Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Sermon - Our Own Language

Life of Pi - a new Job story which could be older than the Old Testament!

The film is perfectly executed, but why could it be nobody's favourite film?

The scope is just too large.  The story could be set in any time.  It's so big we find it quaint.

The images are universal and timeless, but so are the connotations!

Local and more contemporary images connoting universal and never-changing themes is the essence of mythology.  

The ancient Greeks used ancient Greece, just as the medieval mind thought in terms of the Middle Ages.  Where Dante used the inferno, James Joyce used the modern city. 

In a film that speaks with modern images, such as Grave of the Fireflies, there's no ancient god of wrath, but a World War.  

Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies is also about unjust suffering. The aesthetic complex is powerful - it shows as at once the constant and the changing.

So where does this leave the old religions?  Their content is good, but their languages are dead.  

The new religion, the worship of Experience through Art, is our deliverance from antiquity.  We should speak and be spoken to in our own language.

This is the word of LVD.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Dark Age Rant

In all dark ages Dionysus has to live alone, without Apollo and his white suit.
And, bitter and lonely Dionysus rants:

I can't take much more of this festering era of philistines. 
Lousy with businessmen and their love of money, 
selling junk and nonsense to their puss-filled consumers,
and all the fine things rotten.

And all the scum-for-brains mediocrities, fancying themselves critics and judges from the comfort of the sweaty arse-grooves in their lounges.

Domesticated pigs!  You flatulent invalids!

I would rather eat glass than spend another year with you know-nothing, swill-scoffing swine!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Sermon - The Wasteland.

What is wrong with 21st Century Music?

Lack of novelty.  Is anything new being achieved in music?  Bands are shadows of older bands; genres are loveless cross-overs;  voices are the parrot pronouncements of passed singers.  Modern musicians seem happy with what was good enough for their fathers, which is the definition of death!

Too much novelty.  Why does the industry reward quirky characters, unlikely looking pop-stars, and the visually novel?  Isn't music an aural medium?

Too professional.  How sanitised are modern musicians?  Dressed, coached, choreographed, cleaned.  Throw them in the trash!

Too unprofessional.  In the past creators knew what their public needed to be elated by music.  They knew how to speak, and were understood in new languages of tones and tempos.  Do modern musicians know anything?

Absence of Hate.  What happened to our critical faculties?  Why is everything okay?  People who say Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the same breath don't deserve oxygen.

Absence of Love.  Great music makes you remember a forgotten ecstasy.  Modern music is auto-eroticism.

Failure to communicate.  Bad habits galore!  Lyrics are inaudible at live shows (which was acceptable back when guitar-music was the principle dance music, or something greater, but nobody's dancing any more.)  Live music fails to communicate with the audience in a way that no other art does.  

Too much communication.  You songwriters with your embarrassing earnestness, your artless frankness: save it for your diaries!

The 21st Century Musician's Motto:  Good enough.

The  21st Century Motto That We Need:  Enough!

Unpleasant.  We miss dearly the late 18th century classicists, who insisted on sonority, as much as we miss the late 70's punks, with their brilliant primitiveness.

Too pleasant.  In the future, all music will be so universal that nobody will like it.

This is the word of LVD.

Distortion Forever!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kosher Ignorance

On Sunday I enjoyed a Francis Bacon exhibition, unlike many of the people attending.  Why does the gallery offer those dreadful audio tours?  I wouldn't enjoy myself either if I had to learn!

Bacon is surely one of the greatest portrait painters.  His portraits reveal more than the subject.  He is like Leonardo, whose portraits show us renaissance thought and renaissance obsessions; and like Renoir, whose subjects come to us shrouded in the whole Impressionist philosophy.  

Though Bacon is bigger.  He took a step back, so we see neither the artist nor the 20th century.  We see only Life.  All is living and moving and rotting on the canvas.

So why do so many people choose to use the horrible audio tour?

What mystery do they think eludes them?  What information do they think could enhance their experience?  They treat the paintings as dusty works of history rather than vibrant works of art.  They ruin the experience for themselves by trying to gather facts.

The art says all that needs to be said. The Life-Death monstrosity is there in the portraits.  Death is not the opposite of Life - Learning is.

