Saturday, 29 March 2014

Live This Sound: 1,000 Hurts.

Every once in a while, a record comes around that consumes you. It fills your waking hours. You think about it during the day, and you play it on constant repeat at night. You don't want to just listen to it - you want to have it within you, any way you can. You want to watch it; to read it; to swallow it whole. It's a 'classic album', sure, but more than that, it won't leave your head, and, all things considered, you don't want it to. Live this Sound is a regular section of this site that allows you to experience a single album as many ways as you possibly can. This week, we take a look at 1,000 Hurts, easily Shellac's most horrifying album, and the many ways you can partake in its unmistakably entrancing cruelty.

The Album.

There are very few albums I like as much as this one, but fuck it terrifies me. There's not even much I can say about it. It is a pure, untouched diamond of hate and anger: sure it's beautiful, but only in a way that you want to observe from a distance, never getting too close.

The bottom line is: don't fuck with this album, or it will fuck with you.

How To Eat This Album.

Meat. The meatier the better, in fact. If you have a few hours on your hands, you could try turducken, for which there is a good recipe here:

Or, in honour of the album's standout second track, you could always go with a squirrel meat based meal. I've managed to find a whole list of such recipes at the following address (God bless the internet):

Be warned, however: I can't attest for any of the above listed delicacies as I don't live in a country where squirrel meat is readily available (I guess that's a good thing. Right?)

But, to be honest, all this seems a bit too complicated. This is a primal album, which is designed to be felt and tasted rather than thought about, so when all's said and done, you're probably just as good with a black as ash chargrilled hunk of lamb, or a bloody steak.

How to Drink This Album.

Shots. And I don't mean those complicated shots with stupid names designed to make you look cool when you breathily whisper them to the girl you're trying to pick up ("I'll try your Wet Pussy if you try my Sucking Cowboy.") I mean a straight out spirit. Preferably whiskey.

My personal drink of choice is Laphroaig, a distinctly smokey whiskey that has that strangely medicinal taste that you either love or hate. It's not for everyone, but then again, neither is this album.

How To Watch This Album.

Lars Von Trier's AntiChrist is basically a 108 minute long music video for 1,000 Hurts - which, for the record, I definitely don't mean as a criticism of either work. Antichrist is a shocking, uncompromising blister of a film; but just like 1,000 Hurts, its not without its sick, twisted sense of humour, an aspect that actually ends up being just as uncomfortable as the movie's almost unwatchable violence.

Of course, AntiChrist had its fair share of brainless critics that were blind enough to call it 'sexist', but they were the only ones stupid enough not to realise that this is a powerful, bloody meditation on the gender divide.

If you're not into AntiChrist...Well, then you definitely won't be into my alternative, Enter The Void. Just when you thought that Von Trier had summoned up the most terrifying, cruel vision of human existence possible, Gaspar Noe comes along and throws something even more nihilistic in your lap. Enter the Void is essentially a film about life and death, but the emphasis is definitely on the latter. Heart-stoppingly experimental, the film is shot almost entirely from an over-the-shoulder view, charting the perilous journey of a soul from his death in a toilet cubicle, to his strange rebirth. It's even meaner than AntiChrist, with perhaps the most disturbing fellatio scene ever put on screen. Just like 1,000 Hurts, it is undeniably cruel, but both works also share the unrelenting imagination of their respective makers, even if said artists are not the kind of people you'd want to be trapped in a lift with.

How to Read This Album.

It might seem like a strange connection, but the closest thing to 1,000 Hurts' oddly moral outlook on life is the work of Aesop. Like Shellac's lead singer and driving force, Steve Albini, Aesop had a rigorous, uncompromising view of the world, and like Albini, Aesop's fallen heroes suffer the worst kind of fate. You might remember Aesop's fables as being trite and inoffensive when you read them as a child, but I dare you to go back to them now, and realise just how vicious they actually were.

Like 1,000 Hurts, Aesop's fables are utterly unafraid to bury you bloody.



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