Ok 16; __utma these ain’t your mother and daddys Black-eyed Snakes. Best tell everyone: things changed. The Snakes still got that Central Hillside sound. Sound like something dark and mean along Fourth Avenue at 2am; sound like the wail of a young woman gone old too early; sound like the look in a desperate man’s eyes when he got nothin’ to lose and you do. Big House still sits silent, wearing all black, smoke in the side of his mouth, making six-string noises deeper and darker than John Henry’s grave. Smokin’ Brad still brings a big Bo Diddley beat he got to have sold his soul to be able to keep. The Doctor still bangs that bass drum like he’s got voodoo in the veins. Chicken Bone George, he … he still ain’t right, always bobbing his head and trembling and wandering around like he might start to take up serpents.

They still got that sound. But now they got other stuff, too. They might start ‘Smokestack Lightning’ like always, but somewhere along the way, the train winds up on a strange stretch of track; it’s a detour so dark you can’t see where it goes, you don’t dare jump off; you’re scared, but you like it, and you’re seeing things you’d never find on your own. ‘You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down’ might become a mean mantra, repeated again and again, until it worms its way into your mind’s darkest cave, where its echo won’t ever stop. And they might, if the planets sit right, take rhythm and repetition to places your mind can only express by making your body move. You’ll know you’re there when ethereal and visceral combine; when violence becomes sweet and sublime; when your guts and your mind transcend as one, connecting with the beat and existing only for rhythm and the ascetic, aggressive expression of ecstasy. You’ll know it when you’ve felt it. And then you’ll have to tell somebody.


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