27 June 2011

The Two Jakes

It must have been somewhere that the land meets the water, or maybe, where the mountains meet the sky.  It certainly seems like the city and the country collided but no one is really sure if it was where Truth bumped into The Lie.  

Still, we are certain that it happened.  The ‘it’ in question is the rather fortuitous meeting of Blackbeard and Yellowbeard that led directly to the sonic experience that is ‘The Two Jakes.’  My first, and hopefully not last, encounter with the Jakes was at a small club in Buffalo, NY that looked fairly traditional in it’s dive-bar aesthetic.  I was impressed by the sweeping announcement from the public address system for all patrons to make their way to the ‘War Memorial Stage’ in the front of the club.  What I saw when I got there were two bright, harsh spot lights shining on seated figures, hunched over metal slabs containing small boxes with lights and knobs. 

Blackbeard leaned into the microphone and almost whispered, ‘Tonight, this is the truth center’ and a gentle, rising pulse of sound began to fill the room.  Then Yellowbeard struck one mighty chord that sounded like, well, doom. 

A hush fell over the Buffalo night and things that were merely ‘real’ got ‘right.’

Finding beauty in chaos is a trick that only a few can muster and most of them have left us to our own devices via death or the dismemberment of how to achieve such sonic desires.  Those that remain must be more vigilant than ever to not let the secret art die out, to continue the madness perpetrated by Cage, Young, The Velvets, Silver Apples, Gabriel’s Genesis, Eno, Bryars, Sonic Youth, Branca, Spacemen, Shields, Kember and Pierce.  

The madness of jagged shards of sound hurled and then corralled into sweet songs that come from a time where wanting and having are parallel lines and the Jakes soon decide that they just might be able to make those two ornery motherfuckers coincide somewhere deep in the night       if they could just get the delay pedal set right, they might. 

So when you listen and when you hear (which, after all, are two distinctly different tasks) to their songs float up, out, over and around and when you hear the feedback howl, the Fender music box growl of the Jonny Greenwood special,the deluxe 85, the southern blues for dessert Rolling Stones with Mick Taylor Duane and Dickey dirty gritty Gibson SG on eleven with pretty little melodies that fell out of heaven.

When you hear all that
             When you listen to all of that
                                  When it really sinks in
                                                 That’s when the good life begins.  

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