Monday record review 6/11/2012: "Summer of Indifference" by Black Wine
Tour has its own relativity, akin to moving airport walkways. A set of guidelines which are at first unnatural become the norm, then comforting before rudely coming to a halt with that step off. On that moving walkway, you move twice as quickly as just walking, despite pulling luggage behind you. Everyone else becomes a slowpoke, trapped by their own unremarkable locomotion. Then that step where twice as fast becomes unremarkable locomotion, accentuating the previous speed, and the return to normal (whether or not you put quotes around normal).
The luggage is the car, the van, the rituals of obfuscating what seems an obvious target, with out of state plates, dead bugs no amount of gas station squeegeeing can remove from the windsheld, stickers and dashboard tchotchkes and crumpled foodbags up front. The awkward first conversation, the bonding that comes with performing, having performed. Finding a place for the sleeping bag / air mattress. Breakfast. Maybe a drive-through of the town. Then it’s off to the next place.
Until it’s over.
The mundane made even more mundane by the whole experience: whereas mere days before it was the atlas, the GPS, old friends and new ones, it’s suddenly a bunch of bullshit which doesn’t seem at all important: the smell of something funky and forgotten in the fridge, the water heater conking out pre-shower, going to the dentist for that semi-annual.
Black Wine understands all this. Because of the nineties—because of grunge, maybe, the invented genre to provide an explanation for a bunch of disparate bands suddenly succeeding in spite of the record industry, and said industry being like ‘oh yeah, we knew that’ even though they fucking didn’t know that—the word “indifference” has been become pejorative. So, if taken the wrong way, especially before an actual listen, Black Wine might come across as a bunch of slackers. These guys and gal, though, are anything but. These cats work. In a world of viralty and quick hits and decreased attention spans, they play shows, record, and tour, slogging it out. The titular indifference isn’t slack or ennui. It’s indifference to everything but their focus, the music and tour cycle, the mundane and humdrum day-to-day-in-one-place stuff being shed in favor of a completely different set of problems and solutions and rituals. Everything is accelerated, then it’s over. It’s hard to get out bed when it’s finished. The smell of strangers is everywhere when bands stay at the house after tour ends. It’s a reminder—like they need one—of the time when priorities shift away from the bullshit, back to the real.
Spit to See the Shame
The band is off soon in support of their forthcoming record. They’ll play all over the country (with Brick Mower, no slouches themselves) and have a great time and meet people and live the life accelerated by introductions and departures and probably not garner the notice they continue to earn with each release and show because, as the album begins, what you get and what you deserve: they are not the same. But what you get is anything but mundane.
(My buddy Mike Faloon kept a 10-day journal of listening to this record, which rules over this lame crap and can be found here)
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