Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bobby, King of Boy’s Town by Cass McCombs

Ah, the Sunday morning. You wake up, brew some coffee, put on a relaxing record, and let the blood in your brain begin to rejuvenate from the wild events of the weekend. You kick back in your favorite recliner, maybe read a good book, or maybe watch some football– you take the day off. The relaxing sound of the Sunday morning has never been replicated as perfectly as The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning,” but there has been such a high amount of attempt, that to ignore the “copy-cats” would be ignoble to the world of music. And hey, who doesn’t always enjoy a sluggishly soothing come down anthem? I know I do. Cass McCombs, staple of the indie-singer-songwriter genre, is known for his slow burning musical lozenges (“County Line”), but the rarity, “Bobby, King of Boy’s Town,” has that perfect amount of energy– not too much and not too little– never fatiguing listeners in the way that slower tempo songs can sometimes do. The song is like that first sip of coffee, drowsy yet optimistic, warm and awakening. The song’s nonsensical lyrical content is refreshing in an entertaining way and somewhat hallucinogenic as McCombs croons, “God Bless Father Flanagan, the movies is bologna.” The melody struggles to keep up with itself, bumbling along like a young boy who just learned how to hum. It’s an exact demonstration of one of music’s many purposes: escape. “Bobby, King of Boy’s Town” is a three minute and forty-seven second mental transportation. And after a long week and a shameless weekend, an escape is much needed.

-Ryan

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Cinnamon by The Dirty Nil

Barack Obama has been reelected. Marijuana is now legal in Washington and Colorado. Same-sex marriage is now allowed in Maine, Washington, and Maryland. America is evolving. Our country is evolving. And whether you like it or not, progressivism is here to stay. We are living in the time of the “middle-class,” a time where it’s finally okay to be an outlier, and unfortunately a time of great political divide. Half of the country is ecstatic with the election while the other half seems to be stuck in a rut of red-faced anger. However, in the dirty world of politics someone is always going to be pissed off. Throughout history political anger has played a huge role in shaping the way America functions. The once popular Whig party was born out of intense opposition to President Andrew Jackson’s “executive tyranny”, John Brown marched into the south and slaughtered dozens of pro-slavery southerners during the 1850’s to affirm the abolitionists’ heroic allegiance to the destruction of slavery, Upton Sinclair, so angry with the unsanitary production methods of the meat industry, wrote an entire novel that exposed the industry’s disgusting forms of processing and packaging which led to stricter government regulation, women grew tired of being treated as inferiors, mobilized, and eventually passed the 19th amendment, and the Southern California African-American community got sick of being oppressed by the police and brutally tore apart their environment, rioting with vengeful anger in the Los Angeles Race Riots of 1992. Politics can cause people to get strangely hot under their collars. It’s an odd phenomenon to grasp. People are born different, isn’t it obvious that we won’t agree on everything– especially politics? Isn’t that difference what makes our country so great? Some people seem to forget. Nevertheless, there are ways to deal with the hotheaded and simple methods to diffuse tense political discussions. You simply ignore them. You let them be pissed off. Let the angry sulk in their own resentment. There’s no need to get caught up in someone else’s animosity, we’ve got enough of that as it is on our own.

The Dirty Nil, a grungy rock band out of Ontario, Canada knows just how to extinguish an ill-tempered tantrum. The trio’s recent EP, Summer Mix-Tape is like a hurling ball of fire on a crash course for the uptight. On the standout track, “Cinnamon,” the rowdy band fuses guitar and drum barrages with boys-night-out-no-worries lyrics, punching all of the band’s fun-detractors right in the jaw. “Cinnamon” isn’t as political as relationship-based, but as the band growls, “You can be pissed if you want to!”, you can’t help but to aim this verdict at the political world today. The guitars’ distortion is heavy and slightly fuzzy, reminiscent of Nirvana and Superchunk, creating even more red-hot urgency under the song’s thesis of “chill-out.” The Dirty Nil don’t care if you disagree with them, they have better things to do, like “going out and getting fucked up with their friends.” And when the world is making your blood pressure rise, your palms sweaty, and your fists shake, sometimes going out with your friends and erasing the angers of the day from your head is essential to human life. People can get so worked up about things they either don’t understand, don’t like, or don’t believe– politics is an obvious in today’s world. America seems so volatile right now. I think our entire country needs to take advice from The Dirty Nil and find a good friend and a great bar and indulge.

-Ryan