Thursday, September 15, 2005

Black Dice / Broken Ear Record / Rating 8.1

perpetual motion machine

“ This isn’t music, this sounds like a bunch of retards falling down the stairs with pots and pans!”

God I miss my Pop Pop. This was a man who wasn’t afraid to speak him mind, no matter how inappropriate or totally wrong he was. I had proudly just played my very first band’s very first cd for both of my Grandparents and while my Granny smiled, tapped her feet and chewed on pretzel rods happily my Pop Pop sat with arms folded and barked out “ This isn’t music, this sounds like a bunch of retards falling down the stairs with pots and pans!”.

That was just his way of saying I don’t get it, this doesn’t sound like the stuff I call music, only he worded it in his own, umm… special way. I couldn’t get mad as this was also coming from the same man who chose to not eat cheese for all 80+ years of his life because it was a mold and growing up in Paterson in the 1920’s, the Italian kids were the meanest of them all. I don’t know if he blamed the cheese for what he considered volcanic temperament but nonetheless, he wanted no part of their food traditions… but that’s a whole other story.

Historically speaking my body reacts to all Black Dice releases the same way, like my Grandfather to cheese. Their music unnerves me more than the kid who lives above me and I didn’t think that was possible. My upstairs neighbor plays shoot em’ up video games at top volume for 18 hours a day while listening the same song on repeat. (something by Sade I think) I mean who plays violent games and listens R&B sex jams? He may also own boots of iron because each of his foot stomps cause things in my apartment to rattle or fall of the wall… but again that’s a whole other story.

Listening to “Broken Ear Record” I am also reminded of a stoner ex boyfriend who made me hours of his best 4track avant beat heavy skronk which I swear sounded like a reverb and delay pedal being gangbanged by a guitar, keyboard and bass. I was young, in love, and still couldn’t stand the stuff.

I really admire how PFM puts a positive spin the Black Dice cd by calling it “quasi-urbanized clang” and decidedly "tribal" or even better intelligent and never lacking in momentum.” Maybe all of these people share the same dealer and are smoking the same pot as my ex? I mean they all live in Brooklyn so it is possible, right ?!? The really sad part is I actually hate it when I don't get a band. I feel like I usually can find something good in just about anything and I'll be damned if I can grasp what makes this band so "futuristic"and "unparalleled among would-be contemporaries."

This really proves to me that there is a someone and a something for everyone and for my Pop Pop it wasn’t my music and for me it isn’t Black Dice. On the other hand I wouldn’t be shocked if I heard my ex is playing in a side project with one of the Black Dice boys either. I was in denial that there could be more than just one person out exploring and loving the sound of static in an echo chamber but I know how many records BD have sold to date and clearly there is a large tribe of you out there. Amen to kindred spirits.

I am going to tell it like it is. I don’t deserve to give this record a rating because in my world giving it a rating means it registered in my brain as something I understand to be music and well… the Black Dice do something but my gut reaction isn’t to call it music.

It’s okay, you can call me Grandpa (or rather grandma… you know me being a cranky old lady and all)