MY BROTHERS & SISTERS – Folsom Prison
I can’t claim to know much about how prisons should be organized. I do know, however, that for as long as the world has existed, people in power have used prisons as forms of punishment rather than tools for atonement as they are presented to the public that, ultimately, pays for them.
Prison also, for the most part, makes people worse. None of the folks I know that went to jail came out of it wishing the best on the world. Johnny Cash, a man, regardless of what the movie version may show, dealt with many issues throughout his life, knew the importance of showing kindness to those most in need and recorded a legendary album live in San Quentin State Prison.
Folsom Prison may just be his most famous song. The resilience of the tune’s popularity has much to with the lyrics, of course. MY BROTHERS & SISTERS take on the iconic song, reinterpret it, and put it in a modern context. In their version, Folsom Prison is not just a long-gone symbol of coercion but a representation of the bitter realities of today’s violent world.
A Devil’s Broadcast – Black Box
You know a band is supremely confident of their powers to woo an audience when their single is 8 minutes long and begins with one minute of dissonant piano noodling. This is, of course, nothing new in music. It’s what Lou Reed might refer to as an intro during his speed-freak days of recording a double album filled to the brim with feedback.
For A Devil’s Broadcast, pompous as this may be perceived, it seems like an altogether sensible choice. Their mission is to convey a nightmarish world, the kind which Hieronymus Bosch might have a laugh doodling and immersion is part of the experience.
Black Box is no mere dirge though. Sweet, but mysterious-sounding vocals climb eagerly greedily over the numerous extended guitar and piano leads. But, what the song is successful at doing is creating a world all of its own. By the 4th minute mark, when it becomes clear that this will not end soon, you, dear listener, will most likely either call it quits, or call yourself a fan of this eccentric U.S. trio.