Tonight I started reading an article about the manic drumming style of The Who's Keith Moon by James Wood in the Nov. 29 New Yorker. I learned something about myself while reading. The realization struck me quick like the surprise shimmer of a symbol, so much so I had put down the magazine before finishing.
I need to have a balance between stability and chaos.
Wood at one point in the article compared Moon's style to that of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham. He wrote of Bonham's impeccable ability for solid, structured rhythms that provide a firm base layer for the band's music. Even Bonham's epic drum solo "Moby Dick" clearly has its own movements, verses. Wood compared this to Moon's completely unstructured, off-beat at times, style.
Speaking first of Bonham's style, Wood writes, "Everything is judged, and rightly placed: astonishing order. Moon's drumming, by contrast, is about putting things in the wrong place: the appearance of astonishing disorder."
This past summer while I listlessly searched for a job, I can easily say I was obsessed with Led Zeppelin. It is no exaggeration to say I listened to bootleg concerts and studio albums of theirs at least five days out of the week for months on end.
In the chaos of not knowing where my life was headed, I found solace in the predictable beauty of Zeppelin's blues-based rock.
Lately, however (and I noted this in an earlier post), I've found myself attracted to the noise brought on by 70s and 80s punk rock bands. Some days I revel in the sounds, the crashes created by post-punk groups like Swans or Nirvana.
All of this explains my fascination with groups like The Stooges, Meat Puppets or even the pre-punk genius of The Who.
Now that I have a stable job and a home I have no plans on leaving any time soon, I relish the chaos given me by bands that can't be easily understand. I've always been interested in the weird side of music, but I am now more than ever.
I thank God for the balance of chaos and structure He's given us. How boring would life be if we all did exactly the same thing over and over again? How truly insane would our minds become if the sun didn't rise and set every day?
If you're getting bored, pray for a little disorder. That, and listen to the Pixies.
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