Bad, bad, bad…

Not the CDs: me, for neglecting to post for so many days! I remember the part of the Inferno where Dante describes negligent bloggers hanging from meathooks over a raging stream of binaries… on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t depend on Bruce Sterling’s translation when making reference to the Inferno. Kidding, of course, Bruce Sterling spends most of his time translating Bruce Sterling, I should think. Ciaran Carson did an interesting translation of Dante, much better, I thought, than Robert Pinsky’s which was released around the same time to much more hoopla.

(bonus: what level of hell would you be on?  I got to level 7!:

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful) Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Moderate
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Moderate
Level 7 (Violent) Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) High
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) High

Take the Dante’s Divine Comedy Inferno Test)

89) dos: justamente tres

dos is Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, and now, I believe, playing bass on the Iggy and the Stooges reunion tour) and Kira Roessler (Black Flag), and they both play bass guitar, and Kira sings. That’s it, not a lot of overdubs, no guest musicians that I can see, a few effects larded on now and then… and it’s great, interesting, melodic songs that force the listener to pay attention in a different way, while remaining familiar enough (clear song structures, standard western scales, folk-influenced singing) that the challenge is not contentious. A bit like punk chamber music, I suppose. (bonus: Watt’s solo stuff is very strong too, but I only have digital copies, and so won’t be discussing them here, just thought the world should know.)

90) The Psychedelic Furs: The Psychedelic Furs

It still amazes me that someone as snotty sounding as Richard Butler could have US hits (“Pretty in Pink,” “Ghost in You,” “Love My Way”), although on those songs he tones down the snot a bit. Anyhow, the snot is flowing here, as are the big, echoey drums, the wall of sound production, and the great, hooky, SNOTTY songs: “India,” “Sister Europe,” “We Love You,” “Imitation of Christ”… doesn’t exactly make me want to dance, but does make me want to stagger around on a dance floor and bump into people and not apologize. (bonus: Butler is a pretty good painter, turns out; check out this snotty painting.)

91-92) Jeff Buckley: Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk

Jeff sure had a lot of talent, and a lot of interesting ideas, and what is tragic about is his death is that he never got to put it all together into one awe-inspiring package. The closest he came, I think, was his cover of L Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the best moment on his only “official” CD, Grace. Many folks seem to think Grace a masterpiece, but it doesn’t reach those heights for me, it is the sound of a man searching for, well, grace, and also for a vision. The same holds true for this CD, recordings meant to be Buckley’s next release, and which he kept messing with and re-recording, trying to find the right tone. Still some good songs here, and some sonic experimentation that foreshadow the artist he might have grown into. (bonus: Hallelujah. Scary how many versions of this song on YouTube claim Buckley wrote it–does no one bother to read the goddamn liner notes?)