24 February, 2011

Haul

Well, for about $40 invested, and not really certain what would be showing up - I have myself about 200 cassettes in excellent condition. It's interesting to have insight into someone else's musical tastes. There's everything from Motown & Chicago Blues to Country & Western; '80s Pop to Metal, and a sprinkling of oddballs. Quite a span. I lucked out and maybe four or five of the albums are already in my collection. What I didn't take into account is that I now have to add all these into Music Collector. That somewhat kills my enthusiasm - but at least May and I have a lot of new things to check out over the next year. So if you see us pulling up at some art event and something dreadful is blaring out of the car - you'll understand that we're just giving everything it's fair shake.

05 February, 2011

Christian Death - "Beauty Of Temptation" Demos

Christian Death sans Rozz Williams reached it's zenith in 1989. What had been a torrent of recording, touring, and proselytizing the end of humanity culminated in a tumultuous night at The Marquee in London. Following the band's performance, Gitane Demone left Christian Death forever, and more impressively, the life she had known for 10 years. People that stayed in following Christian Death began to see the train leaving the tracks... what was a surreal swathed goth-rock band, began to offer a much heavier, metal-tinged sound a la Metallica. But following this June night, the din fell silent. Had Valor indeed moved to Antartica? Fueling the mystery was Rozz's return to Christian Death and a flurry of new material and releases. Without access to internet - this couldn't have been a more puzzling point in time for a Christian Death fan. There was literally no where else to turn for information except the musical press. That was where I found interviews with Valor in 1990/1991 - talking about the new record, titled, "Beauty Of Temptation". I waited... waited... searched in vain - it never surfaced. However, in 1994, clearly in response to Rozz's new run with Christian Death, Valor emerged with a new look, a new band, and a much different sound. It turned out that in addition to a much needed hiatus to rest and spend time with his children, Valor was rehearsing new band members, recording demos, and refining what would become a new era for "The Official" Christian Death. These demos hint at the building blocks that would become that foundation. They are strikingly good, and I think I would have preferred this album as opposed to what it became, "Sexy Death God". I'm not sure why "Beauty Of Temptation" was tossed as the new release, but I imagine one day when Valor is putting together an extensive anthology or box set of the band's 30 year span, some of these hidden gems will surface. Until then... enjoy until I'm told to take it away.

Oh - you can thank Shawn for helping me to pull this out of oblivion, and I believe The Graves for sharing it with me.

01. Temples Of Desire
02. The Memories Of Time (Teacu)
03. Heaven Or Hell
04. The Lovely Enchantress
05. Wicked Ways
06. I Am Everything
07. (Voyaging Through) The Void
08. (Beauty Of) Temptation

03 February, 2011

"Closer"

I finally watched 'Closer' this past weekend... I only recorded it about 3 months ago. I knew it was one of those things I'd have to watch on my own, and it's rare that I have that kind of time to myself. Joy Division was one of those bands I missed the boat on, I didn't really discover them until around 16 or 17... and even then, it was sporadic tracks here and there in one club or another. One afternoon, I picked up a tribute to JD, and I was blown away by the lyrical content. It prompted me to pick up 'Substance' and 'Unknown Pleasures'. Joy Division became a mood piece for me - angry desperation dictated when I would crack those jewel cases. Now having seen 'Closer', I feel a deeper empathy in his death, and even moreso for the family he left behind. Ian Curtis is no longer an enigmatic and tragic post-punk turned goth hero. The direction of his life was steered by impulsiveness, fear, and selfishness. Certainly Joy Division would of made much more of an impact on mainstream music if that tour to the U.S. had happened, it wouldn't be a band you'd have to explain to anyone over 40... but perhaps no bigger influence could have been made on underground music if Ian Curtis had not unknowingly martyred himself unto the tortured, self-loathing, and dimished masses. What should have been a tragic post-punk story a la Sid Vicious, instead evolved into an amorphous, square in a round hole gothic love tale, complete with a broken and tragic hero. Amazing that at only 23 years old, Ian Curtis and Joy Division made such an indelible mark to have become an industry that has spanned and thrived over 30 years and certainly grossed into the millions of dollars.

I am dubbing this phenomenon, Reverse Elvis Syndrome. Elvis is HUGE in Europe, and I think it's because all Europe ever saw of Elvis was his time spent in the Army in Germany. He never performed in Europe. They feel cheated but also have a tremendous longing for something they missed out on. Elvis died prematurely. America was so close to being exposed to Joy Division... but the events that unfolded made that impossible. We will never have that experience; we've been cheated and are left longing. Kind of pathetic when you break it down that way. And I can only say, if Ian Curtis hadn't been a remarkable writer, an amazing performer (an aspect I was oblvious to until 'Closer'), and truly just a troubled, normal young man - I wouldn't care less if Joy Division had ever existed. But the reality is, I've spent a lot of time on eBay this week trying to score first pressings of Joy Division's albums, and I doubt it's simply because they didn't make the flight to The States.