Friday, February 13, 2009

Hesitation Is A Reverie: 0:11 on the left side

I am perched on the cupped hands of a man-child; six-foot-five and probably three hundred pounds large. He stoops low and gracefully. His motions are practiced and comfortingly precise. He must be the lifter at all the shows. He is wearing a tan shirt and glasses, making him the most approachable person in the place. He is only too glad to foist my body on the frenzied crowd. I lift off his shoulders as if I were climbing a fence. Gravity takes over and the people below me are working hard to keep from being crushed. I paw and the clamber over denizens of the pit, the sounds of guitars and drums and screaming are now deafening above the absorptive human layer. I knee someone in the head and in response they take a solid hold of my stomach flab and squeeze and shove. I take a breath and steady the lights in my eyes. I grab at the matt black around the middle stage monitor, trying to leave the cable runs steady and to pull myself out of the crowd’s weakening grip.

I am successful, emerge onto stage right, and then am standing stock still in front of guitarist Scott Hull. He doesn’t remember five years ago when an over-zealous power-violence fan at a NYC show pushed me onto the stage. That night the crowd filled in the gap, making escape impossible. He let me sit at his feet, watching his hands chop and peel the night’s riffs. Tonight, I’m going to take a flying leap. You can’t intellectualize a decision like this. You don’t even have the option of making a different decision. You are on stage, Max. Your choice is fish. Hesitation is a reverie, and in grindcore, reverie lasts less than a second.

It’s mostly like diving into a pool. You hit a layer of outstretched hands and breathing becomes impossible. You don’t register the shock until you are sinking, reptilian brain screaming “SWIM! SWIM FUCKER!” This is all wrong. No one wants you to claw at the chop or kick your feet. You roll onto your back, trying to give them an even surface to push against, or maybe just something broad to absorb the shock when they drop you. Because they ARE going to drop you. Coordinated and thoughtfully throngs will help you land on your feet as easily as they scoop the fallen from the bottom of the mosh. The terrified and unprepared drop you on your head. Their bodies buckle or they run, silently squealing to the sides. Six feet from the axis of your right ankle, your head sweeps to the floor like an overripe apple.

I hope I looked like a free and happy madman as my head hit the concrete. Crowd surfing is definitely for the faint of heart.

Shitadar Ep by Batshit. Mini-fictional review by Max Hodes

This week's post is a record review in a format totally new to me. I wrote 7 pieces of Mini Fiction as each song on the attendant EP was playing, and am publishing them here after tenderly washing them. There is a link to download the record, which is totally legal and totally free. Two high-school kids in Western Mass made this themselves because they couldn't tolerate their society's request to wait until you grow up to make great art.

In creating fiction out critical reactions to their music, we have created a meta-art work.

Download the Shitdar EP
Music by Simon Rackenbug-Loisel and Tom Erwin

Track 1. Artifaggot

Space is the place where we consecrate our lumbering node-head fleecy flock-a-down byes. Fry me, flay me and spay me old boy COME BACK.

[radio] “Watchoutnow! Watch-atch-atch-atch-atch-atch.”

Ship playing at church, giving itself call and response time, beginning to recognize it’s own reflection, layers of futzing, screaming circuits, excising limits and discarding terrestrial origins.

[radio] “Flap my digital wings baby,” and I’ll lift us to new heights with a probability of 99.94%. Pull me out. I’m done. I said I’m done now. Help me out. I want to get out of my body.

This is easy. This is so-o-o-o-o easy. I am hello to you are me my new friend. Cherrup cherrup nighty night and lick. Queepy sweet syrup licking juice notch and fire side chat monger MARCH! Shriek rush pull it up now. The anti-grav field is shot and we’re going to manual in fifteen. What’s the order. Quiet. Your orders captain. Be quiet. It’s coming back around. What is it. What am I looking at. What is that THING. O god do you hear that. Shut off the comms. It hurts. It hurts. Shut them down.

I can’t hear anything. Ratchet ratchet smack. Haldermann is… talking to me… but I can’t… …what you’re saying.

It’s still out there.

Track 2. Bloodlust Fighter Radar

Atomic cloak parted like reeds, space folds were just waves, skipping gravity wells and landing in the future or the past. They were with me and shouting so loud all I could do was choke.

Once I watched, from a great distance, a man set himself on fire and layed down to rest. Watching was of no consequence, though I couldn’t stop if I tried.

[Miller] It’s coming through the hull!

[Haldermann] Reyes, tell Ship to reverse polarity on the engine room sub-shields at random intervals between one and twenty milliseconds.

Reyes tells me. Bodies burning black and bright. Wretched and lovely creatures are making me a welcome of machines.

[Miller] SKIP the lock; it can’t matter.

Keep it out and it will come; wave it away like a sparrow. Bonesaws aplenty! Their heads will ring ring ring with light.


Track 3. It’s Symmetry

Terra cotta hillside fantasy village in the air, clouds going to work in a magic crystal mine; It’s quittin’ time kitten, and even clouds go to sleep. Freshly mopped parkey floors and a stack of folded slacks.

Track 4. Sky’s Birthday

Our punk minute is up! It’s time for coral reefs.

“I listened to us downstairs at the Barger…yeah, they’ve got a studio down there, anyway I thought we were pretty good until Phil’s band went on… I’m saying that we’re sloppy…Yeah you too, but also me, also me….No…I mean me more than anyone. But yeah, you play a little sloppy. Are you listening? What?...NO!...hold it…one minute babe, it’s Dan.”

Good morning to fish. There are holes everywhere. Everybody is a bubble.

Track 5. Viper Salad

This is a bar where nobody’s dancing, and nobody’s drinking, and nobody’s talking because they’ve heard it all before. There are stranger stories than yours in this place, but good luck getting ‘em out. It’s got hanging lamps the color of a dealer’s visor, table-tops made of five kinds of wood, and the band’s on break forever. I’m thankful for that; bands only play to you unhappy. You walk in from wherever and just try to get a drink; they serve you sawdust on the rocks in a hi-ball glass. Get out friend. Just get out.

Track 6. Waves of Silence

The captain gave his customary directions to our happy, nauseated, obstinant, ebuliant, sleeping, and other passengers. I noticed the hiccup in the cockpit lighting before he did. It’s nothing.

35,000 feet and still climbing to our cruising altitude. We took off at 11:25 pm from Albuquerque on our way to Denver and then Chicago, rising through a layer of nimbus clouds and then deep into a heavy cumulostratus cover. There it is again.

We don’t know it because of engine noise and the communications chatter, but the passengers have been seeing bigger delays, bigger breaks in the lighting. The flight attendants neglected to inform us of the irregularity. Perhaps they are busy reassuring the passengers or themselves.

The captain is sipping his coffee and the cumulostratus layer is breaking into rings around the nose. It’s a red/green darkness until the wing-tip strobes open the cloud like a door.

I can hear the edge of a scream. The cabin has gone dark, the fasten seat-belt light is off, the oxygen masks have descended from the ceiling and no one knows how to put them on. I look to my left and the captain is sipping coffee. I face forward again and I see the Colorado Rockies pointing at me like fingers out of a broken glove.

Track 7. Wet Poodle

But Hey! It’s okay. Everything is fine today. Let’s go play in some hay with my friend May who has lots of things to say!

Say what May?
Needles for snoring?

Shut up May! [everyone laughs]