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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mono -- You Are There

 photo 220px-Mono-YouAreThere_zpsyyht8of3.jpg

My first three years of marriage to my (still) wife had a definite peak. A few weeks before our third anniversary, our family grew to three people, and I'm hoping we haven't peaked yet (maybe we'll have a lot of peaks). The peak of non-parentitude marriage occurred sometime between October of 2007 and June of 2009, when we lived in a 600 square-foot apartment (half of which was occupied by our washer and dryer) on the corner of Lobdell and College drive, in the heart of Baton Rouge's mid-city district, and fronting the city's public golf course (I never played there (I've never played golf), but I have a sack of golf balls I collected that bounced off our barred windows).
Ahh, the memories. Watching X-Files re-runs in bed together in the winter, with the window cracked open (as much as I could crack it open with the bars over it), the chill air cooling my toes. Our adopted stray cat that wandered in and out of our apartment whenever it pleased. The music store, comic book store, tattoo parlor, pizza place, all within walking distance. Watching 45-minute chunks of movies and television shows on my lunch break (I worked five minutes away). Another highlight was my wife's bedtime. I love my wife, and I love that she loves to sleep a whole lot more than I do. I do not love to sleep. I have always felt like sleeping is a waste of time. My mind is more alive at midnight than any other part of the day. Thus, after hitting the local cheap Chinese Place for our spare rib and sweet and sour chicken combos, respectively, my wife and I would chow down and watch Law and Order SVU marathons, or whatever other couples show was one, and then my wife would promptly fall asleep at 7:30. 7:30 is her bedtime. Then, I would slide off the couch and live a glorious bachelor's life for the next six or seven hours. I'd write, draw, watch movies, make late night runs to the Jack in the Box for a couple Ultimate Cheeseburgers and a Monster Taco...listen to music. I collected a ton of vinyl in those days...I mean, I had disposable income (I MISS YOU, DISPOSABLE INCOME), and a record store a block away. My wife sleeps harder than Gibraltar, so I never feared tossing on my new records, and cranking them up.
Mono's You Are There is such a record (purchased with a generous coupon from the owner of the Temporary Residence Limited record label himself, given after I purchased a defective Explosions in the Sky record). I fondly remember listening to You Are There for the first time, 11:30, my wife sleeping feet away on the couch, while I stretched my legs out on the love-seat. I left the lights on so I could look at the accompanying booklet. Then I listened to it again with the lights off.
You Are There, like most of Mono's work, is at times a loud album, contrasting long, cathartic pieces featuring buildup to moments of momentous feedback, with gently-plucked, shorter pieces. You Are There is a testament to how deaf my wife is when she sleeps. The loudest parts are very loud. Mono, an instrumental rock band from Japan, produce very emotional works. I've seen Mono twice live, once in support of this album, and there were definite swaths of the audience buckled in tears. You Are There may be their most emotional, its walls of distortion suggesting the utmost outpouring of feeling, its quiet moments bringing to mind comfort, family, and togetherness. I'd highlight a particular track, but I feel like that's a waste of time, and I like my reviews best when they are 90% about me, and 10% music criticism. I'll just close this with: fans of powerful instrumental music should check out Mono's You Are There. Also, enjoy the good times because you do not know when they will end.

2006 Temporary Residence Limited

Side One
1. The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain 13:29
2. A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure 3:43

Side Two
3. Yearning 15:38

Side Three
4. Are You There? 10:25
5. The Remains of the Day 3:41

Side Four
6. Moonlight 13:04

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