Abolish audio tours!

Jung said that religion stops an individual from having a religious experience. Could it be that a gallery stops people from seeing Art, even though it lets them see the paintings?

Art will always exist, as long as people say No to being educated.

Distortion Forever!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Sermon - Keep It To Yourself!

I recently received this email from an old school friend.

Hey man,

how you doing? Just wondering if you'd be interested in recording some 
lead guitar and piano for an album my band is doing at the moment?

The style is sort of Pearl Jam 90's music etc etc...

Probably be at a local studio

Let me know- thanks mate!

The modern era does not need a nineties Pearl Jam sound - neither did the nineties!

At first I thought I would say yes, just because I enjoy playing guitar, and I enjoy recording.  

Then I considered that this album would actually be put out into the world.  Playing nineties Pearl Jam music is not just a hobby for these guys.  They are trying to make it.  Yet, it is just a hobby.  

They are making something that nobody needs, something embarrassingly irrelevant, and their dream is to be lauded for doing so, and to have their hobby funded.

We surely do have now a Democracy of Culture, in which everyone has voice. Plebeian Polyphony.

Mistakenly, people think the punk credo was "Do it yourself."  It wasn't, it was "We did it for ourselves."  It was difficult for them, and the pressure produced diamonds.  These days all we have is coal.

This is the word of LVD.

Distortion Forever!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mirth & Madness

Everybody is holy: abolish the priesthood!

Every place is holy: dismantle the Vatican!

Every experience is divine: confess no sins!

All are pieces of the one Eternity,
Everyone is happy in the house of LVD.

Distortion Forever!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

From the book of Distortion: A Sunday Sermon

The Parable of The Hundred Songwriters

There were a hundred songwriters, and 99 of these suffered for want of notoriety.

And they changed their music to suit the fashion of the day, and as quickly as these songwriters would be forgotten they were noticed, and there was much slapping of backs, and recognition made them glad in their 99 hearts.

But for the one songwriter, who also suffered for want of notoriety, compromise was impossible, and no one listened.

Should you despair of living in a world where the 99 are listened to, and the one is not?

Verily, I say unto you, that next to this hundred is another hundred, and another and another.  

And a set will come from which the voice of the one is heard, and that voice is thunder which drowns out the slapping of backs, and this event is lightning which sends the 99 back to their shadows of cowardice.

What does it profit a man to gain the world if he has to play in a pop band?

This is the word of LVD.

Distortion Forever!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

LVD on the crescendo:

Crescendo Punk

Why do I use the Crescendo in every song?

To express the urgency of Life passing.

Why is that important?

The new religion shall worship Experience itself.  No dusty deities or hoary heroes.  All experience is divine.  All happenings are heroic.

Do I ever tire of the Crescendo?


Do the songs suffer?

Never.  The songs are simple, but the arrangements are complicated.  The simplicity of the song makes up for the good arrangement.

Is the passing of time Life's tragedy?

Yes. Recurrence is Eternity's comedy.

Are there any problems with the Crescendo?

The third verse is always drowned out, but third verses always should be.

Should I develop a new trick?

Maybe, but now it's kind of my thing.

Distortion Forever!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The necessity for a punk rebirth

Hello 2013!

I recently returned from New York City from a punk pilgrimage of sorts, where I was greatly depressed by seeing the state of the once legendary punk venue - CBGBs. 

The only thing that remains of the former iconic club is the wall with old band posters from gigs now passed. The space is now a John Varvatos clothing store selling rock inspired clothing to poseurs for exorbitant amounts. Is nothing sacred?  The punk palace is now a den of thieves.

But isn't that indicative of modern life? The best things are ruins, and the best things are ruined. Our generation deserves its own CBGBs; our own new wave of vitalising culture - not just another shop!

This year we shall chase the moneylenders from the temple!

The visit to Joey Ramone Place inspired this prayer:

Hail Joey, full of haste,
The fury with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst Ramones,
And blessed is the fruit of punk rock music.
Holy Joey, father of punk, pray for us rockers,
Now and at the hour of our deaths.
Hey! Ho! Let's go!

Distortion Forever!