10 January 2006

kitchens of distinction - "the 3rd time we opened the capsule" (from the capsule : the best of kod 1988-1994 lp, available for purchase here.)

first, thanks to thomas for introducing me to the kitchens of distinction, via a top 10 singles list of the 90's he had compiled some time ago.

i had "drive that fast" playing one day when my sister was around. she asked who the band was. i said, "kitchens of distinction." she said, "WHO?"

unfortunately, this is a far too common reaction, not just that people have never heard of the band, but that the band name is too much. if i had said "the smiths" or "the jones girls," it would have been a different reaction; if i had said "u2"--w/ whom the band shares that wonderful musical trait, exuberance--she might have asked for a copy, not thinking how dumb the name "u2" must have sounded once upon a time. (a side note : i was playing "last night i fell again" by moose at work tonight and a co-worker asked who was playing. "WHO?" ah, yes, but if they were famous, would one react that way? yes, yes, hoobastank, but are they really that famous anymore?)

lead singer patrick fitzgerald might have been "too much," as well, given that he was openly gay a few years before that became really cool to do. fitzgerald is a fantastic singer, like grant from the go-betweens if he was as florid as bandmate robert. guitarist julian swales is more than his match. together the two pull off a piece of pop magic that i'm quite fond of. i've gone on before about how appropriate and poignant i find it when a singer, unable to find the right words, reverts to "la la la"s. along those lines, i equally love it when a band runs out of words entirely, as when fitzgerald sings, "the third time we opened the capsule, everything went ... " and julian fills the void, swooping and swooning, picking up where thought ends and music begins.

a friend of mine once said to me, "i envy you, always able to explain why you like something." what she misses, what the eye fails to see, is the work that goes on, how difficult it is for me to do the reverse of what the kitchens of distinction do here, that is, turning music into words. i always hope to find myself slackjawed and speechless, dazed from listening to or gazing at a work of art, feeling little but wonder and amazement. it passes, but i always hope for its return. "take my words and take my language," fitzgerald sings--happily, if one can but hear a song such as this.

1 comment:

Alexander said...

i haven't yet listened to the song. it's almost as if i don't have to. your writing seems to suffice. excellent post, thanks. i am speechless.