Radio Quarantine -Bleib Modern – Vale Of Tears (2016)

Darkest dungeon dark. Blackest fear black. Post-punk, coldwave, darkwave, darkest wave… We’re not waking up and walking on sunshine with this one. It’s not escapist, unless you are the sort that goes on holiday somewhere far north where night lasts three months. My guess is Berlin wasn’t always dark but it still seems to carry some of the vibe of the city some decades back before the wall came down. Just a guess. I’m sure there is still nostalgic beerhall schlager played somewhere but now in the 21st Century that must be even more creepy. I don’t believe in a “good ol’ days” here so another nation’s “good ol’ days” doesn’t ring quite true either. Bleib Modern seems to echo something older and maybe more sinister anyway. Industrial Age Vampire Dance Music? Whatever it is they call what they’re serving though they’re still doing it. This is from 2016 and there has been another album and the next release is set for March of this year. The veil isn’t lifting in the vale of tears, as it were.

Back here in America it’s still an uneasy detente. Everyone down in DC is trying to cover their tracks behind them. One side is working to convince us that there will be accountability for everything that’s happened in recent years. If there is any talk amongst them at all except for a plans for retribution it’s not getting much press. The other side is working hard to act like nothing really happened. They’re not copping to a fucking thing, but who really expected them too? There are many things i love about America and I’m even sometimes open to patriotic thoughts, but our capacity for self-reflection seems awfully limited. We don’t learn from our mistakes. We stumble ahead like 3am drunks struggling up a flight of stairs to jam the key in the door of the wrong house. We’re all messed up. Truly. We’ll drink off the hangover and go back out the next night to do it all over again, before we’ve washed the vomit off of our shoes. And we can never remember where we parked the car after driving home the night before, having sideswiped a few cars and run over the neighbors cat. And oh shit… I’ve carried this metaphor too far.


It’s how I feel though. so there is that. And I know stupid when I see it.

The first month of 2021 is nearly gone and it’s been eventful. We’re about to dip into the first serious cold snap for New York City. It looks like the brunch bunch is going to have a challenge out there in the sidewalk shanties and bubbles this weekend. We’ll see just how eager people are to get out for their avocado toast and cocktails so they don’t have to sit home and think about recession and joblessness and 400,000 people dead. The U.S. now has about a third of all the world’s recorded Covid-19 casualties. Who would have thought it just a year ago? That’s a lot of bodies. That sounds almost dismissive and it’s not. I’m not minimizing the horror in all of it. It’s just hard to wrap my brain around it, and I was never given to thinking that we were in some way so superior that it couldn’t go down this way. It has surprised even the most cynical here. I don’t believe that we really thought we could be the nation with a third of the deaths. The truth is out there now though. We’ve always been on very unsteady footing in many ways, for a country known as the most powerful in the world. It was always going to go down this way though, for all the fears we used to put out there in the 80s about nuclear war with the Soviets. Every empire creates its own undoing. The center cannot old, as Yeats said.

How low can you go?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s