Thursday, May 28, 2009

Surfing with January Tyme.

January Tyme's "Ancient Babylon" may be the coolest artyfact thus far. A band named January Tyme, led by a belter named "January Tyme" who predates Pearl E. Gates, Poly Styrene, AND Roxy Epoxy! Loose, psychy Jefferson Airplane wannabees from a 1970 album that's nowhere! Well, nowhere except the shelves of the invaluable public servants at the "Faintly Blowing" blogspot, and emusic, where I found it.

First line's a classic:

"Grab your bloody heart and ride the wind with me
To a Hades where the red man sets you free!"

So right off the bat we get two prime Babylonian tropes--Babylon is Hades, and Babylon sets you free. Not a combination we're used to making--hell is a place where the red man traps you, right? There's no escape! And yet they make it sound so appealing. We can easily imagine this song as the red man's seductive ploy to get us onto his pitchfork. Mother Tyme and her backing boys alternate couplets that give us a taste of the fantastical hell awaiting...

"Come and sail with me to Ancient Babylon
Let your troubles flee and [something] in the song"

Wait, so it's Ancient Babylon? And not Hades? That would make me much more comfortable with the whole situation, if I knew the red man was luring me, not to hell, but to a millennia-dead civilization with fairly loose sexual mores and a sophisticated legal code. Tell me, red man, what sort of housing will I get in Babylon?

"Where the castles float upon the sky..."
Why do they float?
"You will never ask the reason why!"
Oh. Sorry.

But how will we get there?
"Just a little taste of what will get you there (THERE NOW!)"
From your previous statements, can I assume that we'll be "sailing" on "the wind"? I remember from sailing school that sailing "on the wind" is always close-hauled, but that was a long time ago and I'm afraid I won't be much help, I mean I'm willing to learn...
"The black stallion seems to vanish in the air!"
OK. So no ship then?

That's fine, I do better with horses anyway. Say, red man, what the heck animal is that on the album cover? Do they raise those things in Babylon? You know, I'm really curious to meet with the locals, discuss their agrarian society, learn about everyday life...
"Now the pretty princess turns to queen--
Dancing naked fury she must be seen!"

I see. Well, don't worry about my agenda. So we'll be meeting with the ruling class? Hey, I'm all for that. And if Sarah Palin had danced some naked fury, she might've helped her ticket, knowwhatimsayin'? Let me ask you, do you think she's actually got a shot at leading her decrepit party in '012...

"Come and kneel before the god of fire!
He will give you the riches you desire!!"

Oh... are we doing something else now? And you know something, red man, up until now I WOULD NOT have guessed that you were the god of fire. I had you pegged for a tour guide lacky, but this is a real eye-opener--as eye-opening as the sudden revelation that you're a winged, hydra-headed beast whose powerful jaws are drenched in the blood of the saints. I mean--hehheh--I'm not sure how to deal with this--um, can you excuse me a minute...?

"I love the way you laugh at my insanity
If only you could see me cry...."

Yeah, that's gotta suck... Ah, look, I had something I really needed to do this evening... Lea has a meeting, and we couldn't find anyone to watch Zeegy, and so I've gotta pick him up, and is there any way we could hunt down that black stallion so I could run home? I don't want to give you any trouble, or interrupt you from devouring Mother Teresa there... (Hi, Ms. Mother! Big fan! Can you help me out here?)

"When the shadow lives, reducing you to flame,
This time Babylon will not receive the blame!"

Maybe you know more about Christians than I do, but I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that'll be the case. [muffled by the satanic maw, which is also made of FIRE!!!!!!]

Right, so keep an eye out for this one. It's up there with a lot of Airplane and Great Society tunez, only more evil. And note that it came out in 1970, so it predates Rainbow's "Babylon-as-hell" tune by eight years. Pioneers!

No comments: