Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #142 - The Residents, "Coochie Brake"

Too late at night to be listening to The Residents, really. But I've already done the washing up and brought the laundry in from the clothes line, so I only need to negotiate the stairs through whatever state of terror I find myself after this.

Luxuriously complex group, The Residents. This should go unsaid by dabblers and dilletantes such as myself. They are suitably ancient (in terms of pop) and arcane to be the study of older, more experienced and more focused peoples than myself. And I've no intention of displaying just how little I know of them here. But I saw them at ATP a couple of Springs ago and it was like being in a David Lynch movie.

This was conceived and recorded around the same time as that creepy, brilliant gig - but it doesn't have the theatrical electricity in the middle of it. As a result, I feel a little lost. The lyrics are all in Spanish (so far) as well, so there's no clue there for Anglophonic me. No thread for me to follow, even if I have no idea how far into the Labyrinth it's drawing me.

"Rot of Ages" has a long, low Tibetan note in it as well as bongos. Music of dark, mysterious worship. Stately and serpentine and slow; but I can't work out what ends it's meant to serve. "Vamanos da qui!" I understand, I think - "Let's get out of here!" It's horror movie music - all dreadful bass noises and whispers. "Tied to a Cactus" has all the gothic Western activity you could need. "Dead Man on the Floor" raises the ante with bassy pulse and inappropriate sax jangling the nerves. More like later David Lynch, "Lost Highway", something like that.

Then rain falls and cicadas rub their legs and there's more Hispanic whispering and some thunder and "Please Don't Go" files everything off at the end. There's an old woman's voice that almost literally gives up the ghost, assuming she is the ghost. It goes a bit upbeat and military and fiddled towards the back end. Then breathing and cicadas. Then silence.

I have no idea what Coochie Brake means.

Rating: Creepy out of Lynch

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