June LaLonde – Empty The Chair
Genre: Post Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Big record labels used to reserve budgets of millions of dollars for the recording of albums by their top artists. This wasn’t even something up for debate. The process of making a record, routinely, involved the latest technology and use of as many bells and whistles as could fit onto a track. That’s how you get a hit.
That’s also how you get songs very much of their time. The majority of the truly terrific tunes are the ones that stand up even after all the extraneous elements have been pulled away. A Bob Dylan song could just be whispered as a poem. A song by Neu is really just hypnotic rhythm and repetition. Gloria is just one guitar riff played over and over.
June LaLonde’s Empty The Chair works in that way. There’s a stubbornness here to not let go of a good idea once it’s been found. Instead, like Neu or The Beatles’ I want you, the groove gets covered in every possible combination, adding instruments and taking them out, but never losing its feel of propulsive motion. This is great highway music, designed for people looking to get to their destination quickly and without incident.
Entertainment – Horror
One would imagine that being a member of a post-punk around the start of the 1980s was a full-time job that could easily raise your stress levels. If you were truly devoted to the craft, and on a mission to outdo the punk groups that had come before you, certain criteria had to be met.
There was a strict dress code that favoured anything in black and that looked like it belonged to an S&M dungeon. You’d probably have to relocate to a place like West Berlin to truly be taken seriously. And, when performing, you’d need to be able to take care of yourself as the provocative music would often lead those in the audience wishing to attack everyone including the musicians performing.
I suspect that this is what the likes of The Birthday Party and Christian Death needed to deal with constantly. Entertainment is a group that takes a queue from the aforementioned groups and judging by the stylish nihilism of Horror, knows exactly what they’re getting involved in. It’s music to be played at night, preferably in abandoned warehouses for people who know that the best kind of dancing is done with the shoulders and the best kind of hairstyles involve hairspray.