Friday, August 19, 2005
As we've discussed before, one of the chief problems presented by the Internet is that the ease of communication creates a critical rat race in which sensible analysis is trampled underfoot. Everyone is so busy trying to be a shot-caller that an astounding amount of mediocre pablum slides in past the gatekeepers. After being told too many times to get excited over inane derivative drivel, my vengeful streak has gotten the best of me. Henceforth, when I see a blogger licking the boots of a band whose greatest acheivement is their anonymity, I will post a musical retort - a genuinely different and decent song to balance the bad one.
And so today, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the late Love Life, another great band from the Greatest City in America. For four brief years, the quartet attacked Kurt Weillian cabaret as only ex-punks could: with the howling melodrama of goth-punk godfathers the Birthday Party, physically attacking their instruments like Tom Waits at his most primitive. (It makes stylistic sense for this post to follow the one about Scratch Acid.) The creepy continentalism and ambitious arrangements also recall Mr. Bungle's masterwork, Disco Volante.
Flaming out after four years, Love Life managed to put out two brilliant records. The latter (from which this song was taken) was the consistently brilliant Here Is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn, which effectively launched the producing career of TV On the Radio's David Andrew Sitek.
The ragged charm and world-weary grace of Love Life was, according to vocalist Katrina Ford, very much reflective of living in Baltimore. Recalling her relocation to Charm City in an interview with City Paper, Ford believes "there's a beautiful despair here that is unlike the surface beauty of New Orleans, which acts like a carnivorous plant that draws you in like a fly with a sweet-smelling exterior. Baltimore is ugly, but if you stay for a while you really discover something very beautiful about it. The beauty is in the people here. How hard they work and how definitely working class this town is."
This post was written in response to this post on the Simple Mission blog about the San Diego punk-lounge act Get Hustle, who I found to be undynamic, unrepentently sloppy, and too conceited to actually write songs.
at 5:44 PM