized version of the Washed Out album. McAloon is obviously the better melody maker, but the very upfront Christianity and backwards steps make him a far worse medicine.
About Sade Sundays:A profundity has never slipped past the lips of a man who lives a life of quiet desperation. He has time for no such subtleties. So basically, Joshua and Michael have time on their hands. They spend it together one Sunday a month, dispensing boozy wisdom and violent, undefended revelries. You may listen, but you may also render their words as a call of the wild, a spear from St. George into the side of the dragon beast, or a meaningless squabble. Contact us: Sade.Sundays@thebaybridged.com