Beauty and compromise run deep through the veins that are stitched into each ebb and flow. Contorted and kept just a shade out of shape, free-flowing down straights and restricted at angles, I find myself pressed and pinched then released by the unnatural designs of the album’s ambitions.
The Bodega’s gone dayglow. Neon rimmed specs at ready. Cameras are snapping at the pre-Henge show build up through prisms for retro effects. They catch alien spikes made of sprayed woven hair and fairy lights stitched into clothing, I look around at the faithful and made-up I and flash back to festival memories…
Here’s the first set of highlights from the state of Colorado… a close to whistle stop tour of Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Million Dollar Highway and Dinosaur Ridge. Queen, natural beauty, sci-fi kicks, claws and warnings all wrapped up in a Rats tour guide wrapping.
You could hunt around looking for fat to trim off but you’d be hard pushed to find much to cut. Personality Cult’s new debut LP is a lean hard wired helping of short, sharp, sweet tracks packed with thin wry-lipped smiles and breezy snot nosed punk.
Enter a drone on delay, drag out the scratches and build, call in a smooth set of chiming guitars and slam with a drum weighted howl. Hollow Thieves opens Bad Llama’s new EP with a clean polished anger and grandeur.
Austin. Achingly hip and alarmingly cool. Coffee bean fetishists, thrift store hi-glam, nu-age craft ales in gleaming clean structures and retro set wide-eyed fresh faces.
Hot dog and burger bars tower their meats with all kinds of sides, only skyscrapers outside match their stature. Weed’s offered out by bar maids and waiters and I don’t feel young, pretty or thin.
Back home I had intent and purpose. I made shapes and sense of music and words and all time was divided, devoted. I made time to draw lines from without to within and direct them back out in new twists. People around me helped me build a home studio and they’d switch out the songs mine to ours. Back home I made time to make something with all of my tools at my tips.
Here we move place to place with a speed and a greed that breeds barely no time to take in. We breathe in the air but don’t pick up the scents, time to reflect slim to none.
Polka dot dresses swirl through the mind in tail finned gas swilling automobiles. Iced beers drip in sunshine, drive in movie screens show black and white flicks over slicked back black hair and blonde lipstick curls. This is cherry coke sweet. Polished like high chrome in saccharine shades.
Nashville has an ego. Lights, signs and neons all big as that ego with history gone to it’s head. It’s been ‘Music City – USA’ since WSM AM radio cast out it’s shout over 38 states with weekly live shows and recordings. Broadcasts began in 1925, name was claimed 1950 set against rock and roll. ‘Birthplace of bluegrass’, ‘home of country music’, ‘songwriting capital of the world’; There’s plenty of others to pick from.
A full blood moon’s hanging thick over Rockies. Earlier on I saw dinosaur steps and bones, pressed into layers of once-flat beach sand that turned into mud that turned into rock that turned to upended slabs that jut out of the sides of sharp mountains. What was flat nearly upright. What was beach now a cliff. And everything round me got here out of chaos.
Now I’m sat between ridges and ranges and chaos is here in the house… It’s been in my ears and it’s been in car stereos and it’s given long journeys brief fever. Slumb Party’s ‘Happy Now’ is breakneck in pace and in place of a thrill is a pupil dilation from trying to make sense of each track; these things pass quicker than oncoming cars at a speed that I don’t want to print.