09.04.2008 § Leave a comment
Kristin and I are fingering through some vinyls before the show. The bespectacled wearing-all-black-hipster manning the table notices that we’ve alighted on one in particular.
“That’s a good one,” he says, taking it out and opening it for us. “Look, bones.”
“Oh yeah, nice,” we say, regarding the photo of a lovely heap of bleached bones inside.
Kristin flips it over. I laugh at the track names. “That’s great,” I say, reading, “‘I Long for People’ … ‘Then Again, I Loathe Them.'” The third and final, titular track is ‘End of Autumn.’
“It’s Japanese poetry,” he explains.
“Oh, a haiku?” Kristin guesses.
“Yeah, 5-7-5, right,” I confirm. “…Wait, though. That’s only 6, ‘then-a-gain-i-loathe-them’… and 4… this is just a 5-6-4.”
“Creative license,” Kristin shrugs.
“Oh, well it’s still great,” I say, putting the album back. Grim-hipster dude had slouched back into the shadows, already having given up on selling us on it.
So an hour and a half later the same guy takes the stage. “Oh shit,” I realize aloud, “That guy is Prurient…”
“…and that was his record we were laughing at,” Kristin finishes my thought. Nervously, we watch him set up his little table of wires and distortion pedals, bracing ourselves for the pain that is to come.
(I chuckle to myself at how obvious it seems in retrospect. Kristin had even joked that if we wanted to meet The Band we should seek out the folks wearing all black.)
Then, the stage is flooded in blood red light. Solipsistically keeping his back to the audience throughout his entire performance, Prurient screams unintelligible rants into his microphone, then “plays” the feedback loop he has created with a tiny practice amp by shaking the microphone, grating it against the amp and himself, and flailing around in a maniacal, ataxic rage. The resultant tyrannical universe of ever-morphing sonic pain in which he envelopes us is truly punishing.
And I cannot shake the feeling that in his mind he is telekinetically tearing me and Kristin apart, specifically, limb by limb, for making fun of his fail-ku.
The intarwebz taught me that those unintelligible lyrics he was screaming were appropriated from the death poems of Japanese monks. He was not trying to imply it was a haiku at all. Kristin, we are not TOO literary for him. We are not literary enough!