Friday, July 13, 2007

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

If you're reading this you probably know me and probably know that music is an extremely important part of my life, causing me to spend vast amounts of time and money searching out new, exciting, and inspiring music to feed my soul and mind. Every few years it seems I hit a lull and become bored with the standard fare. Three or six or nine months later after I've given up hope of ever finding anything new under the sun suddenly a new band will explode my ears with a sound or ideas that was inconceivable to even imagine, at least to my wee mind.

The last time this ennui happened was a few years back and the band that brought new life was Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Imagine the music of Bartok interpreted by amiable and articulate but clearly insane gardeners wielding electric guitars, industrial percussion, a orchestra-quality violin, and a few homemade instruments. Their sound is organic (no studio gimmickry here) and constant changes in tempo, mood, dynamics, and rhythms abound. All this would be your standard prog-metal except they always incorporate catchy melodies (no matter how rugged the foundation) and exhibit huge amounts of pathos.

Their third album recently came out and I was hoping against hope that they wouldn't let me down by releasing tripe. They didn't. I devoured the album and have mostly memorized every word, melody, and rhythm. I was also puzzled as to their choice of song to release as a "single." While every other song has varying moods and thematic development, "Headless Corpse Enactment" is almost straight forward black metal. Yes, artistically done, but still very heavy and dense. It fits in quite well in the flow of the album, nestled in between two lighter pieces, but to put it out on it's own seemed a very odd choice.

Today I found out that they have a video for this song. While watching and enjoying the video (including the hints of their dark humor) I realized that not only don't I know the words to this song but I can barely understand or even recognize them. A quick check revealed the reason: They are lifted out of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

So sit back, make sure you're sitting down, realize that lighter moments abound in the rest of their songs, and do your best to sing along with "Headless Corpse Enactment":

The oaks of ald now they lie in peat yet elms leap where askes lay. Phall if you but will, rise you must.

A hand from the cloud emerges, holding a chart expanded. The eversower of the seeds of light to the cowld owld sowls that are in the domnatory of Defmut after the night of the carrying of the word of Nuahs and the night of making Mehs to cuddle up in a coddlepot, Pu Nuseht, lord of risings in the yonderworld of Ntamplin, tohp triumphant, speaketh.

Of all the stranger things that ever not even in the hundrund and badst pageans of unthowsent and wonst nice or in eddas and oddes bokes of tomb, dyke and hollow to be have happened! The untireties of livesliving being the one substrance of a streamsbecoming. Totalled in toldteld and teldtold.

Ascend out of your bed, cavern of a trunk, and shrine!

Vah! Suvarn Sur! Scatter brand to the reneweller of the sky,
thou who agnitest! Dah! Arcthuris comeing! Be! Verb
umprincipiant through the trancitive spaces! Kilt by kelt shell kithagain
with kinagain. We elect for thee, Tirtangel. We
Durbalanars, theeadjure. A way, the Margan, from our astamite,
through dimdom done till light kindling light has led we hopas
but hunt me the journeyon, iteritinerant, the kal his course,
amid the semitary of Somnionia.

Too mult sleepth. Let sleepth.

The oaks of ald now they lie in peat yet elms leap where askes lay. Phall if you but will, rise you must


Anonymous said...

Sleep is wrong!

uvualpie said...

When I grow up I'm never gonna sleep.

Or I'll slip into slumber at 11 regardless of what I'm doing and wish I could have a nice little nap on Sunday afternoon. But I think the former makes a better song.