Tuesday, April 17, 2012

long distance runner

There have been a handful of people in my life who've put tunes in my hands that have altered the route of my musical trajectory drastically, and one of those was a friend at my lunch table with who loaned me Repeater at the beginning of senior year that set off a long period of Ian Mackaye fangirlness that's only been tempered by their lack of output in the ten years since I graduated. I guess it's better to go out on top, and The Argument and the Furniture EP were fitting codas that made me realize that it was possible to be yourself and age gracefully and ragefully in your art, refining sound without losing the fire.

still one of my all-time favorites.

Unsurprisingly, no one shared my same enthusiasm for these sounds, finding the tone too preachy, the vocals too abrasive, but the tightness, the coiled energy, of squalling Gibson SG, the vocal interplay, sinuous basslines, and pitch-perfect skittering drums appealed to my inner prog dork but the lack of fussiness and self-indulgence was a revelation. Red Medicine somehow never got removed from the jukebox at Kent State, and my roommate and I used to find amusement in the way that certain songs would clear the room.

 Minor Threat was a much more accessible common denominator, especially for those of us who loved noisy music and didn't do drugs and therefore felt out of step with the world, and was perfect for summer nights of driving aimlessly around Parmastan talking about things that seem both meaningful and ridiculous when you're 18 and you're realizing that your messed up country is about to get way more messed up.

The arcanity of the lyrics, free of the datedness of many of the contemporaries, let the universals of dealing with bureaucracy, sucky people, and general frustration be cathartic for whatever situation I fell into. "Public Witness" and "Great Cop" for the busybodies and bullies, "Long Division" for the breakups and disintegrations, here comes the argument, I'm still on a mission to never agree and keep my eyes open because the farther I go, the less I know.


  1. ah yes all too familiar with life in the waiting room and still waiting for a good midlife band to come along

  2. I'm finding that my favorite musicians have hit the midlife and are still sounding great. Or maybe this just means I'm getting old too.

    It's hard to say "if it's too loud you're too old" to the Rockingest Guy in the Bibliotheque.