Music for Hypocrites
I think the first time this happened with Shawn hitting me up with Rated R by Queens of the Stone Age. We went back and forth the last couple of years with U2 discs, more QOTSA, the Killers, more QOTSA again, The Burden Brothers, Mark Lanegan and recently the Twilight Singers, which occasionally features Mark Lanegan. There’s more, but let’s get focused. Shawn’s basically at the point that if he sees something that says “featuring Mark Lanegan”, it’s purchased before he even knows what he’s buying. So, a couple of months back I keep getting instant messages with “Twilight Singers! Twilight Singers” all over it.
Let me paint you a picture.
You’ve got a girl. You are in love. It’s a passionate love. The lovemaking is usually a drunken, drug fueled massacre as violent as the fights that occur around it. Even the silent moments are intense. Every feeling you have is amplified ten fold when it involves her.
Another night, another argument. It’s even ground and you’re both to blame though no one is going to admit they’ve done a single thing wrong. Strong, uncompromising minds and hearts are holding their ground. She’s got you so torqued up and on the ropes you’re scrambling for a comeback. Then it hits you out of nowhere. The deal-breaker. The secret locked in the vault. It’s the neutralizer. Despite how many times she’s called your number, this is the knockout punch. It’s the “Oh yeah? Well you had a friggin’ gang bang with the Denver Broncos, whore!” vindictive howl that ushers in an uncomfortable silence before lamps start flying at your head.
Back that up about 5 seconds. The secret just got pulled from the vault, your head is spinning and you’re desperately trying to control yourself and hold back. You know everything comes to an end if your tongue flicks off of your teeth, and you’re manically grasping at anything that will pull you back from what you are about to do.
She Loves You, Stitch in Time and Powder Burns are the soundtrack for that moment. They’re also the soundtrack for the walk to the car, the drive home, the nights after, the days calling in sick and laying on the floor, the hours of drinking, drugs, depression, reflection, denial, living at the corner of the bar, picking up what table scraps you can find to numb what you are feeling, completely unraveling and the first morning that you can stand up, not feel like your dying anymore and face the sunlight without contemplating the shotgun in the closet.
The Twilight Singers began as a side project of Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli. You can hear the audible evolution from the Afghan Whigs 1965 disc into The Twilight Singers Blackberry Belle and through to Powder Burns. Mark Lanegan, former frontman of Screaming Trees is featured and pops in sporadically across their later releases. Lanegan has deep soul in his voice, and that soul has been a chain smoking, alcoholic smack addict since it was 8. The mixture of that soul with Dulli’s “last grasp” vocal stylings creates some of the most hauntingly disparaging duets I’ve ever heard. I’d kill to have pipes like theirs, though I think in order to get them I’d have to drink and smoke so much that I’d be dead before I got to the end result.
To conclude, do not pass Go. Do directly to eMusic.com and buy Powder Burns, Stitch in Time and She Loves You. Sign up for the 25 free downloads free offer and startdownloading. Between The Twilight Singers, Colin Hay and the Drive-By Truckers, I upgraded to the highest account they had and have been living on music since.
Save these discs for the next time you are pissed, drunk and alone, then spin ‘em until there’s a fist-shaped hole in the drywall, rub one out and take a nap. You’ll feel better in the morning.