“Such are the perfections of fiction...Everything it teaches is useless insofar as structuring your life: you can’t prop up anything with fiction. It, in fact, teaches you just that. That in order to attempt to employ its specific wisdom is a sign of madness...There is more profit in an hour’s talk with Billy Graham than in a reading of Joyce. Graham might conceivably make you sick, so that you might move, go somewhere to get well. But Joyce just sends you out into the street, where the world goes on, solid as a bus. If you met Joyce and said 'Help me,' he’d hand you a copy of Finnegans Wake. You could both cry.” – Gilbert Sorrentino, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things

Friday, June 11, 2010

DC Punk: The Black Eyes

In the early 2000s, my two favourite DC bands were Early Humans and The Black Eyes (indeed, members of both those groups came from an earlier band called Exaspirin, whose early recordings are available as a free download here.) The Black Eyes released two LPs and a 7" on Dischord, which are great, but, for me, it was all about their live shows. The Black Eyes had an unusual instrumental line-up: two drummers, two bassists, and one guitarist. They also had other pieces of drum kits strewn around the stage, such that all five members would be playing drums at points, as well as a dual-vocal attack, and, later on, skronky saxophone. Their shows were visually kinetic and sonically messy (in a good way). In terms of sound, their references were clearly late 70s postpunk of the dance-y variety (sort of a much better version of early Rapture).

Anyway, above is a clip of a live performance from 2002, which offers a good sense of what their shows were like. Two members of The Black Eyes, Jacob Long and Daniel Martin-McCormack are now in Mi Ami, a band that offers a more psychedelic variation of The Black Eyes sound.

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