“You think we’re alone in this. You’re wrong.”
In the spirit of Adam’s other works such as “AMERICANS,” “Greater Mythology Blues,” and “Locust House” (of which this piece is a prequel to), his latest collaboration with Planet B offers some sense of hope in the face of a shitstorm– gentle reminders of the innocence we can all recall and look back on during more complicated times. It speaks of the moments before and leading up to disaster, before the stress, the sadness, and the anger take hold. Peppered with minimalist jazz percussion and landscapes of sweeping, windy Eraserhead-esque ambience, Gabe Serbian, Luke Henshaw, and Justin Pearson use instrumentation to punctuate this “talking song” in a synergistic way that feels intuitive and natural. If the story is the heart of this piece, then Planet B is its ribcage, providing structure while still allowing for the fluid ebb and flow of Adam’s words.
Gnade is a master of conjurings, reanimating ghosts and emotions and imagery of San Diego streets at the turn of the millennium with vivid, pinpoint accuracy down to the street intersections. And despite this specificity– this very personal time and place and group of people– there is at once a broadness, a scope larger than any one city or state. Though the narrative is framed in the context of the days leading up to September 11th, 2001, one can’t help but identify with it today; it undoubtedly serves as a metaphor for the different but equally as burdensome American era that many of us are currently grappling with. We are in it, but we are not alone, and Gnade is determined to remind us of this:
“To live is to believe in love, to search for it while all signs point to tragedy. Life is the meatgrinder that sucks in all things.”