I was on KNPR, the local public radio station, yesterday, talking about New Year’s resolutions, along with pastor Robert Fowler and UNLV anthropology professor Alyssa Crittenden. Check it out!
The new Red State Soundsystem single, “Entropy”, was inspired by Neil Gaiman and Mike Carey’s take on the character of Lucifer in DC’s Vertigo comics line (specifically Gaiman’s Sandman and Carey’s Lucifer). It’s also a bit of an experimental track.
The vocal treatments were achieved by tripling the lead vocal, pitch-shifting it, and doing some other various weirdness to everything. It was inspired by the way Scorsese treated Satan’s voice in The Last Temptation Of Christ. (Which was probably just an Eventide Harmonizer.) All vocals, needless to say, are mine. I was also attempting to do something a bit more straight-up “rock” than the usual RSS tracks, though it of course still ended up being weird.
I’m not sure about this track — I like it a lot, but I don’t know if RSS fans will. But I figure it’s my job to try new things. Some of them stick, some don’t.
The b-side is an acoustic version of “Berlin Floor Show” with some additional lyrics (not mine).
There’s a lassitude, an echoing, fading grandeur, in the sound of “Heroes”: its dragging beat; its backdrop of squalls and what sound like wayward radio signals; its lyric, set at the continent’s scarred heart; Bowie’s extravagant, metal-edged vocal; Robert Fripp’s feedback ostinato. “Heroes” is Bowie at his most empathic and at his most desperate, a wish-chant that offers, at best, some tiny regency for the spirit. Bowie, who had once had filled his songs with starmen and calamity children, seems reduced here to a minor scale, despite the talk of kings and dolphins. Any hope “Heroes” offers is meager: we can be better than we are. Only sometimes, and not for long.