One of our writers spins a Five at 5 tribute to his relationship with the MSEB. Tune in.
I grew up a gamer. My entire youth consisted of manipulating three dimensional objects brought to life by varying permutations and combinations of 1s and 0s. Quite literally, I did nothing else. Brainwashed by the news, my folks began to mistake gaming for an opioid addiction. They made many attempts to stymie my addiction. For instance, they refused to buy me a console for a considerable length of time. When they did, they made sure it was an NTSC region locked Xbox so I couldn’t locally purchase any games for it.
In their crusade, their most trusted albeit unwitting ally was the Maharashtra State Electricity Board. Sure, the MSEB’s obnoxious load-shedding policies made everyone’s lives miserable, but, they forced me to drop the controller and go stare at a window or something. My folks’d be glad their son wasn’t glued to a game for the designated three-plus hours devoid of electricity. Little did they know just how badly these powercuts fucked with my perception. Soon as the lights went out, the hours seemed to stretch on and on without end. They seemed to go on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and…
Where I lived (and still do), Thursdays were when the MSEB most preferred to pull the plug. Here’s five tracks to commemorate those hours that could have very well been years.
5. Bob Dylan – ‘Tempest’
Here’s a game: count the number of people you know who think Dylan is dead. You’d be surprised. Be honest, have you really given his post ’60s output a chance? Why not? Barring a couple of turds he dropped in the late ’70s when he thought he found Jesus, it’s quite spectacular. He even came out with an album last year and it’s one of his darkest and strangest. Check out the title track and notice how stark a contrast his voice makes with those songs of his you’re familiar with.
4. Fucked Up – ‘Year of the Tiger’
The common perception of punk rock expects bands to put out short, punchy tracks. “Fuck that,” said Canadian hardcore punk outfit Fucked Up and dropped a 78 minute concept album titled David Comes To Life. “Fuck that,” they said again and dropped a singular 15-minute track titled ‘Year of the Tiger’. It sounds like something Sonic Youth would have put out had they been a couple decades younger.
3. Neil Young with Crazy Horse – ‘Driftin’ Back’
Dylan has company. Here’s another figure form rock ‘n’ roll lore that’s not only alive and kicking but is also dropping albums almost as prolifically as Lil B. Almost.
2. The Flaming Lips – ’7 Skies H3′
Under Wayne Coyne’s direction, The Flaming Lips have done many strange things. Too many to list here, look them up, but ’7 Skies H3′ deserves a high spot on the list. You know what they say about a really fat novel, how you’re likely to forget how it began by the time you’re near the end? You’ll be lucky if you remember your own name by the time you’re near the end of this song. Why? I’ll give you a hint. It’s runtime exceeds both Star Wars trilogies and the Lord of the Rings trilogy put together. The song is so long it’s in four parts on Youtube. Part one is below.
1. Jem Finer – ‘Longplayer’
When I was putting together my first Five at 5, I wanted stick to a golden age hip-hop theme. However, the Sub-Editor specified I had to pick tracks that came out only recently. In a way, I’m breaking that rule by including ‘Longplayer’ to the list. The song began in the year 1999. The catch is, it hasn’t ended yet. ‘Longplayer’ is a piece of music that has been programmed to play without repetition for 1000 years. The human race will only be able to hear how it ends if it doesn’t render itself extinct by December 31, 2999. Now that’s a good reason to scratch the concept of war forever.
Check out previous editions of Five at 5 here, and stay tuned for more picks from NH7, Monday through Friday.