Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Intronaut--Valley of Smoke
Intronaut are one of those bands that I discovered quite some time ago (with The Challenger) that nobody else seemed to like except for me. I'm still flummoxed by that time period; I had lots of friends who were metalheads (at least in a loose sense of the term), and they all fucking HATED Intronaut. I couldn't even begin to understand why, especially after the release of the stellar Prehistoricisms in 2008. I listened to that album over and over in my car stereo, much to the chagrin of my passengers, who were unamused by a) Intronaut as a musical entity, and b) the fact that I listened to the album on a continuous loop for almost a full month.
But fuck the passengers in my car! THEY KNOW NOTHING!
Needless to say, I was stoked when I heard that Intronaut were working hard on the album that turned into Valley of Smoke, which made my Top Ten Albums of 2010 List, which marked the original piece of writing that I did, and which subsequently turned into this pointless blog of mine.
But it's high time I actually gave a fair and thorough writeup to all of those gems of yesteryear, and I wanted to get Intronaut done first, because I've been working on a special Intronaut-related project. Though it's unofficial, I've been piecing together the making of the album Valley of Smoke through research I've done mostly while watching South Park reruns, and am turning it into an historical play set for the stage. There will be music and fun; swashbuckling adventure and touching moments; laughter, tears, a chase scene, and full-frontal male and female nudity. Also, Sacha Dunable's best friend will be a talking car with a rapier's wit and a sweet T-top.
Oh, the adventures they had during the making of Valley of Smoke!
I'd like to present to you, dear reader, a small excerpt from my play detailing the writing and recording of Valley of Smoke. Enjoy.
From Act 2, Scene 3
Sacha Dunable, Joe Lester, David Timnick, and Danny Walker stand together in a small Los Angeles apartment, surrounding the smoldering remains of that day's Los Angeles Times magazine that they've been collectively burning in a discarded wok for warmth. Danny Walker [seated stage right] is naked from the waist up, having painted himself in traditional Native American warpaint. He wears a buckskin loincloth and ragged cowboy boots; on his head is a grandiose feathered headdress. He slowly pounds a deerskin drum with a tiny mallet, gazing into the corner and counting to himself. Sacha Dunable [standing stage left] is dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans. He stands on a disabled Segway and wears a powdered wig. Joe Lester [just right of Sacha], sits straight-backed to show off his 9-foot-tall frame. He wears a USC snuggie and is picking his teeth with the headstock of his bass. David Timnick [just right of Joe] reclines on a soiled beanbag chair. He wears the garb of a saucy 50's greaser, complete with cigarettes rolled up in his shirtsleeve. He combs his hair lazily with a switchblade comb.
Sacha: "That was some chase back there. Luckily I just installed that oil slick machine on Marty the Spry Wondercar! That really gave those Feds the SLIP! But I still can't figure out why they were after us...do you guys think it has something to do with the magic amulet we found at the haunted amusement park?" [Sacha produces from under his shirt the amulet, on a thick gold chain, pulsing an unearthly green]
David: [Combing his hair thoughtfully] "I don't know, man, but I need to get back to my laboratory and analyze those rock samples I took from the underground treasure chamber. I think something fishy is going on, and I think those rocks are just the clue we need to break this case wide open!"
Joe: [Stops picking his teeth with his bass and looks quizzical] "But we needs ta work on da album, don't we?"
Sacha: [Leaping from the Segway] "That's right, Joe! Danny, what have you got for tasty drum grooves?"
Danny: [Staring through the group] "I've got just the thing. I've been working on it all day...[pounds out a drum groove]...it's pretty good, right?"
Sacha: "Pretty good?!? That's dynamite! We'll make it the main theme to the title track of the record. I was thinking "Valley of Smoke," because it's a reference to the valley where we live, but also marijuana smokers will identify with it as a lazy, ham-fisted reference to smoking weed! It's the perfect marketing scheme!"
Just then the amulet around Sacha's neck starts pulsing frantically; a disembodied woman's voice calls out to the group. The voice sounds like it's coming from all around them.
Voice: "Hellp me, Intronaut! Only you can break the mummy's curse!"
The band looks all around them, startled. They gather their wits and look around at each other, gathering strength from one another's strong visages and chiseled good looks. Sacha announces:
Sacha: "Well, you heard the lady! Let's VAMOOSE!"
Marty the Spry Wondercar: [from outside] "Oh nah you din't!"
The group laughs loudly
That's just one small portion of the action, right before Joe Lester's big tapdancing number, which itself leads up to David's nude scene and subsequent soliloquy, which reveals one of his deepest secrets.
You should go listen to this album, because it's really fucking good. I imagine it's easy to steal, too, but I don't condone stealing music of this caliber. You should just eat the dick and buy the fucking thing.
And if anyone from Intronaut actually reads this (they won't), I'd love an email to let me know how accurate I was for about the amulet and stuff. It's hard to piece together meaningful research when you're trying to watch every episode of Archer back-to-back while shoveling potato chips into your mouth. You know how it is.