A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Mars Volta

What I've been listening to lately: The Mars Volta. It's hard to live in the same house as Ali and Amir and not be fans of this band. A new album's been released, The Bedlam in Goliath, which Ali threw on my playlist. I find myself going back to it again and again.

TMV is hard to classify. Progressive rock, I guess, with heavy jazz, salsa, funk/punk, and electronica influences. Very psychedelic. The band's been known to go on stage for a show and just improvise wildly for close to an hour, then leave. So much for expecting to hear your favorite cuts from Frances the Mute or Amputechture.

Lineup for The Bedlam in Goliath is Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Isaiah Ikey Owens, Juan Aldarete de la Pena, Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, Paul Hinojos, Thomas Pridgen, and John Frusciante (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Pridgen, new to the band, is a drum prodigy from Berklee; he's only 24, but has been playing circles around almost everyone in the world since about the age of 9 or 10.

My favorite track at this point is "Metatron." The lyrics, like all TMV lyrics, are food for thought. At least these are in English. Here's a sample: Folding wormholes/My time is writing in the alphabet/Folding wormholes/My time is writing on the wall./In the dead plot you dream in/Ten go away/Ten born of prey/Ten go away.

Maybe makes sense if you're on drugs. Anyway, mindbendingly surreal and satisfying.

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