In a story he swears
is true, Dead Snares’ Jeffrey Cain encounters ancient, pulsating hotness.
By JEFFREY CAIN
Years ago my band and I packed up our belongings and left our home of Alabama
to record an album out West. We spent several months secluded in a house on the
outskirts of Santa
Rosa, California where we would
rehearse, write, and record day and night. Occasionally we would make our way
into town to attempt being social and to clear our minds with a good late night
drink. Our local haunt was a small bar in the basement of the old Belvedere
Hotel. The Pixies, GBV, or The Wedding Present would usually be playing on the
jukebox and the bartender would start pouring your favorite drink as soon as you walked in the door.
The night I saw the most fucked up thing I’ve ever seen was
an ordinary night. My friend and I arrived at the bar just at closing time, yet
we somehow talked them into letting us throw down one whisky. As we drank our
nightcap a young girl approached us. She seemed to know we weren’t ready to go
home and suggested we walk her home and come up for a drink.
Without a second thought we found ourselves walking through
the foggy streets, up some stairs and into her small bare apartment. I have no memory
of any details of the apartment, maybe a bike in the corner of the room, a
futon, a stack of books. She poured us a drink and we sat down on the hardwood
floor then asked, ‘Do you mind if I play my drum?’ Of course not, please… we’d
love to hear you play.
Within a few moments she had found a small hand drum with
some kind of skin pulled over it, rested it between here legs and started to
lightly tap a loose rhythm. The beat was so faint, it hardly kept my attention
at first. My eyes and thoughts wandered for the next several minutes, then I
noticed something had changed. Her beat became very steady, her head hung low, and her body was deathly still except for
her hands which moved as if they were no longer attached to her body.
Not a word was said between us as the beat grew louder and
with more authority, I could feel it straight in my chest. The pulse of my
heart was now the drums… and the pattern she played became more and more
intricate. I had never heard such a complex beat, I was amazed, I was
entranced, and I was becoming scared. Losing my breath, I tried to break this
hypnotic pull I felt. Her hands continued to play as her head hung down.
Suddenly I knew I was beginning to lose control, something was taking over me.
Was this really happening?
I turned to my friend to see if this was all just in my mind. I will never forget how pale he
looked, paralyzed with fear and unable to utter a single word. Like trying to
wake out of an awful dream, I finally broke through the heaviness that had
taken hold of me and screamed, “Who are you? Who are you?”
The hands stopped and the room was finally quiet. She raised
her head, every the muscle in her face had dropped. I was staring deep into the
eyes of a two thousand year old Chinese man.
Dead Snares’ debut
album Speak the Language is out now
on popantipop. www.deadsnares.com.
(Photo: Morgan Jones Johnston)
DEAD SNARES – “THE LANGUAGE”