The Gospel / Panic at the Disco
The opening of the above is so obviously (to me) a homage to Brian Eno and particularly one of his late albums I listened to a lot.
This is really about my discovery of a band called Panic at the Disco on New Years Eve of 2016. In the above piece, The Gospel, the sound is very much like Brian Eno it seems to me. At the same time, their is a sharpness of the Heavy Metal movement in the music. And other genres and genders we’re still trying to sort out. If in fact it’s even possible to sort out. But let’ give it a try through all the stuff below.
And that seemingly in the band and a playfulness and smugness about the band. They say to us, come and get us if you can. The followers of our type of music. As you can see from above, it can be quit hypnotic.
Somehow, I’ve never heard them before. But we should place a few things in context first. In doing this, we might go off the rail a little. But stay with us. It will pay off for your time in the end.
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The best thing on New Year’s Eve might have been the OSU Buckeyes getting past Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Everything started with a measured optimism on my part that the “real” Buckeye team would show up tonight. I’ve been following them most of my life since my mother was from Ohio originally and I’ve lived in Ohio half my life. (The other half in California). They were three point favorites over Clemson but were shut out in one of the most humiliating losses I’ve ever seen. Not just from their history. But from any top sports team playing another. Clemson simply looked like they were in a different league altogether tonight. Almost like a high school football team playing a elementary school football team.
After the Buckeye loss we switched to the New Year’s shows on the various cable channels and networks. Everyone was trying to outdo the other channels by having the most interesting things going on TV. People at this hour were channel surfers, everyone looking to be in the center of entertainment in the nation at this particular point in time.
If you think about it, in this incredible time of diversity, we are all united not by a political idea but by the simple movement of that grand, unstoppable force in all our lives, called Time or named like Old Man Time or Father Time. The masculine symbol as a representative of linear time in the world. The males as in fact, a horizontal, linear force in the world. The force of time moving from the past to the present and into the future. The female as the great vertical force in life that continues to cross the linear line as it moves along the grand line of linear time. The feminine as the power of synchronicity in the world or that grand principle of symbolism that draws things together at particular moments (periods, eras) in history.
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It’s interesting when I think of this type of modern moment when the entire nation is united by a certain time in their own time zones. The celebrations first heard from Sydney, Australia. (Where they are happy their were no terrorist incidents. But then, countries like Turkey have not gotten off so easy today, the day of New Year’s Eve. There are reports that over 35 people were killed in Turkey by a person dressed as Santa Claus came into some type of large dance hall.) The broadcasts come from a number of key cities around the nation, each presenting a huge selection of legendary musical talent for the TV grazers tonight, searching to be in the center of his or her nation, in this mass moment of unity and rebirth. Hosts like Fergie, Anderson Cooper and a Ryan Seacrest. The music stage in Times Square is a little postage stamp in the glitter of lights and two million people. The largest gathering of our entire culture each year. And, not around a political or philosophical or scientific idea. But around that one thing that unites us all. The idea of Time.
I surf back and forth around the various three key channels. Each trying to outdo the other with an energy and excitement in this almost annual ritual holiday to give praise and recognition to that grand commonality for all of us. Time.
Then I arrive at one of the shows in New Orleans with a band I have never heard before called Panic at the Disco appears in three numbers. I’m totally blown away by them and run into my office and Google them and read about them. A hot Las Vegas band that hangs out between musical genres. Some would probably say musical genders. An alternative band. A punk band. Versed in Beatles and Beach Boys and the Zombies. Three of the most unusual pieces I’ve heard and pieces that take you out of all the channel surfing I’m doing this New Years Eve as Steph and I go from show to show on the large Samsung screen on the wall above the fireplace. (Under which sleeps our greyhound three-year-old black greyhound called Genna.)
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I check out their albums on the Apple App Store. Over 4,000 five star hits for their latest album. Take a listen below to their Emperor’s New Clothes. One of the most powerful yet mystical pieces I’ve heard. For me, it’s a music or art that pulls together again rather than continues to divide into genres and genders and segments and divisions.
So this magic evening when we all bow down to that Grand God of Time. The one thing common to everyone in life. Transcending all races and cultures and masculine or feminine symbols.
Their ideas spark new ideas for us.
It’s perhaps appropriate we encounter a destroyer of linear time with the band called Panic at the Disco. A band centered in Las Vegas of all places. A very different mixture of various genres that continue to evolve for them.
You might want to check them out on the App Store. Their albums have thousands of five star recommendations.
I’ve downloaded their key albums. It’s time someone wrote a book on them. Maybe created a movies around them?
(John Fraim is the author of Spirit Catcher: The Life and Art of John Coltane. Winner, Best Biography from a Small Press, 1997).