Sunday, November 16, 2008


sunn O)))'Dømkirke' 2008, Southern Lord Recordings

Alas friends, this here is the most recent Sunn O))) release entitled 'Dømkirke.' A major moment in the O))) catalog, the record rips and it is all mystical also. Sunn O))) are more or less the kingpins of the atmospheric drone metal realm, and this album is no less than what you would expect from them. Dømkirke is a pretty big deal because they recorded it 'live' in a very old dømkirke (cathedral) that was built in the 12th century for Norway's king Olav. Just like pretty much all of the previous Sunn records, this one is completely over the top; it sounds excellent and the concept is fucking cool. With each release this band becomes more and more cult-like and pretentious, which most certainly adds to their whole allure and mystique, making their records what they are. Anyways Bergen Cathedral is ancient, and the whole thing is that the middle-aged hymns and chantings of Gregorian monks were the earliest music that took place in the church, even during like the Black Plague and Great Famine, and so on. Very old. So Sunn got invited for this Norwegian 'Borealis' festival and they brought a huge crew and recorded this shit. In this church performance, the usual two Sunn members collaborated with several other people, such as Attila from Mayhem and the dude from Earth, who plays the cathedral's pipe organ. A big deal, without a doubt. This band is huge, it seems that they really can do whatever they would like to do. Its weird because they've convinced almost everyone that they have this mysterious presence, this spectral and powerful and righteous thing happening when they turn their amps up and start zoning. And I buy it, you can hear them doing it, it is spooky for lack of better words. But it is also beautiful, and with each Sunn record they just keep refining their sounds and taking them new places, while still keeping it consistent with the hugest, most blown out thunder tones ever. To go along with the epic nature of the album itself, they really hooked it up with the packaging just like they do every time. Double 180 gram with just heavy, heavy everything, and the cover by Tania Stene, a Norwegian who's worked with Darkthrone and Burzum.

and this week with,
E-raq le Treizeme
1. Suzuki FA50- The funnest motorized vehicle ever. Riding around on a scooter that is so close to being a moped, but still retains its scooterdom, is incredibly satisfying. I find myself riding and smiling and smiling while riding. I don’t know where I’m going but the going is the good part. Esteban Kohayn has one too and he will attest to the fact that owning a FA50 is like being in the know on a really good secret.

2. Copa Sudamericana- The South American club football championship. It is down to four teams: two from Argentina, last years champs from Brazil, and Chivas Guadalajara from Mexico. I want Estudiantes to win it because Juan Sebastian Veron is the shit and students are a type of human that I’m down with (I used to be one!). The games are always really physical and dirty and full of passion, not to mention fast paced. When the ref isn’t looking they try their hardest to make the other team mad enough to start a fight and get a red card. Its all cheap shots and will power on confetti covered pitches.

3. Thomas Pynchon- One of the greatest American authors of our time. I am reading ‘Mason and Dixon’ and it keeps linking up with things in my life and things I’ve thought a while ago but since forgotten. The guy has Joyce’s control of language and Dostoevsky’s scope, but he grew up in Baseball-Hotdog Land (like me and you). ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ is a masterpiece which I consider to be a hermetic text of the highest order.

4. Blue Dresses- I love dresses. Women are so much better at wearing and knowing about clothes, and I sort of envy them for it. Now, black and red dresses each have their place, purpose, and their devotees, but I recently realized that blue dresses are more down-to-earth but equally as beautiful. Nick Cave once sang about praying to a girl in a blue dress and we can’t forget ‘Devil w/ a Blue Dress On’ (one of my favorite childhood songs). What I’m trying to say is that I’m way into blue dresses right now, and there is no reason you shouldn’t be too.

5. Carroll Street Café- I was made for café culture and Carroll Street keeps me caffeinated on a regular basis. Their coffee is strong and a lot of the time I pay for it with conversations rather than money. The food is great (ask Maki ‘bout that Cobb) and the waitresses are incredibly easy on the eyes and nice to talk to. Also, if you are ever on a scavenger hunt looking for a yuppy, Carroll Street gots you cover’d. Try the French onion soup for gustatory pleasures and pungent breath.

6. Mom- If it wasn’t for Ma you wouldn’t be here and neither would I, and then we couldn’t hang out. Tell her you love her.

7. Sweet Potatoes- At this point in my life I could eat a steady diet of nothing but sweet potatoes. If I had a pile of them I’d feel like I was a rich man. They are easy to prepare, you can do a lot with them, and they are oranger and more flavorful than their earth-apple cousins (I really just wanted to type the word oranger, and I did: twice). Also, they are really good for you and only want you to succeed and be happy.

8. I love how Swedish people are better at pulling off tongue-in-cheek humor than anyone else. A Swedish person can do something that would be considered an obvious joke if someone else did it, but when a Swede does it we can’t help but think that they might be serious. Gunther is a really funny joke about European music, but I can’t help but think that he might not be joking and I love him for making me laugh and waver. Its sort of like that old joke about Englebert Humperdink dying.

9. Yume Bitsu “song 6” on ‘The Golden Vessyl of Sound’- This is one of my favorite songs of the last six years. I bought the album when I saw them on tour and it blew my mind over and over again. “Song 6” is 18 minutes long and not so much a traditional song as it is a song about the discovery and formation of songs in general. If you listen to it something like 77 times, then you would have spent a days worth of time in your life listening to this one piece of music: this is a goal I’d like to achieve and I’m probably somewhere in the thirties or forties.

10. Water- Pour it down your throat, fill a balloon with it, submerge your body in it, or pour it on your plants: water is probably the best thing that ever happened to our silly little dime-store planet. Dolphins, whales, and seahorses carouse in H2o which should be enough to convince anyone of its magnificence, but it does so much more (such as sustaining our body systems and working as a universal solvent). It is sticky and slippery at the same time and you can make bomb-ass Kool-aid and tea out of it. The best thing though, is that sometimes the shit just falls out of the sky. Water for President!

1 comment:

...aly... said...

such a good recording! as a weak follow up, I can't really find a lot about this- but supposedly the dude Magnar Mangersnes (the choir director at the cathedral who supported the Dømkirke performance) recently got fired by the church, seemingly for ideological differences. peep