Saturday, 16 July 2016
Torch songs for the Apocalypse
> > These are hard times across the globe, and I don't want to imply that entertainment in the face of chaos is more important than anything else. While I do lavish verbiage on enterprising musicians, perhaps it's time to be honest in my assessment of their potential and opportunities.
> Not to be bleak.
> A young man named Nick Luck has just released an ep online, a collection of songs under the aegis of Aldous, entitled Wake. This boy just out of music school is talented, handsome, and likeable. His music is competent, polished, and eminently listenable. But to be honest, what does that mean?
> Not to seem bitter.
> My youthful days of daring and dreams brought me to Toronto with a belly full of tunes and a sense of entitlement to a piece of the action. The venues may change names, and the scene revolves, but the game remains the same, fueled by bar sales and fresh ambition.
> If Nick is sharp and level-headed, there may be great opportunities here for him. If he is smart and keeps moving, there is a great highway of gigs and paydays stretching from Saanich to St John's. Almost anything can be done.
> And I love these beats. I love the shiny grit of the mixes, the cantilevered ostinati of his vocal acrobatics, the yearning gothy gloom and industrial crunch of it all. But 80 people were killed in France yesterday. A sniper who killed only cops was murdered without trial via robot. Who's talking Turkey? The fear of our protectors has become a siege perilous, black blood live streamed on Facebook.
> I don't want music this good to be promoted only as an escapism from the frightening realities of the world today, from the sinking realization of centuries of patriarchy and pain. I choose to hope. That young musicians grow up to understand that they do not nees labels, agents, or lawyers to say or sing the things they feel, that cultural employment becomes more than a subsidized half-measure.
> Why isn't making art like a normal job, and why do the dreamers cling? Dig back into any one of our histories and the frustrating mystery yields. A singer's job is to tell the truth, the news, the tales of old, and the hopes for tomorrow. If Aldous can stand for the responsibility that the mystic power of his musical prowess entails, he could help salvage such a situation. I hope I hope I hope I hope. After the Wake, we wept, slept, woke.
Listen to A Wake (EP) by Aldous