Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hippies vs. Punks: Diskaholics Anonymous Trio

The first three weeks of May have not been kind to me. The worst was last weekend when I basically didn't get out of bed. Was I sick? Yes. But sick in the head not in the body.

Periodically I will experience a "mind bomb" (a term borrowed from Marvel Comics). A mind bomb, self-induced paralysis brought on by the contemplation of the absurdity of one's existence, usually only lasts one evening. This one ran from Friday night until the early hours of Monday morning. It was brought on by the realization that I am going to have look, yet again, for another job because my present one is not sustainable.

When I was in this catatonic state, the mere thought of listening to a conventional song -- classical, jazz, but particularly pop/rock -- nauseated me. This set me thinking about how songs are like sex. They anesthetize and propel simultaneously.

I wanted none of it. I wanted to contemplate my stress. Fortunately for me, Saturday morning I stumbled upon At Ystad Konstmuseum 2000 (2001) by Diskaholics Anonymous Trio, a glorious hour-plus of noisy droning.

You would expect to find more about Diskaholics Anonymous Trio online, but there is surprisingly little. The blurb on the Project Free Music web site is about as good as it gets:
Diskaholics Anonymous Trio is Thurston Moore and Jim O'Rourke from Sonic Youth and the Swedish free jazz icon Mats Gustafsson. The trio released their first self titled album in 2001 on Crazy Wisdom/Universal. Weapons of Ass Destruction, their second album, is released worldwide on Smalltown Superjazzz. DA Trio creates a pulsing, massive and monumental sound. Free-jazz, noise, electronic ambience, Tony Conrad 60`s style minimalism, drone music and punk all mixed.
In addition to At Ystad Konstmuseum 2000, and Weapons of Ass Destruction (2006), there is also Live in Japan Vol. 1 (2006).

If the Hippies pioneered a psychedelic ballroom sound, what is known as the San Francisco Sound (what I have opined elsewhere as being a sonic landscape of the San Francisco Estuary), and that sound was a blues/folk-based saga of nature and time in harmony, then Diskaholics Anonymous Trio project a view of nature that is both sub- and super-, both under/below and above/beyond our planetary ecosystem.

It is not a pretty picture -- it is free-jazz noise -- but it is satisfying, particularly in these end times.

One day last week I was walking home after work. An attractive young woman passed me on the sidewalk strolling in the opposite direction. She was talking on the phone. It struck me then and there that never in our 200,000 years as a species have we been in such a state of constant communication. This is not natural. It is not sustainable. Things are already fraying. My guess, my hope, is that some big correction is on its way.


  1. What is the music that is capturing this moment? What will we look back on when surrounded by hungry, unemployed, unhoused humans and the robots who have taken their jobs, all on a rapidly cooking planet, and say, yes, that was it?

    1. That's a good question. I'm going to track down what the Black Bloc kids are listening to.