The country's hollow

...and, now and at last, the last of silence, too: the country's hollow, inverted air one resonant boom and ululance of radio: and thus no more Yoknapatawpha's air nor even Mason and Dixon's air, but America's: the patter of comedians, the baritone screams of female vocalists, the babbling pressure to buy and buy and still buy arriving more instantaneous than light, two thousand miles from New York and Los Angeles; one air, one nation: the shadowless flourescent corpse-glare bathing the sons and daughters of men and women, Negro and white both, who were born to and who passed all their lives in denim overalls and calico, haggling by cash or the installment-plan for gaments copied last week out of Harper's Bazaar or Esquire in East Side sweat-shops; because an entire generation of farmers had vanished, not just from Yoknapatawpha's but from Mason and Dixon's earth: the self-consumer: the machine which displaced the man because the exodus of the man left no one to drive the mule, now that the machine was threatening to extinguish the mule; time was when the mule stood in droves at daylight in the plantation mule-lots across the plantation road from the serried identical ranks of two-room shotgun shacks in which lived in droves with his family the Negro tenant- or share- or furnish-hand who bridled him (the mule) in the lot at sunup and followed him through the plumb-straight monotony of identical furrows and back to the lot at sundown, with (the man) one eye on where the mule was going and the other eye on his (the mule's) heels; both gone now; the one, to the last of the forty- and fifty- and sixty-acre hill farms inaccessible from unmarked dirt roads, the other to New York and Detroit and Chicago and Los Angeles ghettos....

Sybris is a Chicago-based band that's maybe a little more '90s alterna-rock than post-rock, with their crashing Corgan-baiting guitars. Their self-titled debut was a shot-in-the-dark promo grab that turned into an enduring affection for me; after seeing them perform to basically just me at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill a few weeks ago, I came home even more enthralled and seriously crushing on Angela Mullenhour (also pictured above). I happen to know that Sybris doesn't like being compared to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but I can't help mentioning the affinity between Sybris and the "Maps" side of that band, although I mean it in a good way - I love YYYs too.

Montreal's Kiss Me Deadly is on the always-interesting Alien8 (which also puts out Les Georges Leningrad, who have certain songs I could squeeze into this post if I wanted to push the envelope). The vocals are like a more strident version of LWB, with all of those great little chirrups and hitches - the singer actually sounds like a slide whistle at times. Of all three, this is the band that hews closest to classic post-rock, deploying moon and space tropes to drive the point home, and suffused with that all-important silvery gleam.

I don't really know shit about Love is All except that they're completely awesome, and that their record, when it comes out on sleeper-hit NY label What's Your Rupture, probably won't get as much shine as it deserves. "Talk Talk Talk Talk" is a beautifully messy rabble of horns and dopplering Gang of Four guitars, breathy shrieks, moonwalking bass and spirit-week call-and-response.