Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Drunken Maria

the Monks often seem beyond belief to me. they achieve genuine unease through the filter of absolute mania. no other band can sound this joyous and menacing simultaneously. (i will admit that there are some that come very close though.) another thing that fuels my astonishment is that this music predates The Velvet Underground & Nico. a lot of garage rock was bold, but not like this.

take a song like "drunken maria" from their album Black Monk Time. under two minutes a scene of forced nihilism is shaped with unquestionable glee. in alternating commands - "sleepy maria, don't drink!" "drunken maria, don't sleep!" - they not only define this girl's existence, they deny her of it!

dadaist strains ran all through their music. (the chorus of their song "shut up" contains the absolutely brilliant line, "be a liar everywhere.") with that in mind, a dimension of "drunken maria" is revealed. this jaunty, little pop song is no less than a reaction aimed straight at the heart of the prevailing culture - a reaction which feels no need for a distinction between sincerity and insincerity. and why should it cater to this world? especially when it's laid down like this.

i may post more about the Monks in the future. the impact they continue to have on me is immeasurable. if you haven't heard Black Monk Time, check it out. i'll end here to keep things brief. that's it!


Johnny Sunshine Jackson said...

I couldn't agree more with your praises for The Monks. I discovered them last year after learning a friend of a friend's uncle was in the band and I decided to check them out. They definitely were way ahead of their time in terms of their abrasive sound and pointed lyrics. An interesting tidbit: The Monks formed their band while stationed in Germany with the US Imperial Army of all things! Crazy.

thebaronette said...

yeah! very crazy. it is an interesting fact that informs their lyrics quite a bit. sadly, it doesn't make for good documentary material ("the transatlantic feedback"). their focus on it just ended up boring me at the time. it's a shame.