This one began with the drums, of course. I was determined to have at least one track on the album feature Sean Dixon’s monstrous abilities in an unabashed way. Sometimes I feel like bands,…
Nick Zammuto, of Zammuto and the Books, is writing an excellent series about each song on his new album Anchor, both in terms of composition and technical realization. A lot to think about here for both gearheads and aestheticians. I wasn’t always into the self-titled Zammuto record, but Anchor is rock-solid. In “Hegemony”, Zammuto repeat the title — in both pronunciations — until its semantics dissolve into pure sound. I loved this paragraph about how that repetition plays into the song’s theme:
It’s a great exercise to concentrate so intensely on the sound of a word that the meaning of it disappears. It illustrates an important property of language. Repeating a word many times has a way of undoing it’s meaning. The sound of the word becomes more and more abstract as the signifier becomes divorced from the signified. I think hegemonies arise by the reverse process: an abstraction is repeated to the point where it becomes accepted as fact. ‘Consent is manufactured’. Things we never needed before become necessities. This is how tools, in the form of objects and people, are made. Personally, I want to use tools without becoming a tool. But, it’s hard to find a perspective that unveils the hegemony most of the time. Usually it requires taking several steps back, and outside of one’s comfort zone. But hard work is rewarding.
The opening track from Segundo is one of the strangest track in Juana Molina’s discography. To start with, I think that I should explain a little bit about what Martín Fierro is, but also, who he is. Argentina has a very important figure in its culture: the gaucho. It has been translated as “cowboy”, but it’s something different, especially for the values that a gaucho carries within him. The epic poem Martín Fierro by José Hernández, published in two parts in 1872 and 1879, and the character that gives its name, is the most important representation of the gaucho and a national symbol for Argentina.
How is it possible to describe those first seconds from Rara’s title track? In an album that is rather conventional — poppy alternative music from the ‘90s — finding suddenly a voice that is so desolated is shocking. It’s true that we already had a glimpse of this side of Juana Molina in “En los días de humedad”, but “Rara” is different. Both songs were the ones that American radios like KCRW found interesting – they got to know her music because producer Gustavo Santaolalla left a CD at the radio.
In “En los días de humedad” the acoustic and the electric guitars act together as one, to speed up the melody and give it a gentler sound. Although it has its dark side, it’s a very pleasing song. But “Rara”, instead, is oppressive. The atmosphere is the one of a rainy day; but the kind of rain that just doesn’t stop and it seems that there’s no way it will; the kind of days in which you don’t feel like doing anything at all, that you don’t even want to lay in bed and you just wish that you could disappear to stop feeling and thinking for that day, that you could be absent from your own body and mind.
#1 Sexy Zone “Otoko Never Give Up” (125,463 Copies Sold)
I think I’ve managed to find at least one redeeming thing about every Johnny’s project under the sun - except for Sexy Zone. Maybe they were cursed from the start, by choosing a name meant to conjure up the sexiness of Michael Jackson that still manages to out-ridiculous a pop scene full of dumb names. Maybe they were doomed after making a goofy yay-Dubai song (gotta get that Dubai money!). Maybe it was when they pretended to be in a sci-fi RPG or something. I don’t know - but I can trick myself into saying nice things about Kanjani8 or V6 or whoever, but I can’t even lie to myself about Sezy Zone, who deliver a hyper awkward “yes we can!” midway through this video that made my body shiver.
Reading Patrick doing Oricon Trail for the past couple months has been kind of like the end of Super Size Me when Morgan Spurlock’s doctor is like “I appreciate your dedication to this project, but if you don’t stop you could hurt yourself, you could be permanently trapped in… Sexy Zone”