Tuesday, August 16, 2011

There's beauty in this world...

Efrim Manuel Menuck, the dude behind such great bands as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion recently put out a solo album called "Plays 'High Gospel'." The Godspeed stuff is, as I'm sure you're aware, heavily informed by a passionate political activism. Very dark and gloomy and intense. And when the Silver Mt Zion project started, it felt in a similar vein, though the focus was now on personal emotions instead of political ire. And over the years, ASMZ added vocals and became this melancholic/hopeful choir of emotion. The image in my head while listening to many of their albums was a slow, romantic kiss with a loved one as the world ends outside your bedroom window.

Now, as Godspeed reunited and toured, Mr. Menuck put out a solo album that's further down the path of "personal music," perhaps to combat Godspeed's global outlook. Songs about finding beauty in life and mournful songs about the death of a friend. Long, ambient passages alternate between tracks with lyrics like "Look at my boy. Look at him smile. I am no longer a motherless child." Sad beauty has always ranked high as my favorite kind of beauty. But that explains a lot, to me, I suppose.

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