Wednesday, November 16, 2005

clarity just confuses fish

i've been called worse things, but slacker certainly applies where the fish is concerned. technically the third contributor, i haven't really contributed much at all. jenn and mysfit have poked and prodded me out of my lethargy, however, and i will answer their challenges. since i'm sure everyone is on the edge of their office chairs to learn about me, i will begin with this most recent of revelatory memes...

5 Things

10 years ago: senior year of high school. i didn't like anyone i went to school with by then and spent most of my days hiding out in the closet that passed for a newspaper office playing minesweeper and reading star wars books (the zahn trilogy is really the only one worth reading in my estimation). i had a girl who was soon to discover the joy of college boys and leave me for one and then come back. then i left her. i also played a lot of doom2 and warcraft2. most of my friends existed in the gaming world. at that point i thought i'd be a computer programmer and married by now instead of in a band and living in sin. i think i'm much better off now.

5 years ago: halcyon days, if ever there were any. fall after college, apartment with 3 of my friends, lots of girls, drugs, and music. i learned more in the year after i graduated than i had at any school and i realized that 95% of what i thought was important was really just bullshit. had just started working at the theatre in new bizmark, a job i would hold for three years, where i would eventually meet jenn and fall in love with her belly because of the way she would slink into my office and frame herself in my door and ask me questions just so she could flirt. mmmmm...belly.....

1 year ago: two months back on staten island, working at the job i have currently. the band had begun its slow metamorphosis, and it's still metamorphosizing. we're now a three man acoustic act while we find a replacement drummer and bassist. maybe even keys. fucking gabe. he's one of the worst human beings i've ever met.

5 yummy things
ice cream
a good burger
oatmeal creme pies
jenn's belly.

5 songs i know by heart
elegy for mippy II for solo trombone by leonard bernstein
demons by sfa
spill the wine by eric burdon and war
opening theme song for bleach, second season
revelry by happy anarchy

5 things i would do with a lot of money
buy a drummer
buy a bassist
buy a keyboardist
buy a tour bus
buy a house

5 places i would escape to
a cabin in the woods
a cabin on a mountaintop
my secret underwater lair

5 things i would never wear
a bike helmet
penny loafers
women's underwear

5 favorite tv shows
family guy
daily show
arrested development

5 things i enjoy doing
playing music
watching anime

favorite toys
xbox (forthcoming)
blank paper

first time, i did it for the hell of it
sfa has been a topic of discussion on the fish recently and i've been asked to expand upon my love of them. what initially caught my attention was the cover of one of their albums, the all-welsh mwng (pronounced mane, i think). an animal skull with beard and pipe. i grabbed that and radiator at the same time and didn't listen to them for several months. i listened to radiator first, thinking it the more accessible of the two, and wondered why i hadn't listened to it sooner. the little rhodes melody was beautiful and somewhat reminiscent of the pumpkins' mellon collie, insofar as the use of mellotron. the strange, not-quite-british vocals and interesting choices in harmonies got me next, followed quickly by the lyrics. no one writes lyrics like the furries. i dunno if it's a certain quirk of being welsh or a combination of musical chemistries, but they can't be reproduced. even if you tried, you couldn't write a furries song.
contemporaries of blur and radiohead, sfa hasn't garnered nearly as much attention, but they don't seem to care. i hesitate to call their fanbase a cult following, but have you ever heard of them? their first album fuzzy logic was cut in the early/mid nineties somewhere in between kurt cobain and the bends. comparitively mediocore with a few really good songs but a great first offering nevertheless. after listening to album after album, you can hear the directions and ideas that would later flourish on rings around the world.

and the people who lie are the ones that get by
radiator. i really love this album. it's not as polished as the rest, but it's the furries hitting their stride. a solid second album from beginning to end with cameos by valentine strasser and einstein, radiator is where sfa starts to get political, and they don't hold back. the last show ended with a scathing song that i didn't know but that i will call all governments are liars and murderers. 'nuff said on that topic. all the elements are in place on radiator. the lyrics just get better and better.

i exist in flexi-time
guerilla is where sfa really delves into the electronics of it all. satellite rock. you can almost hear the 1's and 0's. they started out as a pop-techno band so it makes sense. the artwork starts to take a turn for the weird, too. the production isn't quite what it will be yet, but it's getting there. one thing that i've noticed is that, from the beginning, sfa has been comfortable and confident with its voice. the crappy songs are just as sincere as the great ones, so much so that i'll forgive them for fire in my heart, a song that prompted mysfit to say "this band sucks." we then argued about judging an artist based on one piece or song as opposed to their entire body of work. take an example from neil young. or david bowie.

pan ddaw'r wawr what???
the welsh-language mwng is tough. cos i don't know what they're singing about. sometimes, if i listen the right way, it sounds like english with too many vowels. a good deal of the music even sounds welsh...that is not to say it sounds like welsh music but that the language of the music sounds like it's another language. sense? either way, i'd only reccommend this double disc for anyone who's really into sfa.

you expose the film in me
next comes rings around the world. from the opening bars this album knocked me out. this is sfa at its best. better in so many ways than what's come before and since. i've never heard better production. the noise solo at the end of receptacle is so far outta sight i can't even see it anymore. just hear it. really. get this album.

rocks are slow life
phantom power is a whole lot smoother. the noise and effects are reduced with more attention given to arrangement. production continues to improve somehow. the songs are more epic. the thing that i like best about this album is its demonstration of the furries' range vocal abilities.

sleek as foxes in the street
a few weeks before we went on tour i picked up love kraft. i listened to it on my headphones in a hotel room in pittsburgh. back on a roll is a song about a touring band that doesn't want to go home, doesn't want to have to do anything but continue touring. pretty much summed up what i was thinking at the moment. it took me several listens to come around to the album and it continues to grow on me.
sfa is a great live show, too. the visuals are as lush as the music. they do great things with lights and sometimes wear sasquatch suits, power ranger helmets, or glow-in-the-dark-fiberoptic-looking jumpsuits. gruff threw stalks of celery to the crowd. he wanted to know how to address us for the evening and someone called jesus, so that's what he called us. they arrived at music festivals in a tank.

so yeah, that's why i like sfa.

4 little fish:

Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the Zahn books!

Great answers. I was laughing so hard because just before I got to the bottom of your list of "yummy things" I was thinking "wouldn't it be funny if he said 'jenn's belly'?" after going on about it and so I got a good chuckle out of that.

Kudos to you for following your passions regardless of how slow the metamophosis is.

10:49 AM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

wow - with a glowing recount such as this - how can i help but dip my head into some of those notes?

2:42 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

you did say you were looking for new music, mysfit...

oldben: i don't know if it counts for you to know all the words to a song you wrote...although i am continually impressed by your ability to learn theme songs in Japanese even if you don't know what you're singing.
i suppose the same applies to welsh. (SFA! ok!)
& you do so wear pants...

& my belly loves you too...


8:31 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i had this feeling that you could illuminate SFA so much more eloquently (& in more detail) than i could...

random SFA fact:
"golden retriever" is one of my favorite superhero songs...

1:24 PM  

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