Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

Related Post Roulette

21 Responses

  1. aaron david says:

    I am kinda digging the Goslings, but if I played this while my wife was home… She would stab me in the eye.Report

  2. krogerfoot says:

    I cannot express how disappointed I am that this is not about Gary Cherone’s 90s-era melodic metal band.Report

  3. Reformed Republican says:

    Are we doing extreme tonight? We cannot do extreme without Swans.

    Money is Flesh

    Nothing pretty about this one.Report

    • Top 5 concerts Glyph has missed thus far this year, and why:

      Screaming Females – Forgot they were playing that night
      Swans – Too tired to drive 45 minutes each way, worried venue’s notoriously-bad acoustics would render Swans’ notorious volumes unlistenable (reports that it somehow actually sounded fine depressed me even more)
      Neutral Milk Hotel – distrust of hoity-toity venue and, likely, crowd
      Architect – Bad workweek, and thus mood
      Baseball Project – family obligationsReport

  4. krogerfoot says:

    re Goslings,

    Johnny Carson: “So Leon, I hear you just played a show here in town last night.”
    Leon Redbone: “That’s what they tell me, though to tell the truth it was so loud up there, I didn’t know if I was singin or they was playin.”Report

  5. Bert The Turtle says:

    I certainly appreciate the post. I hadn’t heard of these guys, but I also don’t seek out much in the way of new noise/experimental/industrial/drone music anymore. And although I don’t listen to it as much these days, I still have a good selection of CDs from when I used to lurk in the newsgroup rec.music.industrial.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Bert The Turtle says:

      It’s certainly not the most-listened to type of music for me either (though I have somewhat gravitated back towards noisier stuff in the last few years).

      But just as I can’t imagine eating super-nuclear-spicy food for every meal, I can’t imagine NEVER eating super-nuclear-spicy food either.

      Even in pain and ugliness, there are novel tastes and textures (and even strange beauty) to be found.Report

      • Bert The Turtle in reply to Glyph says:

        Very well put. I love the spice analogy. If we consider one of the primary purposes of art to be its ability to invoke an emotional response, then noise/sludge/dark ambient/etc is just as essential as classical/blues/jazz/hip-hop/pop/rock to reflect on the human condition. But sometimes all it takes is a dash of distortion or a pinch of glitch to liven up a tune. Not every album has to be marinated in a Merzbow Ghost Pepper sauce.

        One of my college friends once called Godspeed You! Black Emperor “movie soundtrack” music. And when I listen to them or other similar acts I often do get a strong sense of place and mood. I think that may be part of the reason a lot of experimental and industrial musicians have gotten gigs scoring films. Off the top of my head: Graeme Revell (SPK), Clint Mansell (PWEI), Trent Reznor(NIN), (I’d even throw in Mark Mothersbaugh and Danny Elfman since both Devo and Oingo Boingo made some pretty strange music). A willingness to use samples, found sounds, synthesizers, and other non-traditional instruments gives a much broader palate to work with than a standard orchestra (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).Report

      • Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        Yeah, but when I think of ugliness in song, I think of Amos’ Happy Worker, complete with soviet trappings.
        Effective, smart, and pretty damn fun to sing.Report

  6. Chris says:

    I would love to go see The Goslings live just to see who else shows up.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      The police to shut the power off, I’d imagine.Report

      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:


        I’ve probably mentioned this before, but you’ve caused me to think about one of my pet peeves, so I’m going to say it again. Austin passed a strict noise ordinance for downtown in the mid-Aughts, which essentially killed the live music scene. Before venues were able to really wrap their minds around the ordinances, a lot of shows were shut down by the police. I went to 3 small shows that were shut down, and have been to several since at which they venues have been warned. I like to think of it less as the result of a draconian noise ordinance than as the result of my music being too cool to be legal.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          Noise ordinances are probably tricky to get right. I understand the rationale for them, yet you don’t want to kill the very thing that made the area a hotspot to begin with.

          There’s a great outdoor brick-courtyard venue here that has been involved again and again over the years in city noise-ordinance woes – fines, threats of total shutdown, etc.

          It seems to me the best compromise isn’t max decibels, so much as scheduling – shows have to be over by 11PM or whatever, no ifs, ands or buts. If you want to go later, best sound-baffle your indoor venue and control the sound leakage to outside.Report

          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            It is tough, but here the city basically made it economically impossible to keep one of the city’s identifying features. I mean, this is the town that calls itself “The Live Music Capital of the World,” and for almost a decade there was very little live music in its primary entertainment district.

            That’s changing a bit now, though the live music venues are popping up on the periphery of the entertainment district (outside of its traditional boundaries) because that’s where owners can build new, better insulated venues, or can afford to insulate existing venues.Report

  7. veronica d says:

    Well, I made it all the way through the Goslings album last night, while (among other things) reading a proof that first-order logic is only semi-decidable by virtue of the fact you can encode an arbitrary Turing machine into first-order logic, and thus a decidable proof procedure would solve the halting problem.

    What I’m trying to say is, that music and that proof seemed to compliment each other well.

    (I once had a friend who described MBV as “The best band ever to do homework to.” So yeah. Words to live by.)

    I also read some really trashy sword & sorcery stuff, which was not as good a match.Report

    • Glyph in reply to veronica d says:

      If you can get past the first ten minutes or so, I find the whole thing gets easier; you get used to it, but I also think they frontloaded one of the most abrasive/atonal songs right there at the start.

      Jonathan also said he finds noisy shoegaze/white noise good “homework” or writing music; I don’t at all, I keep getting distracted by/caught up in textures (though weirdly, I can sleep just fine to noisy shoegaze).

      For work I prefer wordless ambient, or mid-tempo very-mathematical techno (things like Gas or Plastikman are ideal). Something that’s either totally “washy”, or very very “orderly”.Report