A lot of years ago I used to head to London with £100 pounds in my hand and haul myself round the second hand record shops. I’d usually have a list of records I wanted to hear or bands I wanted to uncover. Sometimes I would have to make choices, put stuff back, weigh up two items based on zero knowledge of the contents, just a vibe from the sleeve, from the script, from the song titles or from the associations that had led me to the artist’s name. Each item felt like gold because there was a limit, I could only have so much, I had to actively choose them – say it was ‘the one.’
A few years down the line, I decided I wanted to check out DC hardcore, stuff from the Dischord label – three months later I had about eight of the key albums gathered from online. Six months later I was bored. Suddenly I could get anything, from anywhere – so what did it matter? If I wanted constantly shifting musical wallpaper, well, its never been easier to lump barely chosen sounds into a pocket-sized device and shower the room with a vague something that might catch me for a minute but has that undynamic sluggish MP3 sound quality, or that exists on top of a raft of noises from whatever I’m really focusing on because when music can be acquired with so little energy, so little effort, it’s not like I’m committing to it in anyway. It bored me.
This past year, beyond rediscovering the joys of live music after a few years of definite drift, I’ve also realised how much more special music feels when it comes from someone I connect to. Because let’s face it, the world is full of music, it might be great for a day, a season, a lifetime, but we’re under no illusion there’s something truly unique about it anymore – there’s so much. What enlivens me and restores that glow, in my opinion, is when I can see and hear the effort and energy of an individual behind it. All fine and dandy but much to do with Nirvana? Well, my initial reason for getting in touch with Jesse Sterling Harrison was that he had been recommended to me by a band who played the Amnesty International show at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts way back in April of 1990. Jesse was a friend of the various bands present and has gone onto his own musical expressions which i’ve been taking note of given the MP3s he’d sent me were pretty damn wicked.
I enjoy stripped down rock live but to hear these more developed songs, the Eastern tinged vibe, the layering of skilled drums, subtle guitar work – it made me want to hear more. Plus I’m intrigued to see the results, it’s something I’m willing to pay for, to contribute to, to see someone’s journey. I even upgraded the blog to allow me to add this MP3 file – I think it shows the direction, a blurring of genres, the recombining of elements into a greater whole. I’ve had it on repeat here.
I’ll leave the last word to Jesse, “…like your favorite confessional songwriter got a top-notch rock band with an amazing guitarist and made a rough concept album about anger and loss.”
More, give me more.