Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Song of the Day #157 - Som Imaginario - Armina

Pig Slaughter???

Som Imaginario is a Brazilian rock band from the 70s that I found out about because of a video of snippets of unreleased Kanye beats, one of which sampled this song. How Kanye found out about it, I have no idea. Sometimes, like when I was recording this video, I feel like I suddenly get a glimpse of how much content there actually is out there... the amount of stuff that I'd probably love, but I'll never even hear about it, let alone get the opportunity to actually enjoy it. You can get this sense on a very blunt level by walking into some big media store, you look around and think "wow holy crap there are a lot of books". But I think with that, you have the sense that most of what they see is basically just chaff, right? You're too focused on looking for the things you do want.

It's more when you find some obscure thing that really sticks to you for whatever reason, and there's no real reason for you to have found this particular thing, and it all feels very arbitrary and thus fragile, and you feel some sort of empathetic worry for all the "you"s that didn't find this particular thing (if that is your particular ontology... and if it isn't, then you worry that the only you that will ever be could have missed out) and wonder if maybe there's other "you"s that are lamenting your existence, having not heard some other album. It kinda makes you want to just devote as much of your time as possible to consuming new media, and wondering like, why have I not learned Japanese? Or Russian or something. A sorta sad but also hopeful and motivating feeling that, eventually, just becomes so overwhelming it is almost feeling-less, just a powerfully emotional state without direction. Do y'all get that?

ANYWAYS, I got it pretty heavy when I heard this song, and then this album, and realized that this entire geosocial genre of Brazilian 70s prog-rock is something I know nothing about, and maybe there's oodles of other albums I'd like just as much, or even more, but what can be done about it when you just want to listen to this one over and over again? This song is so addictive... every time I get more than 20 seconds in, I just want to hear that opening chord again. The transition into the piano part hits that wonderful "so beautiful it must be sincere, but so sincere that it must be tongue-in-cheek, but overall I don't care" sweetspot, it feels pretty Faustian. And with those two elements marking the spectrum of the song, they're free to move about it for the next 3.5 minutes. And I really do mean free... this has all the energy of a jam, all the sense of natural progression and escalation of people just playing off what they hear. And yet everything is so tight, so complex, so precise... It has the same energy as Chilean Melee combo videos, that wonderful blend of pure abandoned release and expert articulation. It's so relentless and aggressive and even sinister, but there's also much joy in the performance... and the extended piano solo outro... hnnng... I hope Kanye still makes a beat involving this.

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