For All The Dark Rags and the Shadow Punks
A Sacred Bones Compilation
The most progressive thing about doing a radio show is the opportunities it gives to come across new music. as someone who has been consuming and consumed by music for over three decades I admit it is hard to sustain it. However a weekly show makes it necessary to keep probing and seeking out new sounds. I will come clean, Sacred Bones were one of these revelations. As a label it has been on the go sonce 2006, this being their 125th release.
“Ok”, says I as I settle down to hear the 17 bands on offer. “I may not have heard the label but I’m bound to know some of these bands” – I skim the list of names, none resonate with me. This is a complete education.
A bonus to a compilation record is that is seems like a radio show without annoying presenters talking in between tracks. 17 different styles all on offer. You couldn’t say there’s a sacred bones sound, unlike many other labels. At times the sounds come from a late 80’s early 90’s industrial soundtrack – the kin that Capital Radio used to be so fond of playing in Dublin whilst I was there, dial in hand, waiting for the punk rock. We get that here too, in that post punk way of Institute, one band I need to know more about. They are the beacon on the top of the sacred bones lighthouse but underneath we have a lot of interesting rooms. The Men reflect Sonic Youth and I’m evebn reminded of That Petrol Emotion with Moon Duo.
Cult Of Youth have that post punk sound that grabs my interest and right throughout the rest there is a kind of psycahdelic pop, electro and industrial sound. Drone like in repetition but not as epic in length as much of that genre.
I’m intrigued, a great addition to my collection
The Story Of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico Jon Sack Published by Front Line Defenders verso books www.versobooks.com Human Rights is such a well worn phrase. Like political correctness (what’s so wrong with being correct?) it is used in countless different ways but really it boils down to humans having basic rights, freedom of association being one of these. “We are in the middle of a war, which is a war but isn’t. We don’t know what the warzones are or who the enemy is…so in general there’s a feeling of insecurity and fear that has changed daily life for men and women in Chihuahua” Mexico is a strange country to write about. It is a democratic state, with respectable ties to Western States. it plays a perceived part in what is easily known as “The War on Drugs”. Much like the war on Terrorism the perception is that this war isn’t an easy one to win (are any?) However there is real fear for people, fear of the state, fear of drug cartels, fear of their world. This is a world where people disappear for no apparent reason, sometimes women vanish – their crime? being women! Being politically active is akin to putting an x on your home. Strike here.
This is a collection of stories, in animation form, of people. Ordinary people living extraordinary lives. It’s a tale of siblings being murdered and/or disappeared and of those left to pick up the pieces, left to crawl through the damaged shreds left behind and try and keep that candle lit. Of course the candle gets blown up but in Chihuahua there is always someone to pick up the pieces, regardless of the personal cost to their lives and family. These people give up their lives in this quest, their home, their families all get pushed to second place. Since 2006 when, then President Calderon (now lecturing in Harvard University) declared war on drugs 100,000 people have been killed, 20,000 people have disappeared and 200,000 people have fled their homes, including over 70% of the population of the Juarez Valley.
These are astonishing figures no matter what side you take. We can only appreciate what they do but it is hard to truly understand what they are experiencing. We can only hope their stories don’t go ignored, their pleas unheeded. Please buy this book and follow this inspirational yet truly tragic tale