Category Archives: The Fever

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 9)

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Mireille was carried off through the siphon of her headphones by the maudlin tunes, prog rock, and panic attack psychedelia of the band Locust Mirror on their double LP, Empty Anodyne for The Learned Paralysis of Phantom Limbs (or just simply Phantom Limbs as it came to be called when discussed by fans and the press). Seemingly without thought she sunk into the lost-in-the-sauce lounge act that opens disc two of the album, “Now There’s Nothing So Savage As A Man Destroying Himself.” Despite the initial cabaret style of the song, it operates like burlesque in reverse. It begins with an exposed and solitary piano that adds garb as it sashays like a confused showgirl along its theatric course. Instead of feather boas and nipple tassels, however, it goes on to don a robe of sonic shrapnel that brings to one’s mind thoughts of silicon and dust mites.

The keys are fingered. At just over the two minute mark and with the arrival of what might well serve as an ersatz chorus (a wailed, “Repetition is true horror”), this song would finally acquire a rhythm section to usher it further into the froth and gauze swelling up on all sides. These knit accents and fills of bass and drums, however, come on as if composed of corroded rubber: it sure could still bounce like disco but seemed in peril of splitting open any moment now. Yet all these accouterments would have to wait to adhere to the ivory backbone of the tune until first the vocals set the melodic theme.

The emotive sphere of lead vocalist Christian Heath’s voice typically bows between something of a desperate caress seeking an empathic response, and an emphatic, stellar burst. Regardless of what side of that spectrum it leans on at any given time in any given tune, his voice seems to nearly always smear each lengthy line of the lyrics, so that they are made to meander through the arrangement as if a disembodied instrument. His voice is an intruding transmission that does not want to appear rude and so does its best to flit along. His voice is a virus that plays well with its host environment.

The results of this interplay were often as disorienting for the listener as a boat at sway, but they were frequently received as an honest thing of beauty as well. Here on this song this effect was heightened by the sporadic insertion of unintelligible chatter and laughter. Often Heath’s phrasing would tremble and stretch syllables on the verge of an exhausted falsetto that could gloss over the lack of a typical pop song’s requisite end rhyme:

I need more…

than these stillborn afternoons

of cotton entertainment

I need more…

than cartoons and iced-coffee

Grant me a marionette

I’ll dance like an idiot

under summer’s tight-throat heat

I need more…

than string theory documentaries

Give to me one dance partner

I need more…

than those oh-so elegant

collections, treats of chewed fat

I need more…

than mere adequate actors

adequate actors mewling

I need more…

than another erection

from cotton entertainment

I need more…

than a new American

American way of war

I need more…

than cartoons and iced-coffee

Grant me a marionette

I’ll dance like an idiot

under summer’s tight-throat heat

Everything,

Everything is terrible

No one, no one wants to dance

—Repetition is true horror—

I need more…

than pious stone or a blip,

a blip blister of pleasure

I need more…

than an awful suckle while

waiting for the day to do…

{…what it does}—

—Repetition is true horror—

I need more…

than these nerves like old butter

waiting for the day to do…

{…what it does}—

I need more…

than resurrected majesty

mad as hungry little birds,

birds that flutter in the brain,

But it certainly would do for a day or two…

{…what it does}—

—Repetition is true horror—

O How the neighbor coughs from his window

O and how the pigeons coo

How we wretch

And how are you?

—Curtains open—

—Bled like heaven—

—Curtains close—

Beauty and grotesques

once burst from the head,

…Now, there’s a sick!…pigeon!…trapped!…—

There’s a sick pigeon in my head!

Lungs toil—

Sunlight ripples on a rooftop puddle

Lungs toil—

Lungs—

Lungs toil—

—Repetition is true horror—

As it maneuvers along the rolling frame of its design the song doubles back on itself. It is as if the instruments turn to find a route out and only encounter another narrow corridor and its inevitable dead-end. In lithe panic they muster up enough muscle and sinew to shrug off their somnambulant groove and about face. In the slink of their retreat they bottleneck and pile up. The whole flourishes as an aggregate of anxiety.

