Monday, November 27, 2006

Quit playing grabass, you bunch of goddamn primadonnas

#24 Explosions in the Sky, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (Temporary Residence, 2003)

I am a little worried about appearances now. I’m not sure how I can regain my cultural critic credibility among this crowd after leading my top 25 with hair metal … hmm… maybe the Velvet Underground, a little Heidegger, silver age Bollywood, a pinch of Galatians … Oh wait! I know – I’ll talk about my high school football glory days. I haven’t seen Friday Night Lights, The Movie, but it strikes me as totally fitting that EITS’s music should have been chosen for the movie’s soundtrack. Ever since Brandon turned me on to this disc, I’ve wished it had been released 15 years earlier. I can just imagine the fake memories: “First Breath After Coma” on the cheap boombox in the locker room, me girdling (sic) my loins, lacing the Adidas, envisioning the big TD catch and the whipped cream bikini to come as my reward. Wait, am I confusing my life with Varsity Blues, again? Let me back up, pausing before the bikini (as you do). Maybe if this record were playing on the boombox (instead of Phil Collins – I swear to God!!), the Havre High School Blue Ponies (go big blue!) would have won that state championship game.

Well, we didn’t, and you can check out my 10,000 word treatise on that disappointment on my LiveJournal, entitled, “Musings of a Beautiful Soul,” interspersed with my poetry about Frank Herbert novels and exegesis of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (Do live journals actually have titles?)

To spend a few words on the album, the whole football idea comes to me because The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place is such an evocative and even intense album, in the most understated way. Tension is of course created by space, and this record is splendidly tense and generates expectation and excitement when I listen to it in a way that AC/DC or Met*llica never ever does. The obvious comment to make about this album is that it is exactly the sound of a cold dead world, and that otherworldly aspect of it makes it continually compelling for me.

The title of the post, by the way, was a favorite saying of my coach, toward whom I should mention that I actually have fairly warm feelings.


Big Cougar said...

Cold domestic brew: 3 dollars. Old CD boombox: 75 dollars. Copy of EITS's "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place": 12 dollars. Imagining a Varsity Blues-style whipped cream bikini fantasy while listening to First Breath After Coma: priceless.

Papa Shoegaze said...

when brandon and I went to see these guys 3 years ago all we had heard was clips off the net. at Go!Studios that night there was indeed some tension. the guys are 4 min. into the opening song, one guitarist is doing some sort of elephant sway/stomp thing with his guitar hanging by his knees while the bass player (center) is already sweating and swinging his ax dangerously close to the other guitarist. sho nuff, a minute later said guitarist takes it in the side of the face and is dripping a small river of blood the rest of the show. we couldnt see just how bad it was bc he had a sean style beard. he cant touch his face mind you, or the shows over...