s. f., gravilha@gmail.com

domingo, fevereiro 25, 2007

A New England

Jamie T - Panic Prevention
Londres, 2007.
Trafego. Cabs e autocarros vermelhos; ordas de turistas europeus. Milhões de imigrantes: orientais, indianos, muçulmanos, católicos, latinos, caribenhos.
Os putos orientais dão ares de estrelas punk com cortes de cabelo e indumentária Sex Pistols.
Vive-se depressa; come-se de pé. O Chá já não é chá, é Capuccino Starbucks bebido no metro, na rua, no escritório, nas lojas. Não há lojas de discos como havia há 10 anos; os cd’s e o vinil trocam-se nas lojas do Soho e Portobello, os sucessos do momento compram-se nas grandes cadeias. A Tower Records é uma Virgin Megastore. Não há punks em Picadilly Circus. Negros e indianos impingem jornais gratuitos ao final da tarde, mesmo antes de entrar para o metro. Tudo está cheio: os restaurantes estão cheios de gente, os teatros enchem-se e esvaziam-se depressa, nos museus há filas e pessoas que se amontoam só para dizerem que já viram o quadro do pintor, que estiveram lá.
No metro, avisos repetidos em tom grave, pedem para qualquer movimento suspeito ou objecto abandonado ser denunciado. Blade Runner. Há estações e linhas de metro encerradas, mas na teelvisão nada dizem – under Police investigation, é o motivo. Cheira a caril, a cous-cous, a falafel e teriaki, a café, a chocolate e à gordura dos hambúrgueres e pizzas americanos. Os parques, abandonados ao verde e aos corvos, parecem tristonhos, como se se tratassem agora do reflexo das nuvens cinzentas que continuam a pairar no ar. Teenagers falam das bandas sensação da semana de que escreve o NME e vestem-se como os Strokes ou como os Bravery.
Sábado à noite, Covent Garden: miúdas inglesas embebedam-se depressa e em grupo antes de engatarem um Joe Doe qualquer, não interessa etnia ou credo, ou beleza ou amor. Sexo e violência. E e crack são as drogas das ruas. Pubs e Clubs. O lixo amontoa-se à espera da manhã e dos serviços de limpeza que retiram também os mictórios portáteis.
É manhã. Portibello Road é um paraíso, uma ilha no meio de tanto buliço. Dirijo-me á Rough Trade e após dois dedos de conversa com o dono, peço o álbum de estreia do Jamie T – Panic Prevention. A chama da conversa reacende-se; saio 10 minutos depois e agora percebo que esta é a banda sonora de Londres, das ruas de Londres, do multiculturalismo de Londres, da pressa de Londres, das bebedeiras, dos gangs, dos subúrbios, do sexo. É o retrato do vazio que no retrato é cheio de pequenas-grandes histórias que desmentem o vazio. É a banda sonora da cidade que já não tem os Clash e já não conhece Billy Brag. Jamie T é um puto de 20 anos, mas não é um puto como os outros, é um génio, retratista slang que do subúrbio middle-class de Wimbledon faz a Polaroid da cidade em 2007.
No Drowned in Sound, Kev Kharas dá-lhe 10 em 10. E tem razão.

Sheila goes out with her mate stella, it gets poured all over her fella, cos shes says, man he aint no better than the next man kicking up fuss drunk, she stumbles down by a riverscreams calling london, none of us heard her coming, i guess the carpet weren't rolled out (...)

sábado, fevereiro 10, 2007

Strange Lights

Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Cryptograms is the second full-length offering from Deerhunter, and their first for Kranky. The album took almost two years to finish and was the product of emotional, physical, and financial strain on the group. The result is an album that finds the band shifting from discordant catharsis, and forming a sonic identity that completely expresses the place from which they have arrived. The album functions in part as a study in duality and the concept of the same experiences seen from two angles, present and past. The most obvious manifestation of this is in the chronological sequencing. The first half of the album was recorded first unsuccessfully in 2005. These recordings were a blur at best, wordless and bordering on psychological atrophy. The sessions failed to provide anything tangible, and were racked with technical and personal problems, including out-of-tune pianos, panic attacks, and a tape machine that seemed to fail to capture the full spectrum of ambience the band was exploring. The band returned home, having failed, and considered giving up. The idea arose to give it one last shot and exactly one year from the date of the recording of their first self-titled LP at a small studio in rural GA, they returned to that same studio and plugged in. The session resulted in the first half of the record which was recorded in one day and completely filled the reel of tape they brought with them. Cryptograms' first side begins with an introduction leading to the title track, and ends with the tape literally spinning off the end of the reel in the middle of a drone layered with bells and accordion ("Red Ink"). The second half of the record, also recorded in one day, in the November of 2005, represents the band in an entirely different state. "Spring Hall Convert" opens with the line, "...so I woke up..." and introduces a set of focused psyche-pop songs fixating on adolescence, illness, and failing connections.

