Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"We all want our time in hell..."

first off, let me thank one "Rrrrrrobbbbb" (approximately) for the insight into the "Return of the Fly" lyrics. please check the comments section on the last post for an illumination of the mysterious "You guinea pig" and "Human hands and feet" lines.

and second off (can you say that?), gracias to "Wire" scribe Alan Cummings for getting in touch re: the apparently mythical Graves/Abe row. Alan says he got that anecdote direct from drummer Sabu Toyozumi, who purportedly witnessed some of the concerts in question. curiouser and curiouser indeed. despite this whole testimonial quibble, i'm deeply indebted to Alan's research for turning me on to the Shinjuku improv scene.


third off, i'm really tired. but that won't stop me from babbling a bit before bed. Samhain's been on my mind and in my heart all day. actually since i was a teenager. after all that Misfits talk, i flipped on Samhain's "November-Coming-Fire" at work and was restruck by how gorgeous and eerie it was.

for whatever reason, Samhain never really found the acclaim that either the Misfits or Danzig did. it's widely considered Glenn Danzig's sorta interim band (much like Ian MacKaye's pre-Fugazi, post-Minor Threat project, Embrace), and that's understandable. some of the material is pointlessly experimental and/or just sorta unmemorable. but IMHO, Samhain stuff has aged a whole lot better than a lot of Danzig material, which can be stiflingly hammy (though that doesn't stop me from throwing on "Evil Thing" every few weeks), and it is deserving of your serious peepers.

Samhain is all about a gothy, humid atmosphere. my CD-ripping program classifies it as "horror punk," but that's only half the story. at it's best, it's slow, anguished and sensual, with soaring mournful melodies that really show off Glenn's continually evolving pipes. "November" is the sleeper classic by this sleeper classic of a band, and i thought i'd lay a couple choice tracks from that disc on you as a late-night keepsake. this is some super-odd shit, i tell you. just like in the Misfits, the musicianship is pretty rudimentary (listen to drummer London May struggle with the kicked-in part of "To Walk the Night"), but one-name guitarist Damien has got a sick, fuzzy guitar tone that's perfect for the Samhain vibe. by the way, if you're wondering what the hell a Samhain (it's pronounced "Sahwain," tho Glenn never seemed to abide by that) is, check it out. in the meantime, light the candles and dig these:

Samhain - To Walk the Night

Samhain - Mother of Mercy

1 comment:

alancummings said...

I meant to add that if you enjoyed Mass Hysterism, then an upcoming release from doubtmusic of Takayanagi's famously fractious appearance at the Genyasai festival in 1971, should be right up your street. There was a short extract of this included on a compilation, but this is the first full release of this music. More here: