Wednesday, December 20, 2006

now it's autumn

there was something in the air. it was fall, and finally starting to feel like it. the chill that night brought was just enough to make you want to stand a little closer to that college cutie that smiled at you every time you stumbled into your advanced acting course late.

i was a theatre major at james madison university. this meant your life consisted of arguing politics, competing with your friends to see who could make the most obscure mix tape for your friends, and skipping class to sleep because you had just spent the entire night in the theatre hanging lights, learning lines or directing and had every intention of doing it all again tonight.

i was walking home, through that brisk air, back to my apartment. there were five of us, five actor/director/tech guys, so our domicile became the unofficial hangout of the theatre department (not the musical theatre department. they spent their time drinking smirnoff and working out harmonies to songs that dont need harmonies: "hey ya!" is a fine example), and i contribute this solely to the fact that, since there were five roommates, one of us was always awake at any moment of the day or night. we never locked the door. people would just stroll in and see who was awake. you quickly lose your sense of shame when your friends and acquaintances are always walking into your room unannounced, but youre never i guess it all balances out.

as i approached my apartment, i noticed the glow of candles coming from my place: andrew, the sunshiny-rainbow that he is, was having a get-together. but i heard this beat. this soul-singer vocal, and a familiar voice. my stride immediately synced up to this song. it was the soundtrack to right-then-and-there.

when i walked inside, i just sat down. i didnt say hi. i didnt say anything. i sat next to the stereo and listened to this entire record start-to-finish. it was amazing. i, just like everyone else in the world that has ever seen an eighties movie or heard the radio, had probably tapped my foot to their biggest single many parties before. but i had never given them another thought after their eight-minute dance classic had ended, and the next familiar tune started blasting through our hosts craptastic stereo speakers.

i previously listed "gran turismo"as being one of the most influential records on the way i think about writing and recording music, but the record playing in my ears as i sat on our hand-me-down couch would forever change the way i think about a songs' driving force; the rhythm.

the way this band shapes the songs backbone, the drums and percussion--drum machines weaving in and out of an acoustic trap set played by an actual person--the way everything bounces in and off of the song, angered me. i got so upset that i had never thought of it before. i was perplexed by it. it's so intelligent. it's not just 'kick-snare-kick-snare' and hi-hats all the while. it became so obvious that there's so much more to it, to the point that this interplay between samples and live drums became the model that i based the percussion in MY programming for the sad lives on; working very closely with a drummer to use the rhythm as a springboard for dynamics in a song.

in a tv interview, the singer was once asked who the laziest member of his band was. when he replied "ian curtis," the audience booed.

but he was right. joy division was so alive. so intense. so real. so delicate, yet powerful. but when he died, the band that he left in his wake was unsure of itself. they were uncomfortable in their new roles, and it showed for a very long time. it's my opinion that it wasn't until my number 8 record came out that they really knew how to be themselves. for once, they were actually sure of themselves and proud to be New Order.


NEW ORDER-get ready

RELEASE DATE: October 16, 2001
LABEL: Reprise / Wea


ATrain said...

nice post, hunter. it did what these are supposed to do (and mine rarely achieve) - now I want to listen to this album

Sarah said...

I would agree. Very nicely wrought write-up.