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Julien-K: Metal Against Flesh

Well, I have no one to talk to about this so I guess I'll just post it here. It's moments like these when I understand the value of having people with shared interests in one's life. JK aren't well known and I'd probably get crickets if I started a thread on the subject, so I won't clutter the forum with my gushing.

The synthpop (electro rock? they defy genrification. I just made that word up) band Julien-K has released material from it's third album (they're putting records out rather quickly), and the songs are really working a number on my emotions. I can hardly stand it; it's like a milder version of hurts-so-good, actually more like pleases-so-bad. I kind of knew this would happen (although not to this extent), and therefore hesitated to listen to music here at the library (I haven't listened to music in weeks thanks to my unstable housing situation).

I'm really hot/cold with this band; some of their songs don't move me at all, but the ones that I'm hot with, I'm on fire. The tunes are moving in a way I cannot put into words. This band is inspired by New Wave (which I love), and one can tell from their sound. New Wave sort of went out with the eighties (or maybe just underground, I don't know), so it's nice to hear some fresh material. Adding to the overall awesome effect is the fact this band is rather newish (although the individual members have spent years in other bands), and their musical development as an ensemble (with shifting membership) exploring a new style has been impressive, especially that of the lyricist, who was quite recently a guitarist doing little more than a bit of back-up vocals.

Another facet of the effect is that I find it a bit challenging to put my finger on why the music touches me so, which is a bit unusual for me. I was pondering why I like New Wave so much, when my old university Intro to Music knowledge bubbled to the surface, and I recognized Romantic elements in the genre. I am a lover of other Romantic-era inspired forms of art, specifically gothic fiction and Romantic classical music, so I guess New Wave is part of a pattern for me, but what makes it different is the electronic component to the music.

There's this delicious juxtaposition in New Wave that touches me: very heartfelt, emotionally genuine lyrics representing the human component right in there next to mechinistic electronic sounds. Lush melodies in the rugged voice of electric guitars. I think of it as analogous to the juxtaposition of flesh (delicate, sinuous, and ephemeral) and metal (hard, stolid/solid, and unyielding) that makes body piercings so attractive (to me, at least). Not that I'm really into body piercings for myself anymore. Having my ears pierced is enough for me.

The music is also a bit tortuous for me because it reminds me of the transcendent feelings provoked by performing. It's been years since I've been able to play my instruments, and listening to JK makes me miss the emotional experience like nothing else, which is really saying something considering the large amount of different sorts of music I'm into.

It would be nice if someone read this and had some idea of what I'm talking about. I've noticed how utterly subjective and individualized emotions and sensory experiences seem to be on spectrum-related websites, so there's not much hope of...empathy? Is that the word I want? Doesn't seem like it.

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bentHnau
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