Wednesday, April 25, 2007

thx 'KCR // J.D. Tenenbaum // The Gaahl of some people...

hail eternally to WKCR. was at work today and yesterday, so i couldn't dig into the Andrew broadcast like i wanted to but every time i tuned in i caught something i'd been wanting to hear forever (like the little heard "Nefertiti" record from the '70s) or an old favorite (heard a great Phil Schaap spiel on "Point of Departure"). sometimes i think that instead of taking albums of my choice to a desert island, i'd just ask that WKCR be accessible all the time...

anyway, a wonderful memorial for sure.


re: Salinger's "Franny and Zooey," surely someone somewhere has remarked on the similarities of the Glass family to Wes Anderson's Tenenbaum clan. this (amazing) book is a catalog of exaggerated Waspy eccentricity. all the Glass kids are extra-precocious and even appeared on this "Kids Say the Darndest Things"-type quiz show; all of them are literary and one isolates himself on a boat when he grows older, just like Richie Tenenbaum. you can practically hear Alec Baldwin narrating this book. anyway, just a thought. i love the book. a bit ashamed to say that Laal and i put down "Madame Bovary" for it, but hey, i'm a lot happier on the subway now...


would strongly recommend going to VBS.TV, clicking on the "Music" channel, clicking on the "Music World" tab and then watching the documentary on Norwegian black metal, featuring a multipart interview with Gorgoroth's mainman Gaahl. (sorry for the convoluted instructions on accessing that material but the direct links they provide to the video don't seem to work.)

i have a complex relationship to black metal. on one hand i grow really tired of the hype over how extreme it is and struggle with often being underwhelmed by the monotony of the music itself. i fall for the image just as much as the next guy but i don't really feel for any black metal album the way i adore my favorite, say, Morbid Angel discs. i know i need to do more listening, but i've always been more enthralled by the mythos than by the music.

so i feel kind of guilty from approaching the genre via all the sensationalism, with a tabloid mentality, but you've got to admit that it's fascinating. i guess it's the same part of me that loves to watch serial killer docs on YouTube. anyhow, this is a really fascinating series of videos. the first two parts get the hype on Gorgoroth out of the way: super extreme and satanic band, graphic sexual and anti-Christian imagery at concerts, "evil" frontman Gaahl who was convicted of torture (!).

but then part three gets really heavy. the VBS folk were the first journalists ever granted access to the remote village where Gaahl lives. apparently his family members are the only ones who live anywhere near him. the town (though it looks more like a group of huts) is miles from the nearest city. there's a tiny schoolhouse in the village where Gaahl went from kindergarten to age 18 and apparently there was only ***one other student*** besides him in the school. and apparently that guy killed himself upon graduating. crazy.

but there's this really interesting camaraderie that develops between Gaahl and the producers. there's just as many interviews with them as with him, and they all express this sort of awe about what a penetrating and insightful guy he is. they all relate that he sort of broke down their personalities and gave recommendations as to how they could improve their lives. it's almost as if they've visited a shaman or something. Gaahl seems like a fairly personable dude, handing wine around and making heartfelt toasts.

haven't listened to Gorgoroth much and thus i know i'm feeding the superficial cult of black-metal ambulance chasers. but this is a fascinating profile nonetheless. let me know if you have trouble accessing it via my instructions.


Anonymous said...

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