Those Vigorous Movies of the Mind

In my desperation to gain insight on Atlanta-based thrashers Tweezer and their new CD, How to Live in a Time of Moral Chaos, on Shoestring Records, I pulled out a borrowed GE cassette player, popped in a cassette, calling up a few of the members of said Tweezer. Called Freddy first, the man most likely responsible for the ultra-compelling, head-long jagged guitar work for Tweezer. Guitar that almost feels like it could be part of the theme music for a modern version of A Fistfull of Dollars.

My method here was low-tech: bargain basement surveillance. I would ask the question and then put the receiver down on the condenser microphone. It made me feel like I was back in grade school and the sound was wonderfully “staticy.” Keep in mind that the uncertain condition of the tape player calls for much paraphrasing but you will get the gist of the thoughts behind a very unique band.

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How much of y’all’s music is related to the reality and condition of living in a place like Atlanta, GA? [What was I thinking?]

Freddy: Well, I have to say it’s got something to do with living here, but… that’s not really what our music is about… Our music is based more on a direct need…

[Now comes a garbled-sounding slight conversation on general topics, such as the collective stupidity present in the modern world, etc., etc.]

Freddy: Well, there you have it. Now here’s illumination from Timmy, the lead vocalist…

One of your songs (“Birthday Stooge”) seems to be based upon seeing your (Timmy’s) face up on a poster in the street and the epiphany’ — the existential realization — that came with it… Or maybe I just think it (the song) sounds cool? What’s your take on that?

Timmy: I think somebody called me a rat-bastard. Uh… That’s a hard one to answer… It’s a hard one. [Laughter] Maybe you should answer that one… My take on it was… I guess it was sort of a head-trip. All the lyrics I write down, most of the lyrics, are three or four-fold. Wait a second! My daughter’s here (Sounds of father and daughter with cartoons in the background).

Most of the lyrics, except for the stupid/funny ones are two or three-fold. Kind of in the first person with hidden elements… [Here’s where the signal gets broken up] Kind of hidden… With different images… Like little movies… It all just happens… The best stuff just happens.

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The trip is the perspective and Tweezer’s music works both ways: immediate and compelling, yet thought-provoking at the same time. An answer for those who are sick of the emptiness in much modern music but also a primer in lyrics and instrumental work that affirms and explores this vast wasteland that we all must inhabit, thanks to those real rat-bastards that run the show.

Anyway, look for the CD, How to Live in a Time of Moral Chaos, and find out for yourself. One of the year’s best in my book… or is that my movie?

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