Tuesday, March 25, 2008

[outsideleft] Blasters of War: Thee Silver Mt. Zion

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band
13 Blues for Thirteen Moons

I was not around for the era of Vietnam protests to know if it applies to all rallying cries, but those against the Iraq war seem tinted with futility; there is a sense that registering complaint against the war is akin to speaking to the manager about poor customer service. We need to have our voices heard, but we seem to make no pretense about the things said being acted upon. Is this what the service economy is really about, a systematic silencing of dissent through half-lidded acknowledgment so that a response of “Duly noted” is good enough?

Montreal’s angriest mouthful Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band has been one of the clearest voices against the war. Perhaps changing their name from “A Silver Mt. Zion” to “Thee Silver Mt. Zion” indicated that the point to their arrows have a more specific target than was expressed in their earlier choir outings. The first 12 tracks on this album consist of a flowing piercing signal, as if a lost cosmonaut was trying to get through, flowing into the scratchy opening to “1,000,000 Died to Make This Sound.”


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