M. Gira/D. Matz | What We Did | Review

Stomp and Stammer | Molly Livingston

great art is sometimes the most resourceful

Rember the sub-food chain dregs of your high school years? Maybe you recall the ugly ones, those poor unfortunates not up to the jockocracy and fabuloso babe standards? Yeah, well some of those outcasts merely “reinvented” themselves, learning the cruel tricks and methods upon post-graduation and became a new elite. You might recognize some of them as smug scenesters in the coolest bands, the turds who book a club, edit a zine, or who managed to show at the Whitney. The oppressed don’t merely become the oppressor. They just become fast learners in a perpetual cruel game.

I’d like to think that the music of D. Matz (Windsor for the Derby) and M. Gira (Swans, Angels, of Light, and sundry) is the music for the rest of us, the quiet thoughtful pluggers who hated the mean spiritedness of both classes of imposter. This isn’t bicoastal hipper-than-thou tastemaking, or Windy Shitty gamesmanship; but it has plenty that would satisfy acolytes of either persuasion. Slooooow arrangements drive songs filled with painfully majestic acoustic, peculiar electronic accents, and vocals that caress, annoy, and cajole in the most astounding ways. Gira and Matz squeeze so much personal expression out of the barest elements that it becomes a joy to realize that great art is sometimes the most resourceful. I really have no superlatives that would do this outing justice.

It’s a damn brilliant recording whose personal narratives remind me, in strange ways, of a time when I knew that patience and deliberation would see me through. It’s not what you did. It’s what you’re doing.