When walking in Melancholia, I tend to listen to Death In June’s NADA! on a repeat loop. Something about that record is kind of soothing to me.
NADA is, I’m convinced, one of the best Industrial and dark synth-pop records of the 80’s, and one of Death In June’s own masterpieces. Though the collaborations with Albin Julius in the late 90’s were also pretty well done.
If they play this stuff at the Dock I just might pop down there on Goth night some time, the last time I was there things were too.. eh.. Wumpscutish for me. I like my dance music melancholy and not prone to inducing adult ADD…
Most music evokes things out of me that I do not want evoked.
It is possible in life and in love for two people to do things in utter sincerity and good will, but constrained by fear and lacking mutual understanding and empathy, we can do things to each other, our bodies, the bodies of those unborn, and the bodies of those already born – things done out of fear, out of self hate, things that once we realize their enormity we not only regret, but that cause us to suffer a bleeding heart through the rest of our lives.
Wallowing in guilt and sadness is an evasion, an evasion of agency, and responsibility. It gives us an easy out, mope, cry, scream, bewail, feel, experience, but do not act and do in the here and now what will free you from making similar mistakes in the future.
To rip-off Douglas Pierce “The guilty have no pride.”
This is my favorite song off Nada, The Calling. It brings back memories of youthful love, and friendship, relaxing with co-workers in the kitchen between shifts, catching her eye of and her smile as she turns around the corner back into the dining hall. A touch on the shoulder and waist, a knowing and kind smile, sitting in the back of the restaurant and her shapely form sitting on my lap, laughing during lunch break, a caressed thigh and knee, and then an opportunity given, but never taken. A door left open, but whose passing was never taken. And wondering what if, what if.
Memories of a love so intense and pure and true, almost destroyed, of new life’s potential weighed and lost, of fear and anger, and passion. Of friendship that has survived all of this, and grown more pure. Hours exploring the bones of houses left to dry by the roadsides in America’s heartland, two explorers amidst mason jars never opened again, and crumbling newspapers from the depression.
Memories of another beauty, with a soul more fiery than her hair. Walks around Harrison’s tomb, night time trysts against the cool marble, furtive, looking out for guards. Pleasures shared and guiltily indulged in, walks through pioneer cemeteries, sitting on the pier. Witnessing the first overdose, memories of anger mixed with love and fear. Two bright eyes full of sadness, and despair, and adoration, and lust, and fear, all at once. Of incredible needs no man could fulfill, of the phone call, of a gift of a single remaining lock of hair, and an urn, of burnished brass,, and nothing more.
Or memories of a young bright thing, more coarse than a sailor, almost a girl, and yet still a woman. Of fresh flowers in her hair, and later crushed on a pillow. Of a few encounters without love, simply desire, and, or at least I thought, friendship.
Memories of prayers and bowing, prostrations and vigils, fasts and insights, the glimmerings of gnosis and a soul and body too frail, and slothful, to do what we know we must do once we know that the truth is the truth.
Memories of a father holding a plastic boat with a string tied, the string unloosing and the boat floating away, upon the reservoir. A single tear in a young boy’s eye. The first of many losses, the most minor of them, and yet the most dreamlike.
Of a grandfather’s tombstone, carved in Army marble. Stories told to me of a War few even remember. And next to it a father’s plot, grass beginning to settle after these few years, and yet still no stone.
The danger of music lies in it’s power, to arouse nostalgia, and to stir beneath the steps of Reason’s temple forces older, more primal, and less understood. Those who know of music’s power to evoke, to compel, and at times to control, the pied piper and his calling to the youth. In fairy tales lies food for us to contemplate, the symbol is not identical with the reality, but the symbol may be a warning. Usually one unheeded, a calling given, heard by many, but ignored by most, and puzzled over by a few.
“The Calling” by Death In June
Clear your tears
And dry your eyes
We live in fear
And drunken lies
Douse the flames
Of devil dawning
The cold blade falls
On misty morning
And for their sins
We live and die
The angel cowers
In blackened skies
So take my hand and walk again
We’ll take a walk through yellow rain
She’s calling, just calling…
So now’s the time
We hear the calling
While lovers feast
By mirrored pools
A million cries
From shattered faces
We dance in tune
To the pipes of gold
She’s calling, just calling…
Lyrics copyright Death In June/Douglas Peirce