Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Washed Away By Magnitude

JP and the kids and I just got back from a week at the beach in NC. Kure Beach, near Wilmington. We had a duplex with loads of family – moms, in-laws, nieces and nephews, siblings. We just drank and watched the little ones pretend they were super heroes, spies, or nurses during a catastrophe. I love how people just set up chairs and blankets and shady structures and just hang out facing the ocean. The sun and wind, the sound, the salt breeze, the sting and stupor of the heat, the powerful push and pull of the water, the grinding going round, the drop-off expanse of horizon – there’s plenty of reason to stand vigil there, but I just appreciate the air of spiritual pilgrimage to the whole affair. It’s not Varanasi or Canterbury, but it works. It helps if you’re sozzled from bloody marys or sleep-deprivation or just in a baked stupor. I always thought of going to hear loud music as being kind of the urban, dark, smoky, night-time, electric version of a day at the beach. You face the noise, and soak it up. It can hurt you, but it feels good. It’s a doom aesthetic. But everything is, as Lefty has noted.

I’ve recently had a mid-life return to criminal file-sharing. I guess I have pangs of guilt. Anyway, one thing I had been looking for forever and finally "found" was this tune by Don Covay. If you’ve never heard Covay, listen to just how much he sounds like a famous big-lipped singer from England. Mick has spelled out his debt to Covay in places, I think, but once you know to look for it, the connection is almost distracting at times. But beyond that, this tune operates with the one of the mystical core values of musical greatness: the slowness. It’s got an elemental, glacial, unperturbability. It’s really meant for surprise exposure in the Driftatron, a stealth sonic attack, spring it on a muddled friend, stump the host, but this will have to do.

The absurdist deconstructed horn accents. The warped reverb guitar filigree. The ghostly choir. I had hoped to have this tune handy when I did my wind-themed (it recurs with me) post a while back, but here it is now.

"It's in the Wind" -- Don Covay

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