Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I don't really get People of the North until I read the Louise Bogan poem

I'm pretty sure that one member of People of the North teaches English, so it's maybe not surprising that their references are higher brow than, say, the average Japandroids album. But in any case, this particular album is named after a Louise Bogan poem that I read (first in excerpt in the press packet, later in toto on the web) and that sort of cracks open the whole enterprise.

You'll have to click through to get to the paragraph about the poem, or you can read it here:

Sub Contra

Notes on the tuned frame of strings

Plucked or silenced under the hand

Whimper lightly to the ear,

Delicate and involute,

Like the mockery in a shell.

Lest the brain forget the thunder

The roused heart once made it hear,

Rising as that clamor fell,

Let there sound from music's root

One note rage can understand,

A fine noise of riven things.

Build there some thick chord of wonder;

Then, for every passion's sake,

Beat upon it till it break.

And simultaneously listen:

Okay, that's enough right. You don't really want to read my review, do you?

Oh all right. Enjoy.

Sub Contra

People of the North

Thrill Jockey


Sub Contra, named for a Louise Bogan poem, layers supple volleys of abstract drumming over a wavering layer of distortion, a harsh buzz of sound that grows thicker and thinner like varying grades of sandpaper. Electronic auras fuzz to life then fade, bits of silvery space rock zoom forward then fade back into a power station hum. Signposts are few along the lonely roads these compositions travel, no words (except for a buried, indecipherable vocal in “Drama Class”), few melodic elements and not even much evidence of time signature.


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