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Just listening to COIL LIVE 4...
There is pain there, sure, but JB still sounds so writhingly alive...

One friend has already said they think my [Wire] review of The Ape of Naples [which I just handed in] is a "bit harsh"... I don't know. So many contradictory emotions.
I'm not ashamed to say that what I felt/feel for JB/Coil goes beyond mere 'favourite band' stuff into some kind of SPIRITUAL zone...

When I heard about his death I felt SO ANGRY... you can argue whether that's an "appropriate" response or not (or whether it's not half to do with barely acknowledged anger towards some of my own mistakes and flaws), but I still feel it. Such a fucking stupid squalid avoidable way to die and I still find it hard to forgive him for that. (If, that is, it was an 'accident' and not more or less some form of suicide... and I can't be alone in thinking that I would actually find the latter far easier to take, as a mark of just how much inescapable recurrent pain he was in ...)

I don't think I ever had such raw anticipation for an album as I did for The Ape of Naples - and (yes) such overwhelming, perplexed disappointment when I did finally hear it. I am worried it might turn out to be one of those albums that only gradually take, and six months down the line you realise you're playing it all the time and it finally makes some due resplendant kind of 'sense'... but right now I doubt that.

Maybe there just wasn't much for Sleazy to work with. But I really don't see why the re-mixed 'Backwards' stuff couldn't have been given a seperate album of its own [A Backwards Look?], and put on the website just for hardcore fans; as it stands, it feels like a small cheat. (I don't think they were ever that happy themselves with the results of the Backwards sessions, and had been tinkering with them for nearly a decade.) Anything else would have been OK: ... a 40 minute instrumental (even improvised) suite of Funeral Musick For Jhonn Balance, say, would actually seem far more appropriate. (Just remember how haunting is The Remote Viewer.)

Playing right now: the terribly terribly beautiful, sad, haunting version of "Amethyst Deceivers" off COIL LIVE 4 - and I think again, I'm right about this, and I'm right to tell the truth, it's what love demands, and there is simply NOTHING on Ape that comes anywhere near a track like this ... (or other stuff on Black Antlers, And the Ambulance Died In His Arms, not to mention the two Musicks ...)

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL ... is things starting all over again, just exactly the same.

posted by Ian 1/05/2006 03:36:00 PM

I just think JB gave some of his worst vocal performances ever, esp. on Amythyst, which doesn't have any of the resonance of the Live 4 version, and some of the Backwards tracks just seem dated (and those 2 'songs' in the middle with JB screaming his head off are just plain harrowing to listen to, for me). Wish there was more of that hurdy-gurdy and Breton pipes/Armenian stuff. I think Going Up is sublime though, and a touching memorial.
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