Soon it has nowhere else to pitch its weight. Its only option is but to hop a straight flight into the warm Mellotron swarm that has been waiting all this time like the welcoming jowls of a wolf on the other side of the door. From this arrives the square wave monologue, as if through a chewed radio:

  • […and you can’t afford another sort of paradise on this salary]
  • [No one is saying anything out there anyway]
  • [Who has been burning photographs and painting walls?]
  • [Wall-sickness and a trapped nerve]
  • [Venom in a tooth and perpetual machines hum]
  • [No one is out there saying anything anyway]
  • [Problems]
  • [Dry]
  • [Curse disease and then ease back into waste;]
  • [All while drinking iced-coffee and watching cartoons concerning our elegant universe]
  • [Wet]
  • [There’s so little love left]
  • [I love drifting off to sleep while watching television]
  • [Parasite fragments]…[I suppose that…]
  • [There’s nothing coming]
  • [And there’s nothing we can do about it]
  • [Somebody throw the baby out with the bathos]
  • [Who will wind the pocket-clocks when I’m gone?]
  • [And who will break the ice?]
  • […SOMEBODY GO GET ME THE AXE…]

Gelignite guitars detonate. It all goes up in a mushroom cloud of Moog synthesizers and found sounds. Both the circulatory and nervous systems of the song are reduced to slag and reverb circling a drain.

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dendrites 9 CVR

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——————————-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)—————–================____===================  ===  _ ===== == =    ==    =   __ – _

Victory On The Hill – Rivers Cuomo

The Forest Awakes – David Byrne & St. Vincent

Obsequey [The Death Of Art] – Marilyn Manson [image by Gottfried Helnwein]

Whipped Cream – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Thieves In The Night – Black Star

Dynamite! – The Roots

Come Around – M.I.A. (ft. Timbaland)

Sita Ram – Alice Coltrane

Strange Religion – Mark Lanegan Band (ft. Izzy Stradlin & Duff McKagan) [art by Justin Hampton]

Wildfire – John Mayer (ft. Frank Ocean)

A Place With No Name – Michael Jackson

I’m A Fool To Want You – Billie Holiday [photo by Dennis Stock, 1958]

If You See Her, Say Hello – Jeff Buckley (Dylan cover; Grace sessions outtake, 1993) [photo by Merri Cyr]

Finish What I Started – Will Butler

Alligator – Paul McCartney [painting: Bowie spewing by Paul McCartney, 1990]

Do The Tramp – The Fever [painting: Exploration of the Sources of the Orinoco River by Remedios Varo, 1959]

We Could Be So Good Together – The Doors

Strollin’ In – Lou Donaldson

Boogie Woogie Woman – B.B. King

Un Buen Día Para Morir – Calle 13 (ft. Vernon Foster)

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 9)

  • Victory On The Hill – Rivers Cuomo
  • The Forest Awakes – David Byrne & St. Vincent
  • Obsequey [The Death Of Art] – Marilyn Manson 
  • Whipped Cream – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
  • Thieves In The Night – Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli)
  • Dynamite! – The Roots
  • Come Around – M.I.A. (ft. Timbaland)
  • Sita Ram – Alice Coltrane
  • Strange Religion – Mark Lanegan Band (ft. Izzy Stradlin & Duff McKagan)
  • Wildfire – John Mayer (ft. Frank Ocean)
  • A Place With No Name – Michael Jackson (AMOP mix)
  • I’m A Fool To Want You – Billie Holiday
  • If You See Her, Say Hello – Jeff Buckley (Dylan cover; Grace sessions outtake, 1993) 
  • Finish What I Started – Will Butler
  • Alligator – Paul McCartney
  • Do The Tramp – The Fever
  • We Could Be So Good Together – The Doors
  • Strollin’ In – Lou Donaldson
  • Boogie Woogie Woman – B.B. King
  • Un Buen Día Para Morir – Calle 13 (ft. Vernon Foster)

_ _ _ __=========================================     ______BOBBY CALERO

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their albums.

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