Saturday, 17 August 2013

SCRATCHIN' ROUND - Date Palms, Coyotes in the Room, Owlfood

Sonic Masala headquarters is a little town called Brisbane; urban sprawl, ample parking day and night, people apologising when they accidentally bump into you. It's well and truly on the green, habitable side of Queensland's Great Diving Range. I was born here but my co-conspirator Brendan hails from the other side of the wall (as it were) - the "wide brown land" part. The part where nature doesn't pretend it cares that you are the product of millions of years of natural selection. 

Your life is a caravan. You walk across a desert. You share safe footsteps with those making the same journey. It's a slow dirge at times. It can feel only a test of endurance if you don't stop to marvel. To look, freezing, into uninterrupted something-ness. To listen to sand sweeping across plains, as ageless as you are (and perhaps as directionless). Date Palms have this reverence. These are psalms for slow beauty. For those who can watch decay and know that it isn't really an end. Psalms is out now through the ever-superb Thrill Jockey.

Violence is abhorred in the city. The blood of drunks and protestors stain the white collars of the civilised. We choose to ignore it; put it through the wash anyway; have it precut and vacuum sealed beyond recognition. Forget the animal that lumbered, docile, towards the waiting spike, you are safe and sound in all you know. The world will respect your god-given right to a fridge-freezer full of Bud Light. But if you really get thinking about it, there's something more out there, something liable to creep up on you while you're dreaming. It seems to me that Coyotes in the Room have been thinking about it.

And what happens when you meet an insurmountable obstacle. Do you start digging? Do you call for the moon to crash from the sky for your purpose? There are entire species built into the earth in front of you, their fossilised remains monuments to time beyond conception. You are trapped. The only thing left is to build your own monument. A black obelisk that will mark your place to the next traveller - even after the owls have made work of your body. Owlfood will commemorate you with Destroyers of the Moon as you drift out of view.

There is always something out there beyond what you know. And it will be there no matter how collected and in control you feel. Think about it, because it might be thinking about you.

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