sábado, 26 de março de 2011

Artigo fodástico sobre o Kyuss

roubado descaradamente daqui:


Usem o tradutor do google e leia, é lindo. Vale a pena.

Kyuss: Kings of the stoner age

Unheralded in their own time, Kyuss inspired a generation of bands in thrall to their downtuned metal. Now, in the form of Kyuss Lives!, they're back. Dorian Lynskey hears their tale

kyuss lives
Kyuss Lives! (left to right) John Garcia, Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri and Bruno Fevery

'I didn't think that at 40 years of age I would still be talking about generator parties," Kyuss frontman John Garcia says with a puzzled sigh. "It's weird that people are actually interested. It was just a party. We've all been to parties." This much is true, but then we haven't all been to parties that spawned whole musical genres, forging an alliance between sound and place that retains a mythic glow 20 years later.

The generator parties that took place in the deserts of southern California at the close of the 80s were the making of Kyuss, who trailblazed the crushingly heavy psychedelic rumble described by pretty much everyone except the musicians themselves as stoner rock or desert rock. Kyuss's classic lineup – Garcia, guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri, drummer Brant Bjork – only lasted for two years, the band for just five, and they never had anything approaching a hit, but their posthumous legend grew and grew. After they split, Homme and Oliveri formed Queens of the Stone Age. Garcia carried the stoner rock torch in Unida, Slo Burn and Hermana; Bjork in Fu Manchu. Producer Chris Goss went on to work with Queens, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE. Now all of the classic-era members except Homme are touring as Kyuss Lives!, a name both tongue-in-cheek and genuinely deserving of its exclamation point.

Stoner rock draws much of its allure from its desert origins, though Garcia, who speaks with a modesty and calm more in keeping with his other life as a vet than his rock career, resists the cliches. "I'm not going to get Jim Morrison on you about how the desert is this all-too-mysterious place." He pauses. "I guess it can be when you're tripping on 'shrooms. And acid. Which I've done in the past. But then you snap out of it and come back to reality. We're only two hours away from Los Angeles so it's not like we're smack bang in the middle of fucking nowhere. You'd be surprised what's out here."

Raised by a single mother, Garcia grew up in the resort town of La Quinta and went to school in nearby Palm Desert. A US magazine once called it one of America's most rock'n'roll towns; Garcia demurs. "You think it's gonna be this inspiring, beautiful little one-horse town, when actually it rivals Beverly Hills. It's stupid." His schoolmates included Bjork, Oliveri and Homme. "We all played football together, but we weren't on the preppy side of high school. After football practice I went behind the bleachers and started smoking weed."

In 1988, they formed Katzenjammer and rehearsed in their bedrooms. In the absence of any all-ages rock venues in town (Homme was just 14 when they formed), they made their bones at the generator parties in the desert around Joshua Tree, organised by Mario Lalli of beloved local band Yawning Man, whom Bjork once described as "the sickest desert band of all time". Lalli supplied the generator; others provided beer, barbecue and hallucinogens. There would be bonfires, occasional nudity and long, intense sets that wound on through the night. The sand got everywhere – in your amp, in your drink, in your eyes – but it was worth it for the freedom.

"It was do-it-yourself fun," Homme once told me. "The kids were like: we won't be stopped. Because they got stonewalled at every turn: sit down! They refused to sit down. If you don't provide us with something to do, we'll provide ourselves with something to do. I like that. It was communal. Someone has to bring the potatoes, someone has to bring the bread and butter, and the Mexicans brought the acid."

"It was out of necessity," Garcia says. "We played house parties, too, but it was much better going out into the desert where there was no authority. Occasionally the cops would show up, but what could they do when everyone just scatters?" The police weren't the only danger though – the desert was crystal meth country. "Sometimes you'd get gangbangers showing up with knives and guns," says Garcia. "As soon as that started happening, I left."

By the time the generator scene waned, Katzenjammer had become Sons of Kyuss (after a monster in Dungeons and Dragons) and eventually just Kyuss, which is when they attracted the attention of Chris Goss. Goss, a decade or so older, was from Syracuse, New York, but he moved to Los Angeles in 1988 when his band Masters of Reality signed to Rick Rubin's Def American label. He was consciously trying to claw hard rock back from the hairspray-and-spandex crew. "The 80s became all about image and clothing and hair," he says. "I was like, what about the brain? What about the LSD? What about the effect that ethereal music had on our minds? What happened to mystique and the river running deep with intelligence?" He goes on in this vein for some time, like some beat poet turned travelling preacher, seemingly every bit as energised now as he was back then. "If you're a mental explorer then that's the kind of musician I'm attracted to. Someone who wants to break boundaries and change our DNA with their work."

Def American's promotional department, however, interpreted Goss's love of psychedelia a little too literally. "They gave away lava lamps as promo gifts," he sighs. "Tie-dye T-shirts, too. To me it was like, no goddamit, that's too campy. It's not about looking back, it's about looking forward."