Abriram para os Liars em Setembro no Porto Rio; eu não estava lá, mas se tivesse uma máquina do tempo, a viagem estava assegurada. E se parte significativa da aura que rodeava os Deerhunter até agora, resultava das quase-lendárias prestações em palco, Cryptograms confirma a substancia e o enorme potencial da banda. O disco mais essencial dos últimos meses.

sábado, fevereiro 03, 2007

Systematic abuse

The Fall - Reformation Post-TLC
Domino Jones disse quase tudo o que há para dizer acerca de Reformation Post TLC, o regresso dos Fall, na Playlouder. De resto, o que tenho lido é sempre positivo, e o texto abaixo ficaria completamente fechado se fosse dito, como se disse/escreveu frequentemente acerca dos 5 ou 6 mais recentes discos, que este é o melhor album dos Fall em muitos anos; again (and again and again and again...)

What is there left to say about The Fall? Thirty years of beer sodden bark and growl, twenty five albums of empirical belletrism, over thirty line-ups and a countless host of imitators and acolytes from Sonic Youth to Pavement and beyond. That people still care is testament to Mark E Smith's singular brilliance. His distrust of groups such as Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party and his abhorrence of bands that reform and play old songs in deference to the audience does not indicate any bitterness on his part, quite the opposite. It renders him more vital, a lodestar of heretical artistry; no label can hold him and no band will outlast him. Neither bought for gold, nor to the devil sold.
'Reformation - Post TLC', like the previous album 'Heads Will Roll', is sinewy and unalloyed. There are moments, granted fleeting ones, that sound like nothing on any previous Fall album but the rest is pure Salford Smith; rhythmic, snarling and funny. The constant shift in personnel, far from being the whim of a despotic drunkard, is the secret behind The Fall's continuous vitality; the musicians are playing for their lives because they don't know how long they will last, there is no comfort zone and not even his wife is safe.
The most extraordinary track on 'Reformation' is 'Das Boat' - ten and a half minutes of fuzzed up atmospherics, dissonant feedback, wordless, rhythmical vocalisations and Smith intoning 'Das Boat' over the squelch of the electronics and the clack of the sticks. The title track is about bands that get back together because they need the money, Smith standing on top of a high rise overlooking Manchester, vexed and venting. Is he shouting 'cheesesteak' or 'two states'? The latter being one of Pavement's more obvious Fall tributes from 'Slanted and Enchanted'. "It's about all those Manchester idiots, in groups, they're all reforming". Smith recently told Mojo. "It's obvious why they do it, isn't it? Cos' they're broke. And suddenly they're your mates. And y'know, the Manchester scene never liked the Fall." Revenge is a dish best served old.
'Fall Sound' is exactly that. Rumbling bass, big beat drums and clanging guitars. "Fall Sound!" yells Smith, "It's much too late". The studio chatter at the start of 'The Bad Stuff' gives way to a classic Fall riff which turns into a rockabilly stamp, bits of sampled speech mix it up with spiked guitars. There's a loving cover of Merle Haggard's 'White Line Fever' complete with authentic Yankee backing singers, their euphony in direct contrast to Smith's off key rendition. At the end an American voice can be heard saying "Let's do it again dude" amidst much laughter, somebody yells 'Cheeeesesteak' and Smith growls 'Fall Motel', 'Reformation' still very much on their minds and then the band fall into 'Insult Song' an irrepressible groove with a storyline that references Captain Beefheart, continues the white line fever thread and is funny as fuck. He even cracks himself up.
Aside from Smith, The Fall have no past and with their future ever uncertain, we can safely assume that they exist only in the here and now. I was listening to John Peel, many years ago. He played a new Fall track, sighed deeply and contentedly and said "The Fall; Always different, always the same". As usual, he nailed it.

The Fall are the best new band in Britain.