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Day #342/365: A garden of (un)earthly delights and a wardrobe of fineries…

File under: Trails and Influences. Electronic Ether. Case #44/52.

“Poisonous gardens, lethal and sweet,
Venomous blossoms
Choleric fruit, deadly to eat.
Violet nightshades, innocent bloom,
Omnivourous orchids
Cautiously wait, hungrily loom
You will find them in her eyes,
In her eyes, in her eyes.
Petrified willows, twisted and brown
Carrion swallows
Wait in the wet darkening room
Withering shadows, quietly grow
Potently breeding
Into a spectacular glow.
You will find them in her eyes,
In her eyes, in her eyes.
Lemonous petals, dissident play,
Tasting of ergot,
Dancing by night, dying by day.
Blackening mushrooms drink in the rain,
Sinister nightblooms
Wilt with the dawn’s welcoming pain.
You will find them in her eyes,
In her eyes, in her eyes

United States of America-band 2-A Year In The CountryI think I first came across United States of America via mentions by James Cargill and Trish Keenan of Broadcast.

This particular song is a fine example of pop meeting the avant garde; it’s a quite simply fantastic, driving, catchy “tune” but at the same time the lyrics seem as though they should be sat in amongst the darkest reaches and etchings of some long lost particularly dark psych/acid folk record – maybe something that would sit alongside/amongst the work of Comus or some of the songs of Forest (see Day #267/365)…

…this is a tale of Eden gone particularly rotten, more Venus Fly Traps double plus than English rose arcadia and looking at the lyrics written down, they’re genuinely unsettling, a dream that you would be particularly glad to nolonger be amongst but also not so happy to have woken from and left with the residues.

For me, it connects with the work of Broadcast (aside from their documented inspiration by/from the band) because of that intermingling of a pop aesthetic with an explorative urge – an area that Broadcast themselves often wandered amongst and which found something of a particular peak on Tender Buttons (see Day #250/365) which when I listen to it seems to owe as much to/be channelling equally some kind of cut-up spirit/technique that reminds me of William Burroughs and also classic 1960s kitchen sink-esque pop/torch songs.

United States of America-band 3-A Year In The CountryIn many ways Garden of Earthly Delights is a fine (non-populist) pop song, something which could be said of much of Broadcast’s work… and which leads me to think of Mark Fisher’s comments about the breaking of the circuit between the avant-garde, the experimental and the popular as most things somewhat left-of-centre can now have some kind of niche/audience amongst the (semi)hidden corners world without encroaching on the mainstream.

Now, I wasn’t sure whether or not to include the photograph below. Considering events to come there’s something heartbreaking, personal, tender and a sense of great loss to the world about it…

Broadcast-Wire Magazine-Invisible Jukebox-2005-A Year In The Country

…but it’s such a fine photograph and seems to capture something, the spirit of something – maybe some kind of  sense of the lives & work (alongside a locative placing in – I assume – an English back garden) of these very particular channellers; some kind of sense of the just mentioned mixing of pop and the avant garde in amongst day-to-day life and work…

…and along which lines, it makes me think of something Bob Stanley’s wrote in his tribute to Trish Keenan, where he said about her/Broadcast:

…shamefully, they seemed permanently hard-up. America understood them better and they played shows there that, relatively, were three or four times as big as ones they played in Britain. Marc Jacobs certainly loved Broadcast and provided Trish with a wardrobe of fineries – she might have had beans on toast for tea, but she was the best dressed girl in Birmingham.

Tip of the hat to all concerned.

Audiological (semi-visual) transmission of Garden of Unearthly Delights.

Ether encyclopedia-ising: 1 / 2.

Over the garden fence light catchery and source.

Source of beans on toast for tea.

Broken circuits.


United States of America-band-A Year In The CountryPS As a final point/aside the photographs of pop/rock/electronic explorers United States Of America (aside from the album cover) put me in mind of other audiological travellers/explorers, in particular photographic documents of The Radiophonic Workshop and (more contemporarily) the folk explorers of Espers

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