Thursday, April 14, 2016

Avant-garde – Wovoka Gentle and Dan Deacon

     “Avant-garde” is not a term we feel comfortable using. What elements do we need to hear before a song can be fairly described as being avant-garde? But throw in enough extraordinary elements and even we are comfortable applying the descriptor. Here are two songs that qualify.

     Wovoka Gentle is a trio in London. The members are William Stokes and twins Imogen and Ellie Mason. Their song “You Have Saved Our Lives, We Are Eternally Grateful” includes skillful blends sampling, vocal layering and traditional guitar work.    


     Dan Deacon is based in Baltimore. 
“When I Was Done Dying”

     In an interview, Dan Deacon talked about being dead until you’re born. Is “When I Was Done Dying” about entering the world?

Lyrics of “When I Was Done Dying” by Dan Deacon
When I was done dying
My conscience regained
So I began my struggle
A nothingness strained

Out a flash made of time
My new form blasted out
And it startled me so
And I burst out a shout

At which my legs ran frantic
Like birds from a nest
And I ran until drained
Leaving no choice but rest

So I fell asleep softly
At the edge of a cave
But I should have gone in deeper
But I'm not so brave
And like that I was torn out
And thrown in the sky
And I said all my prayers
Because surely I'll die

As I crashed down
And smashed into earth, into dirt
How my skin did explode
Leaving only my shirt

But from shirt grew a tree
And then tree grew a fruit
And I became the seed
And that seed was a brute

And I clawed through the ground
With my roots and my leaves
And I tore up the shirt
And I ate up the sleeves

And they laughed out at me
And said "what is your plan?"
But their question was foreign
I could not understand

When then suddenly I'm ripped up
And placed into a mouth
And it swallowed me down
At which time I head south

So I said
Hey ya e ya
Hey hey hey

Well I woke up to see them,
These two mighty steeds
With their mouths grinning
Wildly expressing my needs

As they stood there above me
Being flanked on each side
I felt no need to fear them
No reason to hide

So I reached up to touch
But they faded too soon
Yet their mouths still remained
And stacked up towards the moon

How that ladder of mouth waved
So soft in the night
And I looked up in awe
At that beautiful sight

And I dreamt about climbing
Into the night sky
But I knew had I touched them
They'd mouth back 'bye bye'

So I got up
And walked down the path in the dark
And there deep in the distance
My eye caught a spark

Of a crab twice my size
With incredible strength
Oh it greeted me kindly
And then we all drank

And we drooled out together
Right onto the ground
And the ocean grew up quickly
Right up all around

And the earth looked at me
And said "wasn't that fun?"
And I replied
"I'm sorry if I hurt anyone"

And without even thinking
Cast me into space
But before she did that
She wiped off my own face

She said better luck
Next time don't worry so much
Without ears I couldn't hear
I could just feel the touch

As I feel asleep softly
At the edge of a cave
But I should have gone deeper
But I'm not so brave

I said
Hey ya e ya
Hey ya e ya
Hey ya e ya
Hey hey hey

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