The new, resurrected 5 for Friday continues. This time, prompted by a conversation with Luscious and Darth Barbie, I’m looking at five bands that provided a connection between me and our late son Blake.
Five for Friday: Future of the Past
1. Future of The Left
A somewhat obvious one to begin. I’ve talked before about this band. Blakey was a huge fan, and spent quite a bit of energy putting them before me to get me to like them. It worked: they have a vibe that strongly reminds me of the Butthole Surfers, which is never a bad thing, and something I respond pretty damn well to. Singing of the Bonesaws is my absolute favourite, but I’ve chosen another song I love from their 2013 album How To Stop Your Brain in an Accident for your entertainment. This is French Lessons.
2. Modest Mouse
Blake’s driving music. This band were the soundtrack to every driving lesson we had together, and seemed to prompt him to open up: he was never the most open of my kids with me, preferring to keep some distance between us — he was the only one of my bonus kids to eschew that nomenclature and refer to me as his stepfather — but he was most communicative during those times, when we were tooling around with these guys on. This is The World at Large, from their 2004 album Good News For People Who Love Bad News.
3. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
This one came as a complete surprise. I introduced Luscious to this band back when they won the J Award for best video for their People Vultures single, but I’d been aware of them for a while as occasional Triple J playlist favourites. What I didn’t know was that Blakey was a huge fan. It wasn’t until I was auditing his possessions for the family that I came across half a dozen albums — on vinyl, no less — and realised that this was another band we could have shared. They have a fuzz-epic sound that makes me think they listened to one early Kinks guitar solo and decided to form a band on the spot without waiting to hear the rest of the song, and an album release ethic that would make Buckethead nod in approval (and man, if there’s an artist I wish we’d had a chance to discover together……)– we could have bonded for hours over these loons. Too late, too late. Anyway, here’s Cellophane from 2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz.
4. We Are the Emergency
Passionate doesn’t begin to describe Blake’s love for some bands. Future of the Left will always be the band I think of as “Blake’s Band”, but these guys aren’t far behind, a love he shared with his older brother Aiden, and through constant application, eventually, with me. He had to work harder for this one than most: they build their sound around an early 90s white-boy-screaming-into-microphone-like-we’re-supposed-to-think-he’s-all-hard-and-metal second singer that made me roll my eyes in cynical “whatevs” mode back in the 90s (when you could also say “whatevs” non-ironically), but constant exposure enabled me to pull out some gems that are among our shared favourites to this day. All We Ever See of Stars Are Their Old Photographs, from way back in 2009, is my absolute favourite: it’s an atypical sound for the band, but one I wish they’d pursued more often.
Okay, I’m stretching the term “connection” here, unless you also count allowing him and his brother to play it constantly while I kept trying to turn them on to Faith No More, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, or almost anybody else as part of the definition. But the boys did play this band (and Sabbaton and Dragonforce for my sins) a lot, and for sheer number of conversations and “Hey, try this!” moments instigated, there’s no doubt they created a connection between us. Aiden immediately nominated this as Blakey’s favourite Baroness track, so here it is, to round out today’s list.
There we are. Five tracks from five bands that will always bring back memories of our son to me.