Monday, March 17, 2003

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the Finkleman piece below - it's sure to grow slowly out of control, as such things tend to do in my hands. I'll take care of other business while it simmers:

There's nothing like the feeling of a nice, healthy creative spasm, is there? This past Saturday, I went into a recording studio for the first time in several years (or ever, depending on whether or not you define an acidhead with a TEAC four-track that's missing a track a "recording studio"), nothing on hand or in mind, and came out several hours later with, if not a masterpiece, a fine-sounding piece of self-indulgence and a sore throat from shouting. Not to mention a slightly dazed adrenal buzz, the kind that comes after you've pushed your inspirational envelope hard enough to sustain paper cuts. And when you have a couple of sympatico compadres, both fizzing with inspiration (the piece was built from nothing into an impressive sonic edifice comprising live and sampled percussion, mutilated fragments from an avant-garde classical piece, and the producer overdubbing his voice a dozen times into a Beach Boys-worthy harmonic weave [we're talking Pet Sounds Beach Boys here, not "Kokomo" Beach Boys]), it's all the sweeter. Anyway, for your perusal and heartless dissection, here's my hastily-scrawled lyric to the inaugural recording by No, "Pop Culture Death Camp":

The liberation forces finally broke through with their tanks
Confirming the rumors that had fluttered through the ranks
Weapons of mass distraction held in underground culture bunkers
Disco death squads, fashion fascists, hardened corps of punkers
Escapist artistes wielding promotional tie-in sabers
Protecting the bitter fruit concentrates of their labors
Wilted couch potatoes forced to maintain the stasis quo
All messed up and only one place left to go...

The pop culture death camp
Where the bodies are stacked like pogs
Gasoholics throw pet rocks
Through the Charlie-scented smog
Corpses wearing WIN buttons
Gold extracted from wind-up teeth
Wine coolers drench the surface
Faded plastic underneath

The tribunal was held at the food court just off Nuremburger Drive
Where paper-hatted prisoners - the only ones they found alive -
Testified of drive-through shootings, unhappy meals without a prize
And signs over the heat lamps reading ARBEIT MACHT CURLY FRIES
They caught the generalissimo manager of the local Walpurgismart
Confiscated his hate-filled tabloids and his warehouse of sofa-sized art
The lucky ones exiled themselves to Dollywood and Branson, MO
And San Franciscan enclaves where they covertly go with the flow

The pop culture death camp
Where old hairstyles go to hell
Riflemen with full Nehru jackets
The bellbottom of the well
The unfortunates became lava lamps
And emit a sickly pastel glow
This must never happen again
At least until it becomes retro

("I was only following trends!...")

Not high art, maybe, but it gives you a fair idea of where my head's at. Yeah, I know. Sorry.

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