Under The August Moon, The Borrowed Beams

August 7th, 2015 · No Comments · By

Friday, August 7th @Crozet Pizza at Buddhist Biker: Borrowed Beams of Light / Ned Oldham (w/ Jordan Perry?)  10:00, $5

Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars 
To lonely, weary, wandering travellers
Is reason to the soul; and as on high
Those rolling fires discover but the sky
Not light us here, so reason’s glimmering ray
Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way,
But guide us upward to a better day:
And as those nightly tapers disappear
When day’s bright lord ascends our hemisphere,
So pale grows reason at religion’s sight, 
So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light.

— John Dryden

This might be the source of Borrowed Beams of Light’s lovely name, though I have always assumed it to be a reference to Lucifer, possibly from a line by Milton too obscure for even Google to find out. There is something infernal about the Beams. Their music may come across as good-natured pop rock, but there is a swig of Coke following. Consider the two videos above. The second one is blatantly Satanic, but I find the first one even more sinister. Those little balls of light are absolutely terrifying. Early on the Beams found inspiration in the Voynich Manuscript, widely suspected of being diabolical in origin and certainly indecent in its indecipherability. Principal Beam Adam Brock was formerly in a band called “Invisible Hand”, which is just econ jargon for deviltry.  I have never tried to listen to their music backwards (is there an app for that?) but I have no doubt that the experience would lead the listener straight into madness, glue-sniffing, and an early grave.

Tonight is a particularly good time to see the Beams as it is Ray’s Farewell Show. Drummer Ray Szwabowski will be playing for the last time with the band, as he is apparently due to spontaneously combust at the end of the set.

Ned Oldham, by contrast, would appear to be a completely wholesome Americanist, but he too has some devil skills in him, Daniel Webster be damned, and can be counted on for a good show. On his website it says he will be playing with Jordan Perry (of New Boss), though I am not seeing that elsewhere (i.e. Facebook). The Crozet Pizza site makes no mention of Oldham or Perry and instead insists that the Smiling Islanders will be playing. Whose hand do you see in this confusion?

Thoroughly recommended in any case.

In conclusion, here is album by the great African master Francis Bebey, apropos of nothing but the sweetness of the jams, and that  I owe my knowledge of Bebey to Jordan Brunk, of Borrowed Beams and CP&BBB.




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