TOWARDS SONROCK: ALEX G AND THE WAR ON DRUGS AT VERTI MUSIC HALL

Photo credit: Verti Music Hall

‘stumble past / venue muscle / vomit in / plaza gutter / fever sheeny / feeble under / prograde blue Mercedes’

Two tickets on two lists. One for coverage, one for company. I hoarded the former and coffered the latter to a friend. A monday evening, slung low and far over several horizons, mars’ horizons, even; a new venue, Verti Music Hall, shelling €5.50 pints near enough at hand; blueberry-fat joints for dadrock.

I have a same-age cousin who loves Trey Anastasio, and I have cased a lot of nice nights in a four-room, rat-moated flat where at least two tenants for at least one season of snow or Californication roundly dug Creedence. A confidante-cum-conspirator found a koan in a Stevie Nicks lyric, and he chews on it, and that is moving. I kneeled and flailed on candlelit cement with a smoky-tone jazzist and hoarsed out every waxing caterwaul from ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and it felt. We left sweaty. Protocol III of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons banned the use of napalm against civilians and their ‘objects’ in 1980. Several dozen swans dozed on the canal, all croziered the same way.

All that to say that dadrock does pluck some chord in my stomach. I am murky on what bits exactly that word gets filled with or built upon – several taste/king makers extend canned, deadpan takes centered on the baby boomer youth mythology of straight, white, American males*, while a smart article from The Outline helpfully points out that many fathers are not straight, and most are neither white nor American – but all of the above passes muster per Justice Potter Stewart’s porn test. Tonal tropes, staple tools, a stable of shoulder-wide stances; wist or pith or rage, after the act; it is all grist for the mill.

‘There is resonance in the navel paradox of isolated passion in a crowd of thousands, brought on by touch-glass fragmentation.’

The friend was sold on the ticket – critically, ethically, not the other way around – on a promise, not of the dadrock of Adam Granduciel (who, as of publication, had no web-known children) but the sonrock of his opener Alex Giannascoli (who, before/during/after press-time, definitely was/is/will be somebodies’ child). Generationally or locomotively, Granduciel was not our draw. I have driven, but I hate it; the friend does not drive, though they have and they want to, and they have gassed faster than I will ever go, through the desert pristine, on a prime number of pistons.

There is gravity in Alex G’s pastiches of admiration and scorn for, nostalgia and erasure of, the dads that have come before. There is resonance in the navel paradox of isolated passion in a crowd of thousands, brought on by touch-glass (or the Walkman, or even the phonograph for one mad man floundering down an Amazonian rapid) fragmentation. There are worths in the vocoder cardiogram of ‘Superstar’, the spine-stigmate throb of ‘Brick’, the who’s-falling-asleep-here lullaby duet of ‘Brite Boy’. I don’t know what the friend was after, other than a licence, and I’ll say so.

Between the lot of us, we got very little out of it. The friend was pencilled in on the schedule to feed burrata to a congress of vultures. I siesta’d in nausea, woke half-past showtime, caught an emptying stage and an inter-set lude, chewed the vitamin D breeze of Granduciel’s ‘Up All Night,’ and stumble past / venue muscle / vomit in / plaza gutter / fever sheeny / feeble under / prograde blue Mercedes.

‘Many fathers are not straight, and most are neither white nor American.’

The pre-Socratic thinker Anaxagoras contended that Helios was merely a fiery ore, and was exiled from Athens under penalty of death. My body wanted to desertify in a wind-flat hour; I blame it on an office lunch of unwashed kiwis.

***

Please be in touch with any thoughts about the water retentive benefits of charcoal tablets, acute isolation in co-pathos, or takes and misgivings on Sunrock.

*disclosure: the article’s author is a straight, white, American male

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