One night in 1990, he went to see Kyuss play in Hollywood (their shows usually ended in fights) and found the kindred souls he had been looking for. He travelled south to work with them and only came back to LA to tell his wife they were moving to the desert for good. He's still there today. "They swung like motherfuckers," he says. "They were tuned down really low and they did it in a very unprofessional way, which improved it. With the low frequencies and the strings flapping so much, a giant soundwave would happen when they played. And that's why I stepped in and said, 'I'm not letting any shithead metal producer touch this band and ruin it.'"

Heavy metal's psychedelic forefathers, Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, were usually the first names invoked when people heard Kyuss, but Homme always shrugged them off. "I never really listened to metal," he later told Spin. "I wanted to be able to claim that I'd never heard the music that supposedly influenced me." He instead cited punk rock, especially the dense, sludgy hardcore of Black Flag's 1983 album My War. "I was listening to the Smiths and the Cult; the rest of the guys were listening to the Misfits, Bad Brains, Black Flag, the Ramones," Garcia says. "We knew that we wanted a sound that nobody else had."

Kyuss's gargantuan sound rested on two pillars: Homme's guitar, downtuned and played through a bass amp, and the rhythm section's quaking grooves. Disappointed by their first album, 1991's Wretch, the band were happy to work with Goss on the follow-up, Blues for the Red Sun. "They rehearsed in Josh's bedroom in his parents' house, and to hear every detail I would sit in the middle of the floor, to the detriment of my hearing," Goss remembers. "It was the loudest thing I'd ever heard in my life. And that's what I wanted to get on the record – all the frequencies clashing in the middle of the room. It was like sitting in the middle of a bowling alley when the balls are rolling down the wood. Kyuss had a rumble. I think that's one of the reasons people love them so much, because there's frequencies there that embrace you – you feel like you're there with them."

Their label milked Kyuss's stoner image with all the subtlety of Rick Rubin's lava lamps, billing Blues for the Red Sun as "a fresh bong load of potent, sticky and hairy musical salvation". But there was nothing gimmicky about the record itself. Dave Grohl was a fan. Metallica invited them to support them on tour. Elektra gave them a major deal. At the same time, members kept leaving: Oliveri after Blues for the Red Sun, Bjork after 1994's Welcome to Sky Valley. With 1995's … And the Circus Leaves Town, they called it a day. "Sometimes to preserve it you have to destroy it," Homme told me. "Don't let it slide down the hill. When you're at the peak say, 'Here we are' and – snip – end it."

"For me the best thing that ever could have happened was Kyuss breaking up," says Garcia. "I was taking things for granted. That John Garcia's long gone. I don't even know that kid anymore and if I were to see him today, I would slap him around and say dude, wise up, you don't know what you have."

He admits Kyuss Lives! is a way to help kickstart his solo career. The different name is out of respect to Homme, who has turned down lucrative reunion offers with the pungent explanation that "I'm too proud of it to rub my dick on it". "We can't call it Kyuss without Josh," Garcia says. "Thank God that Brant and Nick have obliged me with their presence."

At the shows there won't be any sand in the drinks or Mexicans bearing acid, but the core of Kyuss's vast, elemental sound will always belong to the heat and dust. "There was a time when your isolation was your advantage," says Goss. "It became how you got together with your friends and planned to get the hell out of there. So the desert was the same kind of bleak isolation for these boys as Birmingham was for Black Sabbath and rainy, dark Seattle was for Nirvana. Remember where this all came from: hanging out with your weird friends in a weird place making weird music because the world is weird, and this is our reaction to it, and this is what it sounds like where we live."

Kyuss Lives! begin their UK tour at Nottingham Rock City on 31 March. Masters of Reality play Download 2011 at Donington Park on 10-12 June. Queens of the Stone Age's debut album has been rereleased by Rekords Rekords.

quinta-feira, 17 de março de 2011

Rede Social e a "modernidade" da Academia

Assisti "A Rede Social", do meu ídolo David Fincher. O filme é bacaninha, e nessas que a gente entende que o cara é bom. Ele pega uma história sem muuuuuitos atrativos, atual, e transforma em algo interessante. Porém, é isso... Só interessante e bem feito. É o suficiente pra ser indicado ao Oscar hoje em dia? Parece que sim. Pra mim os motivos e o que acontece é o seguinte:
- Filmes atuais e independentes agora são indicados só pra academia falar: olha a gente ta na moda
a gente indica filmes super descolados;
- No fim, eles vão lá, cagam no pau e premiam o mais básico e clássico de todos.
Se Oscar fosse coisa séria, o A Origem, Cisne Negro ou o Toy Story ganharia o prêmio de melhor filme. Sim, Toy Story é melhor que filme de época, de superação. Argh. Damn it.

quarta-feira, 16 de março de 2011

Um capítulo...

