so this has been a gulf in time. i was depressed. i traveled for a month. i see things anew, including some remarkable clarity on the last six years. there’s relevance in that number, and in this being my first album back; and only one will know.
songs like sue’s last ride and i remember a time when once you used to love me showed more of their punk roots, and especially the bands mick had played in when he was younger. they shudder through the quieter refrains and let jim cut loose in rhythm, mick shred and destroy, warren frenzy. the band has always epitomised obscure restraint and detail, but the power is still there no matter what, especially across this album.
i honestly can’t think of any other musicians who managed to have such distinct and important contributions throughout their careers (before and after this). like separate lives, or reincarnations. these days, bands are reforming and not doing anything new. they trade on what gave them fame and money, sometimes notoriety – that makes sense in a capital-based economic rationalist model of thought. or a purely nostalgic one.
but members of the dirty three traveled the breeze. they made their own way without ever following anyone else. they are anti-commercial and anarchistic. and truly independent of status. it means they make music freed from every artifice.
in that sense, they make the true discoveries, like explorers, and unlike everyone else in the music world. they’re not experimental. to know them is to traverse unknown wilderness. it’s out there where you sink or swim. you get it, or you don’t. you live or you die.
so this is for you john, because it’s your favourite. and because it is you.