Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time machine and namesake: Dazzling Killmen, live '93

I've often pondered the ever-fun "time machine" query, i.e., what one band or artist whom I never got to witness live would I go back and catch if I had the chance. John Bonham and Walt Dickerson are both near the top of the list, but neck and neck are Dazzling Killmen, one of my most treasured musical entities.

Above is the next best thing. In a fortunate turn of events, a pristine Killmen bootleg vid that I've had on my hard drive for ages has recently found its way to YouTube. This to me is the ideal of rock music. Better than metal, better than prog, better than hardcore -- internalizing the lessons of all while avoiding their pitfalls.

This is probably my favorite Killmen track ("In the Face of Collapse," which starts at about 9:15 in the video above), the epic centerpiece of their 1994 desert-island masterpiece, Face of Collapse, which I was unlucky enough to discover just after the band had broken up. Now is as good a time as any to reveal that this song, "In the Face of Collapse," is the namesake of my blog. "Dark forces swing blind punches" is simply a misheard lyric from this song (listen closely around 13:10), which I liked enough to let stick. For the record, the line is actually "Don't force it / Swing blind punches," as verified by frontman Nick Sakes, currently living in Brooklyn and prepping his latest project, Xaddax. (Guitarist Tim Garrigan now works as a rootsy solo artist; bassist Darin Gray plays in On Fillmore and various other projects; and drummer Blake Fleming can be heard in Future by Now.)

Anyway, listen, watch and marvel, and as a bonus track, here's another recently surfaced Killmen vid from an earlier vintage, crazy cable-access style:


Jason Crane said...

This sounds to me like what early 70s Crimson might have become had they lasted longer. Incredible.

And can I say how much I love that the screaming vocals come from the least-likely-looking guy on stage? It's as if I were the lead singer of this band. Thanks for this post. Swing away!


Drew K. said...

I can't believe how flawless that performance is.