Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inside Pushing Out

For the past ten days or so, I've been thinking. Meanwhile, Stefan has been listening to Hype Williams. He says their music feels like London. I'm not sure if I've got that right. It feels like his feeling of London. There's something about the wobbly, scratchy graininess of it that evokes and makes manifest an internal reality to which he strongly identifies. So I've been thinking. Fiona Apple just performed at SXSW. I read Nitsuh Abebe's review of the show and nearly wept when he quoted a Tori Amos lyric from "Silent All These Years." When was the last time a hip music critic like Abebe mentioned someone like Tori Amos? I had to stop reading and breathe as a tidal wave of Tori nostalgia hit me hard, as in, excuse me but can I be you for a while my dog won't bite if you sit real still I got the anti christ in the kitchen staring at me again you bet your life it is oh honey you bet your life dropped off the edge again down in juarez pandora pandora's aquarium here there must be something here all the world is all I am the black of the blackest ocean and that tear in your hand... Uh oh. Back to the article. Abebe makes a crucial point about a certain crop of 90s female performers as compared to the recent onslaught of hyper referential fantasy bands:

A lot of the acts around us in Austin right now are interested in dreaming up alternate realities, collapsing different sounds and styles from the world around them into something new. But this is another reason Apple’s shows here stand out: They have a distinct and overwhelming sense of taking something that’s going on inside her and giving it form, filling up a venue with it, letting it seep into the listener.

FEZANT is often accused of sounding too much like the 80s (and often, I'm the one doing the accusing). This is our alternate reality. We don't like now, we're scared of tomorrow, so let's go back to the pretend 80s and dance around in neon leggings! Stefan even wore eyeliner and a tight bright green sweater for our first ever photo shoot. And then his cousin called him my gay sidekick. Stefan won't be wearing that green sweater again. Not that he doesn't love the gays, but, well. Anyway. My point is that we're not really about the 80s. Sure, we use analog synthesizers and drum machines, but we're actually more like Fiona Apple in our intentions: sincere, self-critical and reaching for the raw. There's something going on inside to which we're trying to give form. Inside pushing out. Granted, we don't always succeed. Inside sometimes gets lost along the way. Too many fog machines. Still, it's important for me to remember: inside pushing out. I'm not interested in newness or oldness. I'm interested in nowness.

Tori knows
all about the pretend 80s:

And then when it all seemed clear, just then, you go and disappear...

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