Wednesday, September 11, 2019

the last book I ever read (Begin the Begin: R.E.M.’s Early Years by Robert Dean Lurie, excerpt three)

from Begin the Begin: R.E.M.’S Early Years by Robert Dean Lurie:

There are a number of people out there who believe to this day that Pylon was the greatest band ever to come out of Athens. Millions of R.E.M. fans would dismiss this statement outright, yet it deserves serious examination. Certainly, Pylon was unique among the first wave of Athens bands. Virtually every aspect of their sound—from the minimalist, trancelike groove laid down by Lachowski and Crowe, to Bewley’s jagged, atonal guitar textures, to Briscoe’s yelps and guttural grunts—was unlike anything the Athens party crowd had heard before. And only in the Athens art community could such a pointedly anti-mainstream ensemble have become that community’s “resident dance party band” (Brown’s description). But there it was. Something in that locked-down rhythm section and those stuttering guitars got people moving, jerking their bodies across living-room floors.

Much of Pylon’s genius can be attributed to the fact that the band was built from scratch by people with no preconceived notions about what they were doing. Lachowski and Bewley had begun writing songs together almost immediately after purchasing their instruments (at a yard sale and a pawn shop, respectively). Crowe had been playing drums for less than a year. Briscoe had apparently sung in her high school chorus, but you wouldn’t know it; seemingly unschooled in the rudiments of rhythm and intonation, she created her own alternative parameters. Pylon were cluelessly overconfident art students coming at rock ‘n’ roll from the outside. They rebuilt it in their own image and lo, it was great.

No comments:

Post a Comment