8.07.2006

WENT HOME, GOT DOWN



BAND EULOGY: DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979


2006 has not been a particularly kind year for my music. The fact that it seems like all my favorite bands released disappointments - YYYs, the Walkmen, the Gossip, the Strokes, for starters - is bad enough. Now we have to write about the casualties; eulogies for soldiers at the top of their game, lost in the war against crap.

Admittedly, the death of Death From Above 1979 is not a huge shock. Talking to the boys a year ago at Intonation, in retrospect, showed signs of splitting. Drummer was kind of a dick. Bassist was much more enthused to talk electro-house than noise-pop-metal. You hardly ever saw them together.

But that doesn't make the loss any less saddening. I was "with" this band since their first release caught my interest on Insound. I didn't like metal - but I really dug this band. The following Romantic Rights EP, vinyl currently standing tall on the bookshelf behind me, is easily one of my favorite releases in the past few years - a flawless, seamless three tracks with a frighteningly high ratio of music-goodness to time. The double a side single Blood On Our Hands/Going Steady had my anticipation burning. And then the album, the somewhat puzzling addition of extreme press coverage, the welcomed constant touring, the videos, the fans, the remixes. Never thought I'd see this band make all those stops.

The worst part of this break-up is not entirely obvious. I wasn't particularly looking forward to future DFA1979 releases (the rumored circumstances of which were very confusing). The real loss will be if Jesse F. Keeler never plays live bass on tour again. Those huge fucking cabinets of pulverizing distortion from down below were that band. Gripping to the edge of the stage, holding on for dear life in the unexpected tide of hipster-moshing, one forgets about the little things (uh... drums, lyrics, songs, etc.). There was just that insane, throbbing force enveloping my brain in thick bass. It would have permanently ruined my hearing, but I would've stuck my head in those speakers if they let me.

So Keeler may play live bass on MSTRKRFT remixes and originals (at least it sounds live), but I sincerely doubt that a MSTRKRFT live performance will ever involve live instruments of any sort. So this is the inevitable fan plea: please, someone, one of you many musically-inclined Canadians or otherwise, form an actual band with that guy on bass. Seriously.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

you'll hear that bass again in the not so distant future

Matt said...

Goddamn. It never rains but pours:

Sleater Kinney is breaking up too.

peter said...

yes, more obits to come

Evan said...

he's playing bass on the new Queens record... who knows.. maybe he'll tour with them.