Saturday, April 16, 2011

Forgetting The Face Of My Father

This one isn't backdated merely because I want to let you all know this thing isn't dead. It's just hard to pick up momentum again. I've got quite a bit of writing to do and have already done, so I'm hoping I will merely be able to follow on the crest of the wave.

I forgot about Bane. The same way, say, one might forget about Dre. Well, not really. But I forgot what the word means. Not that bane the word, the thing that means the anti-THING, or the thing that will poison the THING, but what Bane means, now capitalized, to me.

I have a sticker on the laptop that I write this on and one of my two hoodies is a silver on bright blue BA|NE hoodie. The word Bane is a constant presence which I did for a reason. I did it because that word has a very, very positive connotation for me and I wanted to be reminded of their existence. Years ago, when I put on a hoodie with their name on it (I have three now), it was something that brought me a pride and a swelling my head I could feel. It's a confidence. I realize, now, I could also be talking about fraternity/sorority letters.

Bane has that kind of a meaning for me. I forgot what that word meant.

Words, one of my friends, said, on the phone, are independent of their meaning. It ought to be considered, then, that we shouldn't worry so much about what we think they mean. We disagreed. Words shouldn't mean to so much. I almost told him to go fuck himself.

Of course words have meaning! Anyone who has ever, ever written something knows that words mean something. Their meanings might be ancillary to the words we choose for them, but that doesn't make the word meaningless. Ask anyone who has ever been a programmer. Their job, for which they are paid, puts words that have specific meanings, with specific effects, in front of one another for the purposes of a larger program.

Hey. That sounds like a good metaphor.

bane: thing causing death, poison, a cause of great distress.

Bane: a Boston hardcore punk band started in the 90s.

Bane and not bane, has a specific meaning for me. They are one of the elder statesmen of hardcore punk bands today. They are, to me, a band that has consistently brought a smile to my face and a reassurance that I can do this frightening thing ahead of me. Short version: When I see Bane, I smile and I remember that maybe just maybe the wind will break my fall and the rush will pick me up.

I think of the amazing, anxiety shredding performances I have seen from Bane. That band has blown my mind more times than I can count. I can say this without hesitation: I can divide my life one of two ways. My life before I saw Bane in 2003, with the Suicide File and my life after I saw Bane in 2003, with the Suicide File.

I think of Chicago in 2004, Pittsburgh in 2007 and Rome in 2010.

I think of listening to the Note for the first time in Denver in 2005. I think of keeping Give Blood in constant rotation in high school and spending any favors I had left in college to see Bane gigs in Pittsburgh and Erie, lying to my college about going to a career fair so I could see Bane two miles away that night.

All in all, I've seen Bane nine times and I forgot what those four letters meant to me. How this all was sparked was this: I was freaking out about something and I don't even remember, I just remember I had Bane on my iPod and it wasn't anything older than 2008. It was their new material, stuff that I haven't let sink in yet.

So I listened again, sitting on the bunk bed mattress and remembered, as my back unknotted, what I forgot.

Underworld, USA from Cold Cave's Cherish The Light Years. The beat is dirty and thoroughly rotten. The lyric aims? Far cleaner than you'd think. Point is: It's 80's glam, sung by a guy who used to be in American Nightmare and that band was purer than the driven snow and it seems like he can't entirely let go of that influence...

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