28/2/18 – Fever Ray – To The Moon And Back – 2017

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

I’m back and I’m scared! After weeks and weeks of touring in a generally freakishly warm America, I arrived in England yesterday evening to Siberian cold. So the flu has ravaged the US in a winter of extremities of hot and cold but did you now about the pandemic in 1918. Tens of millions of people were struck down between January 1918 and 1920. It affected 500 million people in the world and the approximation is that 50-100 million people died.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic

Seems like a lot of people don’t know about it. Whenever I talk about it, it seems like distant history has erased it from modern perception. Rather like the misery of war might be erased in outbursts of modern bravado. Horror and beauty/ horror and beauty, the pendulum swings between rage and respite. Left and Right. Black and Blue.

I spent weeks in the USA with no computer (it died) and had no time for sessions, no time for writing, no time for listening or reading. I visited excellent record stores, was offered wonderful hospitality and kindness, seeing old and making new friends and most importantly marrying the girl of my dreams. We went to the ballet in New York and saw Romeo And Juliet, we visited the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, The Hoover Dam and gazed on the white peaks of The Rockies in awe. We found stimulation in nature, the general wonder of the universe, the details, the cultural surprises that travel brings in a foreign land, the language, the traditions, the different faces, the food, the different sports, the strange television programmes and the screaming sirens in the noise of the city. Then there was the silence of the wilderness shattered by fear as another mentally disturbed boy teaches me the name of a repeating assault rifle through his terrible deed. It’s in these times I miss the naiveté of my own youth and wonder who is listening, who is finding solutions, who is evolving anymore?

And then there is this beautiful Swedish girl, Karin Dreijer and her Fever Raze engaging us in some kind of fetishistic sexual horror movie – or perhaps it’s just plain fun? It would shock my Mum that’s for sure, but then my Mum was shocked by Alice Cooper which probably is/was in fact more shocking than this. At least this is just dressing up and filming fantasy and sensation – Alice would behead people and hang himself, far more macabre than this innocent pleasure.

But the pictures, the images, they seem to draw attention to pleasure through the grotesque and as John Cleese said in The Meaning Of Life during his lesson on foreplay and how to stimulate your partner, in this case a man to a woman: “What about a little kiss boy?…before we stampede towards the clitoris.” But of course yesterday’s glimpse of an ankle is today’s Miley Cyrus. Mystery is replaced by the visceral and stimulation needs risk. Is stimulation no longer an act of kindness, gratefully received?

Frankly, Karin Dreijer and Fever Ray always scared me to death and I’m happy that this is the first release since the creepy brilliant debut of seven years past. I’m not sure my heart could take an album a year if the visuals were always such a decadent circus of sex and power. In the end I like the music, I like the songs, the melodies, the strange atmosphere that she creates with her voice. Today, first day in England, I bought Plunge, the rather clumsy title of the new album. I also bought the new First Aid Kit album which I imagine will be the anithesis of Fever Ray, Swedish polar opposites impressing the world with their talents, their ideas and their brainy visions.

In entertainment in the seventies we had Vincent Price scaring the kids and Black Sabbath scaring the parents, in the sixties it was the Rolling Stones and The Beatles scaring the parents and threatening the establishment with hair over their ears and war in Vietnam scaring the kids. In the fifties it was Elvis’ hips scaring the parents and racism scaring everyone. Before that we had terrible wars and I might be the first generation to have never fought in a war or any kind of conflict in the history of the planet. Are our first world frustrations pushing us to make trouble for ourselves as the haters take hold, as all kinds of equalities are still being questioned, when an atmosphere of violence permeates the sleepy suburbs? Don’t confuse Karin Dreijer with all this, she is not shocking, she is just free.

Hey, remember me?
I’ve been busy working like crazy
I know you like tangerine
And your kiss is sweet and creamy

Oh, can you imagine
A friend’s fixed for us to bump in
Oh, I’m done looking
Now things can start happening

Hey, remember me?
I’ve got so much, just come and get me
I played something catchy
You leaned forward and kissed me

First I take you then you take me
Breathe some life into a fantasy
Your lips, warm and fuzzy
I want to run my fingers up your pussy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plunge_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karin_Dreijer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fever_Ray_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knife

One Response to “28/2/18 – Fever Ray – To The Moon And Back – 2017”

  1. deacon12 March 2, 2018 at 12:19 am #

    An interesting read today.As a part of my occupation I routinely do testing for viral and bacterial respiratory illness and I can tell you that that this has been a busy year for us.The 1918 epidemic was a tragedy of huge proportions and maybe unprecedented in human history. An extremely virulent strain combined with a number of factors like the war, poverty, sanitation/hygiene and the limited medical knowledge of the day created the perfect conditions that took so many lives. I’ve wondered if the 1918 strain would be so devastating with today’s rapid methods of detection,antiviral drugs,flu vaccinations, etc, and how would those factors curb the fatality rates that were seen in 1918. It sounds as if you had a successful tour/ journey through the states these past few months.We are such a nation of extremes and I’m never really sure how the rest of the world perceives us.All the good/bad,beautiful/ugly and prideful/shameful juxtaposed as to highlight the contrasts. So to today’s song,an interesting listen with some slightly risque lyrics if I’m in auditory mode only.Add in the visuals and I find it becomes a more uncomfortable experience akin to the mixing of sexual/horrific imagery like you might find in a novel by H.P. Lovecraft or Clive Barker or in the sadism of many horror “slasher” movies I would think that most would find this disturbing and in no way erotic,but maybe that’s just my American prudishness and puritanism coming through.I do agree that given the context of the times,Elvis shaking his hips or Alice chopping off his head with a guillotine were probably more dangerous and shocking than Fever Ray which probably will be swallowed up in the wall of noise of now.

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