“Mein vater! Hochgesegneter der Helden!”
â€œMy father! Let me join you in death!â€ is a cry from the last act of Wagnerâ€™s space-age opera Parsifal. I feel the depth of this noble line as I grow older and my experience feels circular and futile.
Nietzsche wrote of the opera, “Parsifal is a work of perfidy, of vindictiveness, of a secret attempt to poison the presuppositions of life – a bad work. The preaching of chastity remains an incitement to anti-nature: I despise everyone who does not experience Parsifal as an attempted assassination of basic ethics.”
To destroy the destroyer is no small task, and Wagner was the greatest of the grandiose, a composer of immense talents and questionable ethics. In Indignant Senilityâ€™s Plays Wagner (Type Records), sounds artist Pat Maherr destroys some Wagner compositions into unrecognizable pulp with some David Lynch-sized darkness. I only wish Maherr made space for Wagnerâ€™s famous deep brass and rhythm to connect with us in the outside world. To hear such beauty being decayed and shot through the space between the ears as a marching tone to death leads one to a quantifiable dark space.
I am dying. I feel it as I choke back bad habits and unpredictable weather patterns paste my sinuses to some undisturbed place. I feel it as angry passions morph into happy complacency. Over chicken and waffles and beers in Jack London Square with Josh, his reliably infectious nervous energy was water off a duckâ€™s back. He became the scamp, the lovable troublemaker who was no more a part of my physical space as was Huckelberry Finn.
In somewhat lighter moods this month, I was re-imagining Wes Andersonâ€™s career with Nestâ€™s elegiac record Retold (Serein). The album is a slow-burning electronic mood piece from Deaf Centerâ€™s pianist, Otto Totland, and the labelâ€™s figurehead, Huw Roberts. Think of Rachelâ€™s or Godspeed You Black Emperor stripped to absolute essentials and given repeating and wilting piano riffs. Should Anderson ever make a horror film (which he ought to, come to think of it), I sincerely hope he looks here as opposed to scoring it with Kinks songs. The times we live in relegate such music as Nest makes to off-brand CDs and rough hewn tape releases, but in an alternate world the music would be allowed to burn with and be brightened by images of equal vastness.
This is our world. Josh and I talked of the slowing reflexes of our parents, out of touch siblings, marriage and life success as a measuring stick. I tried to light a fire under myself but a dim flicker through a curtain chose to rise instead. Even the fried chicken smothered in gravy had a bland taste. Perhaps, as Josh suggested, I need to listen to more CCR. Perhaps, as in Parsifal, time will become space and I will move nowhere and travel far. Sounds like more fun than listening to classic and indie rock.
Iâ€™m almost 30 now, old friend. Iâ€™ll think of you often.
About Sade Sundays: Sade Sundays is a two-part monthly column written by Michael Tapscott and Joshua Rampage. 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:Â Sade.Sundays@thebaybridged.com