... de uma estória que nunca terminei:

"Ou não
“Keep trying for you
Keep crying for you
Keep flying for you
Keep flying for you
I'm falling
I'm falling”
No Ordinary Love – Sade

No momento que ela olhou para baixo, lembrou de tudo que a levara até ali. Vozes à distância misturavam-se e eram trazidas pelo vento como sussurros fantasmagóricos. Estava frio. A pele extremamente fina dos pés arrepiava-se ao tocar o chão e sentir a umidade deixada pela chuva que durara o dia todo. As vozes diziam para ela entrar e ser sensata. Um vento forte trazendo o cheiro do mar levantou seus cabelos e cobriu-lhe o rosto por fios delicados de cor negra profunda, obliterando sua visão por um instante. “Seria melhor eu entrar... não seria?”. Encheu os pulmões. Parecia se preparar para mergulhar no escuro oceano que a circundava a poucos quilômetros, exceto pelo fato de que abaixo tudo que havia era concreto e patéticas figuras gesticulantes. Abraçou a si mesma, sentiu através dos rasgos de sua roupa a pele gelada. Pensou em um peixe. Um peixe se debatendo no concreto lá embaixo. A umidade do chão e do ar parecia impregnar cada vez mais tornando sua outrora macia pele, pegajosa e ainda mais fria que o de costume. “Um peixe”. Mesmo assim, sentia-se bem. Livre. Os pensamentos vindo e indo, leves, transparentes como lâminas de gelo. Tão cortantes quanto. Mas ela estava lá em cima, nada importava, a um passo da liberdade total. Abriu os braços finos e impressionantemente brancos, as mangas rasgadas chicoteando. Inclinou-se mais uma vez e lembrou de tudo. “Seria melhor eu deixar ir... Deixem-me ir... Deixar morrer... Deixem-me...”.
O cabelo grudava em seu rosto e mesmo assim podia-se ver o brilho triste de seus olhos verdes. “Éramos perfeitos. Somos perfeitos”. Não conseguia entender porque estava sozinha. Não entendia porque havia sido deixada. Noites e noites de diversão inebriante, sugando tudo que havia de vida ao redor. Não era assim que deveria ser? Durante dois meses tudo havia sido perfeito. E de repente a paz se foi. “Então você preferiu partir meu coração... Eu deveria ter percebido desde o começo. Sua apatia é o que mais me dói...”. Àquela altura, a dor deveria ter passado, mas ironicamente ainda estava viva dentro dela. Ou seria isso apenas uma lembrança de quando vivia? O vazio é pior que o sofrimento? “Eu deveria ter percebido... dois de nós... juntos... seria perfeito demais”. E ela lembrou de senti-lo se afastando. A distância aumentava enquanto se olhavam nos olhos e afundavam em excesso de sinceridade. Um jogo no qual o perdedor é quem não desvia o olhar. Ele desviou.
Agora ela olhava para baixo. Sabia que não encontraria mais a vida que tinha antes. Não encontraria vida nenhuma lá embaixo, mas sim, deixaria tudo morrer, tudo passar. Tudo que ela não conseguia deixar para trás. Encheu os pulmões novamente. O sol tinha partido havia cerca de meia-hora, mas o céu se recusava a escurecer completamente. “Nada sobreviverá ao impacto... Nada do que insiste em se manter nas minhas memórias”. Meses de tortura física e mental não se comparavam à agonia de estar presa a um sentimento renegado. Jogou os cabelos para trás e levantou os olhos ao céu. Branco como naquele dia. Perfeito. Sentia a falta do contato físico como se aquilo fosse a base para sua vida. Podia senti-lo naquele momento, mais uma vez enganada pelas lembranças. “Preciso deixar ir... Por que você permitiu que eu ficasse assim?”.
Deu um passo a frente e caiu. As pessoas gritavam, mas o som não chegava aos seus ouvidos. O impacto de dez andares devia ser o suficiente. “Você não me entendeu... Justo você...”. Em frações de segundo, sentiu seu beijo que nunca acabara. Eterno. Os lábios apertados. A mente em êxtase. A existência perdia o sentido e nada mais poderia matá-los. Eterno. Era só deixar-se cair. A sensação de estar voando, sem o peso da existência vazia. Nunca mais. Então vieram dois sóis, um garoto gritando, a fúria e o sangue. “O sangue!” Ela viu as pessoas virando os rostos contorcidos esperando o impacto. Segundos que pareciam não terminar. “O sangue!” Uma mulher abaixou-se e cobriu os ouvidos. Um segurança gritava. Ela lembra de ter pensado: “Eu já estou morta”. Então ela parou.
De pé, na horizontal. Na ponta dos pés. A parede era tão áspera e úmida quanto o teto. Se não fosse o barulho do vento as pessoas lá embaixo jurariam que o tempo havia parado. A noite já os abraçava fortemente. As faces paralisadas foram sumindo na tinta nanquim que inundava o mundo. Ela lembrou do sangue. Via em si mesmo. Estava em seu sangue e nada mudaria. Flexionou as pernas, forçou os joelhos, tomou impulso e partiu."