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WHOa! GLP music division?? Eric Apoe "Songs of Love and Doom"
User ID: 848576
06/08/2010 03:30 AM
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This is some cool stuff and this old-school dude is the real deal as a musician.
Check out "Empire of Slaves" and "Them Against Us"
[link to www.myspace.com]
Excerpted from: [link to www.ericapoe.com]
The Llahngaelhyn scene was home base for many great local jazz performers of the era, including David Friesen and Gary Peacock, Joe Brazil, and Larry Coryell. Heldman, the mastermind behind the jams, was legendary for his eccentricities as well as his chops.
"Jerry had this thing about the feds shooting low frequency microwaves into the Llahngaelhyn to disrupt our playing," Apoe recalls. "He knew they (the feds) were in touch with what was going down. He slept in a tinfoil helmet and had a tinfoil-lined closet that he'd jump into whenever he thought they were out to get him.
"It's crazy paranoid stuff," he adds, "but at least it's colorful and fun. You've gotta have something to keep you awake. If you've got nothing to get stressed out or worry about, you get boring."
Heldman's paranoia became the inspiration for the song "Tinfoil Mardi Gras" on Book of Puzzles, Apoe's most recent album recorded with his band, Eric Apoe and They. The band has been together, in various incarnations, since 1993, playing in a style that blends elements of European and American roots music.
Book of Puzzles is the fourth album they've released, but Apoe's experience with recorded music extends back well before Songs of Love and Doom, his 1996 debut.
Free from the politics of the music industry, Apoe poured his creativity into his own projects, writing songs for himself and his band.
"Not making it definitely affects everything," he says. "I used to actively be working on five to 10 tunes at a time, sometimes up to 30-just constantly pumping stuff out. Now the process is much harder."
Harder, but more than worthwhile. Book of Puzzles is a beautiful album, its songs bleak and haunting. The bittersweet perspective of the lyrics speaks to the losses and fleeting joys of a life truly lived. It's a perspective that, unlike many songwriters, Apoe has earned through experience.
It's also a point of view that Apoe is convinced the music industry actively suppresses. Youth and sexuality are what sell records, not talent, experience, wisdom and substance.
"I think it's a weird form of musical censorship," he says of the music being played on mainstream radio. "I don't think they want anyone out there who really has anything to say. The last thing they want is some Bob Dylan or Phil Ochs coming out with something that's going to rile the masses.
"Keep the freakin' mind-control poison going, get the money and run," Apoe adds.
Now that anyone with a computer and some time on their hands can make a passable musical recording, he feels that respect for the craft is being lost.
"There're too many people writing songs who really don't know what they're doing," Apoe says. "You could say it's great that everyone's playing music, but I think that the whole process has just been cheapened."
He says that this cheapening of what's important is symptomatic of a society that has lost touch with what it feels like to really be human. We spend so much time on our computers that we only leave our homes to shop, if then, and are quickly losing the ability to deal with each other.
At the heart of it is a political system that Apoe says he sees as being in the business of creating and filling artificial needs and desires, all in an effort to keep people from discovering their true potential.
"People don't even know what they've got or what's going on," he says. "The battle between the [political] left and the right has taken on so much importance that most people can't even see how short-sighted both sides really are. People who're confused are easily used.
"Now we've gotten to the point," Apoe adds, "where kids show up at anti-war protests and sing songs about their girlfriends."
A slower tune here: "Mind Control Waltz"
"Songs of Love and Doom"
[link to www.ericapoe.com]
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