Friday, February 29, 2008

Allow me to poeticize

Driving South on I-5 through Northern California, you will see a sign - a monumental erection among the miles of farmland surrounding it - that reads "This blood was poured out for your sins." The blood dripping down off a hand to form a cross, the biblical allusion is obvious. In Clovis, New Mexico, on the side of East 84, there is a billboard displaying the Ten Commandments. In northern Texas, driving toward Oklahoma City, you will pass the world's largest cross. About 80 feet tall. Signs and monuments like these are scattered along our national highway system.

At the present, I am reminded of the past. We've been labeled 'Satanists.' And yes, as we pass countless roadside vestiges to religion, we're humming we've come to do the devil's work. And too, "why would you waste another word on God?" Put another way, we are the dark of the under-ground that the light of the above-ground mainstream fears. Everyone is dressed in white, we are shrouded in black. Black clothes, black hair, black makeup and black lyrics. Of course, we're not the first musicians to be 'demonized' for how we sound or or how we look. The marginalization can be traced back at least to when jazzers of the forties and fifties, who forged an avant-garde style of bebop in the smokey clubs of NYC, were playing the ignominious "devil's music." After that, hard rockers of the sixties and seventies were accused of mixing Satanic messages with occult imagery and Eastern mysticism. Impossibly, it's not music the populace fears, it is simply change, disobedience, iconoclasm, confusion and radicalism. The rock show is where we feel at home, where the darkness that the mainstream demonizes is what prevails.

After playing six shows in Texas, we are ascending deeper toward the South. The kids so far have been highly receptive and energetic.

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