Saturday, November 24, 2007

L.A. EDITION: HAPPY END OF THE WORLD

I made my way out of the blind-drawn womb of Trey's efficiency into the broad, hot California sun. I was more lucid than I had a right to be, all things considered. Having been plied all night by a cocktail of deep Miami house and a netflixed DVD called Night of the Comet, an eighties vision of the apocalypse..



A well-deserved excavation given the film's robust staging of two of today's more resonant cultural phenomena: a kitschy fascination of the Reagan-era, and a widespread obsessional neurotic relation to the end of the world. Which marks the point when post-9/11 fears reach the intensity of psychoanalytic fantasy. Like Freud's Rat Man, society gets caught up in a psychic life of obsessive rituals to block out the fantasized disaster (in the case of the Rat Man, the thought of his father's death), which the subject is nonetheless inextricably bound up in.

Night of the Comet is set in L.A. You could render a lot of armchair West-East Coast comparisons irrelevant simply by comparing their respective stagings of the end of days. It's enough to think about two new movies, Southland Tales, and I Am Legend, alongside one another. There's a great scene involving some girls exploring an abandoned club/radio station that is of high allegorical value.

Then we jammed Neil Young's sole electronic record, Trans, which matches quite well with Night of the Comet:

NEIL YOUNG - 'COMPUTER COWBOY'




From the sands of Hermosa beach I watched a volcanic plume of smoke billow out from Malibu and via the force of wind become dissipated into a long and dirty stretch of haze along the ocean's horizon. From the beach I saw the smoke from Malibu burning. Between myself now laying near prostrate in the sand and the distant wildfire the black wet fins of dolphins then breaching arced in passing above the waves.

Awake in this land at the same time Eden and Sodom. Where nature shows itself in mythic tranquility and Judaic wrath. I wandered with a sunbaked brain along the shore. Having removed my Clarks and long black jacket, endlessly humming this beautiful song by Brazilian musician Milton Nascimento, which Stina and I had played in her mother's hatchback the day before, cruising for Amoeba records, the Arclight theatre, and carne asada tacos from the Yucca hut.

MILTON NASCIMENTO - "NUVEM CIGANA"

If this track gets your attention, here's the album, given to me by JF

MILTON NASCIMENTO - LO BORGES - CLUBE DE ESQUINA





Finally, another discovery from TB, a contribution to the Screwed-
Country file. If country is the white folk's blues, it's a logical
Caucasian recipient for sonic DNA transplant from the
Houston rap scene.

WILLIE NELSON - 'SHOTGUN WILLIE'

1 comment:

JF said...

I wish I was in that hatchback listening to this song.