“Halloween, 1970. Today World War III will begin, as brought to you by the People of the Free Universe. From this day forward, anyone and/or everyone or company of persons who misuses the natural environment or destroys same will suffer the penalty of death by the People of the Free Universe. I and my comrades from this day forth will fight until death or freedom against anyone who does not support natural life on this planet. Materialism must die, or Mankind will stop.”
A recent analysis by the Economist, for example, found that, “The data suggest that the ill may have been particularly susceptible to Mr. Trump’s message. According to our model, if diabetes were just 7% less prevalent in Michigan, Mr. Trump would have gained 0.3 fewer percentage points there, enough to swing the state back to the Democrats. Similarly, if an additional 8% of people in Pennsylvania engaged in regular physical activity, and heavy drinking in Wisconsin were 5% lower, Mrs. Clinton would be set to enter the White House.”
SOVIET PIN-UP ART
Wyatt at the Coyote Palace 24 songs and Book
This majestic collection strikes me much less as an assemblage of half-completed songs and much more like a privileged look into a gifted artist’s sketchbook. Past examples might include Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes; Syd Barrett’s solo albums; Patti Smith’s Radio Ethiopia; 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields, and XTC’s demo albums Homespun and Homegrown. These are all instances of artists honing their craft and quite possibly not worrying too much about what kind of an impression they are making. The book which accompanies the two CD-set is full of impressionistic vignettes; many of them anecdotes which fall short of being full-blown stories. These vignettes seem to provide a kind of running commentary on the frequently elliptic song lyrics which accompany them. Many of the songs on Wyatt at the Coyote Palace are anchored by a strummed acoustic guitar underscored by quirky melodies and arrangements. The opening track, “Bright” begins as though a door into the unknown has gradually creaked open and is luring you into a troubling world of unresolved and unsolvable ambiguities. Spacy sound effects lure you further into the sounds of cascading guitar strumming and Hersh’s fragile, almost broken voice. The overall effect is both disorienting and transcendent–and then the song, like a dream, abruptly ends. “Bubble Net” evokes a murky, underwater-sounding eldritch feel which evolves into a kind of magisterial march. Many of the remaining songs are divided into three types. The first category consists of pretty, if seemingly fragile melodies, such as “In Stitches”, the eerie and translucent “Hemingway’s Tell”; the manic-depressive “Wonderland”; the lovely but ominous “Day 3”; the subtly urgent “American Copper”; the pretty but scarifying undertow of “August”; the laconic “Cooties”; the beautifully, beatifically melodic “Christmas Underground” and the elegiac “Shaky Blue Can”. The second category of songs might be deemed Art songs, with halting and often abrupt pacing: for example, “Secret Codes”; the broken and stammering guitar of “Detox”; the stuttering impetus of the wrenching “Two Birds”; the masterful, brilliantly poppy ba-ba-bas of “Guadalupe,” with its liquescent guitar and ominous and almost hypnotic and frightening bass undertow; the alternately juddering and calm “Some Dumb Runaway”; the strangely placid and moody “From the Plane”; and the wrenching pomp of “Between Piety and Desire.” The third, and often most powerful category of songs consist of nearly nightmarish soundscapes with intense vocals, which include the following: “Green Screen”; the sad and classically tinged “Diving”; the tumultuous and insistent “Sun Blown”; the brightly melodic but taut and eerie “Elysian Fields”; the alternatingly calm and intense “Soma Gone Slapstick”; and, for the grand climax, the impossibly beautiful and utterly otherworldly “Shotgun”, a brilliant tour de force in an idiosyncratic and highly personal album which is full of them.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 878.
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