Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yeasayer - 2080

YEASAYER - '2080'

Regarding the name Yeasayer, this passage from Nietzsche's Zarathustra is illuminating:

"The passing clouds I detest--those stealthy cats of prey: they take from thee and me what is common to us--the vast unbounded Yea- andAmen-saying. These mediators and mixers we detest--the passing clouds: those half-and- half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse from the heart.
Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I sit in the abyss without heaven, than see thee, thou luminous heaven, tainted with passing clouds!

And oft have I longed to pin them fast with the jagged gold-wires of lightning, that I might, like the thunder, beat the drum upon their kettle- bellies:----An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!--thou heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--because they rob thee of MY Yea and Amen.

For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than this discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate most of all the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the doubting, hesitating, passing clouds.

And "he who cannot bless shall LEARN to curse!"--this clear teaching dropt unto me from the clear heaven; this star standeth in my heaven even in dark nights. I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--into all abysses do I then carry my beneficent Yea-saying."

This track has been heavily blogged, and rightfully so. It has striking vocal harmonies and an emotional intensity that marks danger and portent in a grand historical scope ("I can't sleep when I think about the times that we're living in..") and as well gives itself over in its energetic chorus to Zarathustra's almost insurrective, abyssal affirmations.

We see that Nietzsche's yea-sayer is a violent drummer, forceful because he must beat against those who threaten with their 'half-and-half' ways. They threaten in their very unthreatening-ness. Elsewhere Nietzsche writes that 'sometimes one must scream in order to be heard.' Yeasayer's album is also called "All Hour Cymbals", as if again to mark this quality of art to be an interruptive, summoning force in the midst of life.

'2080' has the inflections of a quasi-mystical wake-up call to listeners in the dark - similar to what Hoelderlin called das warnende Lied, the 'warning song', which he sings for 'those with ears to hear.'

The crazy illuminati logo for the track pretty much reinforces and solidifies all this:


thedancinganimal said...

i dig it....i made the yeasayer-nietzsche connection as well...I can't get enough of both of these creators...

Charles McClung said...

I think there's an argument to be made that Yeasayer got their band name inspiration from Nietzsche; the similarities are distinct. The following is from the beginning of Book IV of Nietzsche's Gay Science (aphorism 276):

"For the new year - I'm still alive; I still think: I must be alive because I still have to think... I want to learn more and more how to see what is necessary in things as what is beautiful in them - this, I will be one of those who make things beautiful... all in all and on the whole: some day I want only to be a Yes-sayer!"

Great connection! :)