Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Kind of Monster

This year at soundwave I discovered that it was over, I had moved on. Metal Drummer's and their double kicks were boring, they bored me. I was bored. The line up was way too Metal heavy, and punk seems to have evolved into some wannabe metal branch. I was wondering if I'd been hanging around Jazz drummers too much, and had somehow been afflicted with the Jazz musicians course for liking only inaccessable music.

Then One Day As A Lion came on, one of the redeeming misfits on the roster along with Primus that made the ticket actual value for money. One Day As A Lion's drummer is Jon Theodore, I have looked, searched, scavanged on Youtube, but Alas, no Video really captures just how... how... how incredibly explosive he was.

See that video, that video DOESN'T capture the explosiveness. It was like watching an athlete instead of a musician. His breathing, his feel, just how hard he hits the drums. I'm sure it's unnecessary. And it was hot, aparantly back when he was in the Mars Volta Jon Theodore would be naked, he plays barefoot, so he came out in like green slacks and a shirt, and left drenched in sweat.

That energy is just missing from almost all popular music, an entire emotional spectrum denied even in 'Alternative' music, which really should be a one stop shop. The bands I go see regularly in Melbourne don't have that kind of energy, even though they are diverse and different and often commercially unviable (as well as many that are), from the Bombay Royals to Texel Rising to The Nymphs.

Where did the energy go? Where did the anger? It is possible there has never been a time were a human being could be more angry than now, rich or poor anywhere in the world. We all just seem to be fucking each other, and not in the good way either.

I was conveying my impressions of Jon Theodore to John, my comrade in arms for Superfluous H, whom also doesn't play explosively, and he said 'That guy is a MONSTER, breaking drumsticks all over the place' and it just struck me as such an apt description of what my search has failed to bring me: A monster. The sort of thing Ancient Roman's first erected stadiums for and hoped to see when they pitted man against man, and beast.

Obviously for ethical reasons, I'm not going to suggest a return to gladiator pits, but what I mean is, I wish there were more correlation between people who like sports and people who want to be athletes.

If Music was sport, then right now the music scene would be lauding Mark Price's and Jon Stockton's and Tim Duncan's. That is precise and solid performers, reliable, with certain grace and economy. That is what music seems to be right now. BUT, I crave the days of Kemp and Jordan and Barkley, MONSTERS of the game. The dunk may be a 'No-Brainer' and costly energy wise, but as one Seatle Super Sonics fan pointed out, when Kemp dunked a massive alley-oop the crowd got to it's feet. It energised them, it brought the audiance into the arena and made them part of the game. He energised them and they energised him, better than gatorade. MONSTER fucking dunks.

That's what I'm searching for, hoping for in Music, some kind of monster. One Day As A Lion are a start, I crave more. I went to a dance on friday, and the DJ dropped this track:

See that's not angry, but it is explosive. I think it convinced me, ironically, of Gandhi's call for us to 'be the change you would see in the world.' the only way to guaruntee I see what I want to see is to become a monster myself. This will take some time, but I intend to do it.

I don't have to be good, just a monster.

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