Holy shit, it was hot on Sunday. I was pretty sure we were all going to die for a while there. But hey, Glorious Noise suffers unbearable heat so you don’t have to.
It’s hard to believe that the first Lollapalooza was 14 years ago. I was a dopey college kid who could barely drive straight when my pals piled into my mom’s Corolla and we drove across the state to see Perry Farrell’s brand new music festival. I was looking forward to seeing Ice T and Jane’s Addiction, but was most impressed by the Butthole Surfers when guitarist Paul Leary picked up a rifle, aimed it right at my face 60 rows back, and pulled the trigger. I swear to god I saw fire shoot out of the barrel and expected to feel the bullet split my skull. Good thing Leary’s a lousy shot.
This year no one fired a gun at me. But I was blown away by a couple of bands that I wasn’t expecting that much from. It’s a much different world now (George Bush, Iraq, economy, etc.), but a few things remain the same: good music still isn’t played on the radio, and young people still love to get half naked and stomp around in the dirt and listen to bands.
Every once in a while, every once in a great while, a band comes out with a piece of music that nearly stops time, a piece of music that makes you question your position of being an authority about music, a piece of music that makes you reject the entire English language when you try to describe it to yourself or anyone else because it’s too cliche-riddled, a piece of music that nearly destroys your career as an unpaid record reviewer because you have had it for almost two months and your editors may never trust you with an advance copy again because you can’t figure out what to say about it, and that may sound like an excuse but you can’t, you really fucking can’t.
This is that piece of music.
In light of all that I have just disclosed, I present to you an incomprehensive list of adjectives and phrases that were considered and rejected for various reasons the multiple times this record reviewer tried to sit down and write about this album.
Anthemic; Swaggering; Confident; Wistful; Post-Apocalyptic; Post-9/11; Post-Punk; Chekhovian; Orchestral; Frustrating; Commanding; Gorgeous; Theatrical; No really, this shit needs to be choreographed; Insistent; Plaintive; Clunky; All-encompassing; Seriously; Defiant; Nasal; Thrumming; Guttural; Tour De Force; Was the word “cunt” really necessary there?; Hopeful; For real; Resigned; Ironic; Explosive; Sighing; Romantic; Sort of like Pink Floyd; Sort of like the Rolling Stones; Sort of like Queen; Hedwig And The Angry Trail Of Dead; Percussive; Mournful; Railing; Aching; Meta; Graceful; Complete; Incomplete.
Here is a comprehensive list of the thoughts that came to mind immediately after the first time I finished listening to Worlds Apart:
“Holy shit, I’m never going to be able to write about this album.”
So you see, there are some things in this situation that record reviewers can say.