13 November, 2018

Something Old, Something New (Sonically Speaking)

When the iconic British post-punk/deathrock band Siouxsie & the Banshees entered Surry Sound to record their 1981 album Juju, — nine spiky guitar- and drum-propelled tracks that epitomized the sound of my teenage years — I shat myself. Of course I did; in '81 I was still a baby, squirming on the carpet of a three-bedroom house in suburban Middle America, with no awareness of Siouxsie Sioux or her band. I must have soiled fifty diapers in the weeks it took them to lay down all of Juju, never mind the time it took to master the tapes.

Fourteen years after Siouxsie & the Banshees' first show, at
the 100 Club Punk Festival, I fell hard for their melodic take on punk. (Siouxsie's innovative mix of Queen-of-the-Nile makeup and bondage gear helped.) As my musical tastes developed, they stuck close to the period and the place — bands and artists who got their start in late-'70s, early-'80s Britain. My horizons expanded as I got older, but I still love that old-school goth sound. Juju never got old.

We were talking about
the tablet computer I'll have any day now, and my mother asked about downloadable songs: "Do you even want new music? I thought you were stuck on that old stuff."

I guess that
last week's post about meeting my musical kindred confused her. Hearing some old favorites for the first time in decades has been unbelievably cool, sure, but there's a huge difference between still loving Siouxsie & the Banshees and listening to nothing else.
Suddenly being able to buy music whenever, rather than only three times per year, and (if the album isn't up to par) on a track-by-track basis, changes everything. I'm no longer held back by the twenty-CD limit the Missouri DOC imposes. Now there's a new dilemma. I tweeted about it, here, last Tuesday: how's a guy to choose, given JPay's selection?

So many contemporary groups and artists I've wanted to sample are available now, including
Youth Code, Savages, Silent Servant, Vatican Shadow, Anasazi, the Chameleons (UK), and the Soft Moon. My musical wish list will have to be kept in check. A preliminary search also showed pages of Siouxsie stuff, including some released since my imprisonment... and a 2006 remaster of Juju.

Balance, I tell myself, and take a few cleansing breaths. Balance and restraint. You've still got to use soap and eat. Oh, but you do have a birthday coming up.

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