Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Falling In Love With Mogwai

Late last month, as I flew from Paris to Bangalore, I found Air France had Mogwai's album "Hardcore will never die, but you will".  "What is this?" I asked myself, and as I waited for dinner to be served in flight, I began listening... and listening... and listening.  I ate, and fell asleep on the 10 hour flight, listening repeatedly to the album.  I've now fallen in love with Mogwai.  It's my friend Ryan's fault.  He's a massive Mogwai fan, and he's going to see them in Atlanta tomorrow night. He's mentioned them to me before, but I did not take much note of this somewhat obscure instrumental band.  Now that I've listened to a one disc sample of the band, I am hooked.  Ryan just called me and recommended Batcat, as the best song on "The Hawk is Howling", Mogwai's previous album before "Hardcore".  Here's the video:

In my perspective, Mogwai evokes memory traces of Def Tones, Tangerine Dream, Moby, Reznor, and Tool, with dissonant keyboard chords, powerfully presented, played with excellent musicality, and produced in an addictive way that keeps the listener coming back for more.  Mogwai's song titles are bizarre.  The Air France selectionsfrom "Hard Core Will Never Die, But You Will" were
White Noise
Mexican Grand Prix
Rano Pano
Death Rays
San Pedro
Letters to the Metro
George Square Thatcher Death Party
How To Be a Werewolf
Too Raging to Cheers
You're Lionel Ritchie

I thank those I love for expanding my musical appreciation.  Without my buddy Ryan's persistence, I would have never heard about Mogwai, Queens of the Stone Age, Skinny Puppy, Primus, Tool, Perfect Circle, and many more.  We used to listen to Black Sabbath and ACDC late at night freshman year in High School... good times.  My buddy Jerry introduced me to Prefab Sprout. Had it not been for my buddy Thom, The Call and The Alarm would have been unknown to me.  My college buddy Rick R showed me an appreciation for The Pogues that took me years to realize, and my dorm neighbors Craig & Steve revealed Tom Waits, The Cure, Yaz, Everything But The Girl, and countless others.  My good friend Ron showed me the soul wrenching sadness of The Blue Nile and The Waterboys, for which I am forever grateful.  They Might Be Giants would be alien to me without my friend Todd's love of them.  My anarchist friend Joe M renewed my love of The Mothers of Invention, Zappa, The Dead Kennedys, and then revealed Anti Flag to me as well.  And my son exposed me to The Black Keys, Apex Theory, Paris Cafe, System of a Down, and Florence and the Machine, to name just a few. My musical tastes and preferences are a composite of what I've been exposed to, some of it sticking, and some of it repulsive - I tried to listen to Prodigy in flight last week, and couldn't make it through a single song without fast forwarding through the album... and I used to like those guys... so it's not static.  It's a fluid, dynamic, evolving entity, influenced by my friends.

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