I'm taking a weekend off from protesting, which I also feel a little guilty about, but I feel like I'm in downtown LA all the damn time now for one protest or another. An immigrant rights thing here, Women's Day strike there, science march, tax day march, etc. I took this weekend off in the interests of just sleeping in.
I ostensibly put some Colin Stetson on to focus on writing, but lol whoops, I'm too into the music. I really liked his new album that just came out yesterday, All This I Do for Glory, but after listening to that on a loop at work yesterday while I powered through drafting a few things, I wanted to return to one of his earlier albums that I hadn't listened through all the way more than once, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light. Good god, what a fucking experience it is to listen to one of these straight through, with the sound up loud. It's sort of like being out in a storm, being buffeted by rain and wind, and feeling equal parts thrilled and terrified.
Like, not gonna lie, this is, at best, challenging music. It's one guy howling and screaming into a bass saxophone, clomping away at the keys, while, occasionally, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon pops in to either sing beautifully or roar with astonishingly metal brutality. The answer to just what genre this music is can only be answered with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But holy shit is there something deeply satisfying in the sheer forceful physicality of it, or sometimes the meditative drone of it. One man's breath powers all of this, no loops or overdubbing, and the embodied physicality of that really comes across. Not least because you can sometimes hear him breathing. Rarely have I ever felt music in my own body the way I feel this, where the music feels like it's filling my own chest and lungs.
Also, in this our new national nightmare, I find there is something incredibly cathartic in listening to one man howling and screaming in seeming agony and rage into a fuck-off giant saxophone. Like, objectively, I am aware that Hunted is sort of...punishing, as music goes, and that probably a lot of people would react to it with "....this is music?" Meanwhile I take a happy deep breath in every time Stetson lets loose with another eldritch monster of the deep howl through that saxophone. I think I see the appeal of heavy metal now.