And this is what I wrote on Friday night under the influence of many beers, while listening to the album…
Never mind we haven’t been in touch for many years, there are some friends you always care about and trust in certain issues. Our lives were close to each other in the shape of friendship, but we split ways because our personal circumstances demanded it. It’s not a geographical matter, it’s that there are certain people who don’t need nor demand to keep updated very often, you can have a beer with after months and even years and you just feel comfortable and fine with them.
Well, this example can be applied to other different aspects, and music as usual can be one of them. At least this time is an example.
So here is this friend I found through internet once again. Last time I saw him for 5 minutes was 3-4 years ago at a festival. We seldom used to exchange messages via MySpace (where’s that now?), so didn’t know much about each other. FB is the kingdom of globalization and the strongest social network at the moment, so once I had this thought of him, it just took me 5 minutes to find his profile.
Well, as said, our lives don’t relate to each other any longer, and styles and fate have followed different paths but for some time we used to connect and get on well pretty much.
He used to be into stoner, metal, doom and hardcore, and now he tells me he needs to chill out and listens to Fleet Foxes lately. Wow! So do I! it’s 2 at midnight and we’re chatting, and trying to figure out his current tastes, I ask him to suggest me stuff he likes. His reply is almost istant, and tells me that his favorite album ever is named Spiderland, recorded by a band named Slint.
Glad to find out it’s available on Spotify and because it’s so late, I plug the headphones to the laptop and start listening. I have to listen to this album right now, feel too curious to wait. My friend remarks: “Toi, you better listen to Captain, it’s the best song, in fact is my favorite one ever”, he’s so convincing I go straight to that cut, number 6. Its actual name is Good Morning, Captain, and according to what I read afterwards, lyrics were based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
I go for it and start listening to this two-chord riff, a powerful and insane bass, and these unbelievable drums with McMahan quietly reciting, very appealing, and I had to stop whatever I was doing when I heard “Please, It’s Cold”.
The structure of the song, so clearly marked, with the insertion of certain passages to highlight from one part to the other, manage to build an in crescendo effect, driving to an insane climax, with the singer yelling I Miss You, with such desperation and anguish, it’s overwhelming.
Captain lasts 7:39. Some people think the extended length of a song implies boredom, but in this case it’s necessary to build up a context, an atmosphere, the song needs to develop to reach its peak.
Judge for yourselves.
I can understand why my friend told me this was his favorite song. It’s not mine, but most def it’s provided me one of the most shocking and intense musical experiences in my life. I was so impressed I had to repeat the experience. It’s impossible you feel indifferent once you’ve listened to it.
Good Morning Captain has been compared to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, not due their resemblance, but what all the issues at the time of recording and because it marked and cursed the band for good.
Spiderland is not only Captain. Every song involves you in a different story, creating these evoking atmospheres. I like the story telling of Slint’s lyrics in this album. I’d feel unfair if I was naming just a couple of songs. This album includes 6 tracks. Captain is not of this world, but the others are impressive too.
This album makes me think of so much music I will never get acquainted with, I feel frustrated. On the other hand, the quality of the recording, and the style and structures of the songs have made of Spiderland a timeless album, which with the passing of years is creating some kind of worship. Every guy I know into old school hardcore, respects and adores Slint.
I connected to this album instantly but guess it’s not an easy one so you have to be in the mood. Maybe my assimilation has been so easy because these are strange days for me, the fact is that Spiderland seemed to be waiting for me, and we met in perfect circumstances.
Once all these feelings and thoughts shared, feel compelled to advise you just one thing if you finally decide to listen to Spiderland, for an ultimate experience: play it late at night when you are on your own, use headphones, and enjoy the ride.
Thank you Chris, your suggestion on that Wednesday night has turned into part of my life.