Perusing and listen to playlists on the interwebs is a guilty distraction for me. Top ten this, top ten that, chronologies, inspirations, songs to grow plants. This list isn’t a top ten list. It is ten songs curated into an emotional rollercoaster of museful chaos.
More on the music in “a bit late”
Music and sound have served me as a muse for as long as I can remember. I remember cajoling an elementary school rebellion with a portable tape deck and a poor recording of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out in 1973. I remember a lonely Sunday afternoon suffering from hay fever watching the Nihilist Spasm Band on CBC.
Early on at university, a late night studio session listening to Brave New Waves reintroduced me to the Nihilist Spasm Band. This, concurrent with an exhibition of Murray Favro’s guitars at the Mackenzie Art Gallery lead me to Fluxus and triggered a life long fascination with objects, sound, and absurdity.
The modulated pulsing sound of krautrock is the soundtrack of industrialized culture in conflict. The retro futurism of Australian band King Gizzard and the lizard Wizard utilizes this style and intent perfectly.
I love DIY rock and roll and blasphemy. The psychedelic romp of Reverend Beat Man and his self described style of Gospel blues trash caught me at first listen.
Godspeed You Black Emperor have been described as writing the soundtrack for society in collapse. A beautiful collapse it is.
I’m a fan of Raven Chacon and Post Commodity. I became aware of The Black Spirituals while researching The Death Convention Singers, one of Raven’s earlier projects. The Black Spirituals are a two piece noise band driven by themes of social justice and cultural sovereignty.
Like the black Spirituals, Zeal and Ardor utilize a musical style known to attract and embrace supremist ideologies. Harsh noise in case of the black Spirituals. Zeal and Ardor combine Black Metal and traditional Black Gospel music to form something unique and terrifying. Leading to a dark confrontation with the void. A sort of spiritual black hole.
Swans Children of God peers into that black hole and dives right in.
Tom Waites gospel tinged Jesus Gonna Be Here is a bluesy howl to the futility of existence and the promised solace of death.
The Sinking Belle, a collaboration between two drone metal titans Japan’s Boris and American Band Sunn 0))), is a slow droning exhale. An acceptance of sorrow, A release from the void into nothing.
Fiddlin’ by the Guess Who is a reminder not to take life to seriously. Joy exists in the simplest of things. Life just is. Enjoy.
You can see Michel Boutin perform live at Remai Modern on Saturday, June 4, as part of the opening weekend program for In the Middle of Everywhere: Artists on the Great Plains.