One From the Grave: Khanate. Schaufenster Gallery, Oslo. 2004.
Posted: Jan 20, 2009
All stop. Imagine. Lash out. Just this one time. Long before shitpanted street urchins
waxed ecclesiastic, wisdom was truly the common yield: Wir sind das Volk, etc. Idle hands the Devil's playthings. Yeah, yeah… Talismans begone. I established a regimen. I saw the wife to work. I drove while she sipped the coffee I’d made her, NPR on the radio. I had to come back. I had to come back to the nothing. The house. The computer. The job search. No money. Little food. Going through winter coat pockets for dollars, for change. Picked the couch’s ass clean of coins. Selling CDs, VHS tapes, books. Eat my toast. Drink my coffee. The computer. The job search sites. Over qualified. Under qualified. Maybe I should stick it out and deal with a kitchen shift again. Long nights. Weekends. Holidays. Back pain. Smoking again. Drinking more than I am already. Going out after shifts, drinking wages into the ground. May as well be paid in well drinks, $2 tallboys. I thought of Twain, who urged us to curse our indolent worthlessness and rob the local parishioner. My mornings, ‘noons, and nights all small hours, all quiet, empty time. There was always something to empty oneself into. Nothing but nothing. Nothing eBay. Nothing porn. Nothing e-mails. And there was always Soulseek. Hi ho…
Online producer. Get paid to shop! Excited about Atlanta? Earn money blogging about your favorite hotspots! Young, hip, hot? Love the local bar scene? We want you to write about your naughty nights, your awkward mornings! Hours on Soulseek. I had everything Khanate cribbed together. Live leaks were a happy horizon. Extended goals. Something to look forward to: Khanate, circa 2004, in the midst of a European campaign. Andy “Witherspawn” Hartwell had closed up shop at AB, offered a supporting role at the merch table and ended up worse off than Hopper’s “photo-journalist” simulacra via Apocalypse Now. I submitted a “Khanate Live” search every single morning. The feral WFMU session surfaced first. I ended up opting for the streaming bit just so I could hear Brian Turner's ebullient intro and brilliant deflating follow-up: “Skin Coat” into the Stones’ “Emotional Rescue.” Then there was Stockholm. And finally Oslo. Fifty-one minutes and 43 seconds. Who would sit through that shit? And why? Toppled bottles, odd tongues, tuning. Sounds like there's some tail in the crowd. Snares vibe, bass groans, lighters, cigarettes, bottle caps. The click of sticks. Bass sighs. Bottle topples. Bass groan. Wyskida thumps the kick. Dubin: Chhhh-chhhh-chheck. Chhh-chhhh-chhhh feedback. A cymbal shimmers, and “Commuted” comes forth.
Just this one time.
Take their sight.
Still there. But now they feel.
Instead of reading talking laughing just feeling
Now we're here
PIECES of US in my hands on the floor in my POCKETS
The recording is warbled, spotty. Sometimes Wyskida sounds as if he’s keeping time on a cow's carcass, smacking its blood-pocked ribs with ball peen hammers. O¹Malley's riffs fucking demand definition and then slowly decay, coupling with Plotkin and Wyskida and coming off no different than busloads of “Viking Country” tourists crashing from Kjerkeberget’s summit. Dubin benefits from the action, but asks for none of it. His screams harken back to Bon and Abruptum’s It; look forward to crisp, white, soft walls and silence. How does he scream like that?
The three beneath, between, behind: A lint encrusted stylus slicing through James Gang's “The Bomber,” a piece of pecan pie gumming up the grooves. Maybe if all those ECM twinks hit the desert with jimson and gin. Maybe then they could have established a sort of fractal jazz that would compete with this Kampf. Time counted and discarded upon tortoise shells, upon the bone
domes of those who were lost as friends and were found as food. Maybe in the cuntstench of death, a few outside-the-box shamans could've crafted something similar. Something as ass-backwards primitivistic. As inhumanly futuristic. Staring straight into the sun. Gargling their own teeth. Smiling, screaming, laughing, broken. Maybe…
It was best to just get out. I’d downloaded Oslo. I didn't have a CD burner. Couldn’t afford it. I’d download music until the hard drive filled and then judiciously delete. I recorded Oslo onto cassette straight from the computer’s three-inch speakers. I cranked it up so loudly they danced upon the wood. I’d already listened to Oslo three times that day. Finally it finished. A cymbal stroke.
Watch you choke.
Watch you choke.
Watch you choke.
Watch you choke.
Watch you Choke.
A bottle topples. Tail talking.
Grabbed the “megabass” Walkman and the cassette. Waked up the grass hill to the park, put my headphones on, rewound the tape. I lay in the overgrown grass. I looked up at the sky. Gray, then white, then gray. All stop. Imagine. Lash out. Just this one time. Thump. Thump. Thump. Take their sight. Thump. Still there. But now. Now. They feel. Thump. Cymbal shimmer. Instead of reading talking laughing JUST FEELING. JUST FEELING. Now we’re here. PIECES OF US IN MY HANDS ON THE FLOOR IN MY POCKETS.
REAHUD GLOREEE. REAHUD GLOREEE.
The rain came. I lay there listening. The rain coming down, pouring. My headphones crackled. The trees swayed in the wind. I’d pick my wife up in two hours. The computer. The job search sites. Over qualified. Under qualified. Maybe I should stick it out and deal with a kitchen shift again. There was always something to empty oneself into. Nothing but nothing. Nothing eBay. Nothing porn. Nothing e-mails. And there was always Soulseek.
[Photos by Andrew Hartwell. Khanate, Oslo 2004.]
lifted from www.thelefthandpath.com