2004 has been definitely charged on emotions. And it’s not over yet !!
I will spare you the sordid details of my personal sentimental life, and focus on music.
The EMO wave that was rolling down for a while, broke on our shores early this year, leaving everybody screaming out their anger & pain, mouth open & both hands on the head, :::straight::: the pause in an emo stance, leaving the passers-by dazed & confused, oh yeah !!
The climax was reached last summer, which was voted “emo-est season ever” by the devoted readers of “Only Angels Have Wings”, you guys rock !!
Then, warmth faded, cold sneaked in, Mother Nature put on her winter clothes and, as the moon changes shape and leaves changes colour, minds & moods they are A changing. And, here we are, mid-november, and sadness has reached the pole position in the top 10 of your heart, babe. Why, oh god why are we so sad ??
After a month or so listening alternatively the album of the Dresden Dolls (“this album was written to make feel smittener”) & a compilation that some friends made me for my birthday (thanks folks!) featuring loads of happy stuff such as the Cure, Interpol, XiuXiu, ... I decided to listen to something else. That’s how I ended up listening to 3 really sad albums this week:
- The 1st one was in a record shop, and it’s sad in the apthetic meaning of the word: the death metal band Six Feet Under has recorded a “tribute” (??) album to AC/DC. Why, oh god why? My mates and I used to have a band when we were 17, and in spite of how crap we were, we definitly grooved much more than those guys. The drummer spends the whole album wandering why the fuck he’s playing so slow. The guitarists, who just downloaded the tabs from the net, probably never saw the brothers Young on stage. I wander if there’s a bass player. And, as far as the singer is concerned, well, he’s the one who saved me from boredom making me smile twice, sacrifying his own album on the altar of sadness... More seriously, how can you decently spend money to release things like that, when you have tons of quality bands & labels struggling in the underground ?? For DIY’sake ?? My arse !!
- The second sad album is the new Perfect Circle. Actually, I’ve only listened to the John Lennon’s “Imagine” cover. I was at a party in this Mexican guy’s flat, and I wanted me to listen to it. As he said, if the Lennon’s version was toda blanca, all white, all pure, this one in its complete opposite: dark & desperate, in spite of the positive lyrics, which are the only thing that they didn’t re-arrange. A cover as it should be, re-actualized, re-interpretated, with all due respect to the original. The next couple of tracks went by as background noise, as we were talking about how sad life is, probably, so I couldn’t tell what it sounded like, but I assume it wasn’t appropriate for a party, considering the way people stared at the stereo, until some guy came & put on a house compilation. Yoohoo! Happy shit to please the decerebrated crowds... STOP! Self-censorship warning: you can be sarcastic, but being sad doesn’t mean being bitter, be careful. Because sadness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can indeed be an healthy feeling, and even, at some point, collide with beauty.
- That’s what this last sad album is about: assume your sadness, sublime it & make something great out of it: like good songs for example !! FUCK BUDDIES’ debut album “A Storm” has just been released on Dead Bees Records. The melancholic voice behind Fuck Buddies is a handsome young man from the wild wild south west of France, but he could as well be ugly and from anywhere in the world, as it’s just a bunch of sad songs written on the edge of an empty bed. My references, as far as Indie Accoustic Guitar Bedroom Heroes are concerned, are limited to Beck’s “One foot in the Grave” & Ben Lee’s “Grandpaw Would” but I’m not here to have a debate on the genre, just to tell you that I was moved by this album. In 14 tracks + 1 japanese bonustrack, Fuck Buddies bluntly opens the doors of his innerself, he didn’t choose whether he’d like people to see him crying or naked, he just sings his soul; nude; with tears in his eyes. Honest, touching, brutal. Then, the artwork of the cd is minimalist but yet fits perfectly with the songs. Actually, it’s a cd-r, so there’s just my name written on it (personalized & numbered edition, yeah!) but the black sleeve, hand-sewed & serigraphized, is an ode to DIY in itself. The maritime imagery inspired cover can remind you of the Nova Express’ ep, but I guess it’s more related to track#7 “I Wanna Be a Whale”, the hit-single of the album.
As I’m kind of acquainted with Fuck Buddies, I asked him what his name meant. I thought at first, as it’s a solo project, it was because he was sick of his friends, but he told me that on the contrary, it was more an invitation to love the people close to you, to share your feelings with them, even sadness, as it’s through tough time that you realize who your real friends are. Now that I’m listening to it for a week, I understand it: this Storm of emotions is the perfect soundtrack for a friendly shag, to keep you & your buddies warm at night. Ideal for the season. Enjoy it now, as nothing last forever in the cold november rain.
-Alex the Cramp
/nov 15th 2004/