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12/22/2003: "collapsing new buildings"

I went up for the weekend to see some some old friends in their old, crumbling house in Massachusetts. The house was so drafty that I could feel the wind coming through the closed windows at night, and so unevenly heated that I slept with a jacket and scarf still on, teeth chattering. We stayed up late and sat around the poker table drinking cheap beer (30 cans for $12.99), listening to classic rock, and watching 'Sifl and Olly' reruns on a little television set. I put the upcoming Neubauten album (which I have to review) in for a spin on Sunday afternoon, and was struck by how well it suited the character of the house -- the faded, threadbare oriental carpet, peeling paint and non-working doorknobs, creaking staircase, chilly indoor air, dark wooden fixtures, picture windows overlooking grey skies and bare trees. The album sounds instantly familiar somehow; it's the sound of a band growing old, hair greying, voices cracking. The thinner, harsher sounds of yore mellowing into a new richness, machines revealing their vulnerability. 'die nicht mehr ganz entlegenen Sterne / des Nachts ist die Mitte der Ort in dem ich schlafe' (the stars are no longer out of the way, at night the center is the place I sleep.') I like it.


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