Town and Country
I have an internal list of empty blanks I wish to fill, things that are probably out there but evade my discovery. Among the unnamables are an Ecstatic Dub-Metal combo, some ramshackle Vintage Chamber Quicksand Music, and others. But recently I've been able to scratch Chicken Fried Trance Music off that list, partly because of the resurgence of Fluxus upstart Henry Flynt's back catalog and because of the backyard poke salot hybrid that is Town and Country. I've landed my musical butterfly on them a couple times over the years and it never gave up the nectar, but their latest Up Above is positively turgid with pollen and sweet life-giving juice.
Town and Country trade in a sub-riff level of repetition, where pulses interlock on whatever is handy, kitchen sink percussion rattling in its breeze. Yet, (and this is the key for successful acoustic trance music), it does not come off like a jam, but as an organic thick progression. Avant-garde gumbo music if you will. It moves between clop-clop horse beats over an acre of foghorns like on "Blue Lotus Feet" and subterranean schizophrenic blues on "Phoney Fuckin' Mountain"; plunky-punky Orientalism on "Bee call" and full bore sitar bliss out on "King of Portugal" but dull yoga music this never becomes.
It's what the hum of the invisible threads connecting all things sound like as they are lazily bowed by an immaculately stoned God. It is the echos of the moos and farts from that cow the Norse believe was present at the dawn of time. It is the golden woodpecker, hammering away on the Tree of Knowledge. It's the kind of music that makes me want to keep on exhaling until I am spent into breath. And evidently, it is the kind of stiuff that leads me into embarrassingly flowery prose, but I don't care. I will gladly hop aboard this peace train before it derails down the rabbit hole. Peace out, bitches.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
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