Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hold on to me tightly as if I knew the way.

I put in Pavement's Westing (By Musket and Sextant) the other day, and it's a great record. It sort of has this thing in line with the up-to-Wild-Love Smog records: This way noise is integrated with pop songs in a way that's completely separate from the shoegaze records at the time. It's a lot uglier. the sexuality of shoegaze is lost in favor of self-loathing and anxiety. Stick your fingers in my mouth, pull my lips back and watch me smile.

That band Times New Viking would almost be mining this aesthetic, but the things I've heard from them seemed a lot more shallow and facile: More like garage rock.

The Smog record Julius Caesar would also exemplify this style, just bummed out as hell and expressing it through dissonance. There's violin lines that slash at themselves but still play melodies, catchiness persists through these rudimentary rhythms. Everything is chosen to sound fucked up but still be musical, as isolated elements, and then they're put together.

Is this what Royal Trux sounds like? They were all on Drag City around the same time.


noodlehansy said...

royal trux is it's own palette completely, but yeah -- the drag city aesthetic of the 90s consisted of a whole language of looseness punctuated by something off, noisy, or angry off on the horizons of the soundscape. check out the first silver joos releases on drag city (dime map of the corral reek, arizona, etc...). i'll say you nailed it with oyur description of these great records, but you're just scratching the tip of the iceberg of all the great Drag Citizens. And Royal Trux was kind the epitome, though requiring a much larger investment. The Smog and Pavement releases you reference were a bit easier to get into, but Trux is the best and deeper. Check out Cats and Dogs and the two self-titled LPs for starters (if you can find them).

Brian said...

Yeah, I was thinking about those Silver Jews records too, although they're not very good.

benjamin said...

you know, i really like the first silver jews albums. brian... i lost your address. send it to me and i'll mail you the comics and some tapes of royal trux. i think you would really like them... but you know, i am kind of a hard core hagerty fan

Brian said...

I like the Silver Jews albums from Starlite Walker on. I don't know if there's any confusion there or not- That's the first one that's in print.

bp baggins said...

ah, there is also "arizona record," the "dime map of the reef" 7" and the "silver jews and nico" 7"... all out of print, sadly. drag city was saying they were going to rerelease them all together for a while but nothing ever happened... why? i don't know. why are they releasing that shitty monotonix band, you know?