Introducing the Black Ghosts’ Self-Titled Debut to My iTunes Library: A Play in One Act
Black Heart Procession
Me: Black Sabbath, Black Lips, Black Heart Procession, Black Keys, could you excuse me for just a moment? I’d like you to please extend a warm welcome to your new neighbor, the Black Ghosts.
Black Sabbath: Welcome to the bloody party.
Black Lips: Can we get you a drink?
Me: OK, everybody, some ground rules. I don’t want this to turn out like the time the Black Crowes visited. Treat the Black Ghosts the way you’d want to be treated. That goes for everyone except for you, Black Sabbath. Now most of you won’t be immediately fond your new neighbor’s music. You may even be inclined to refer to it as “gay.” I ask you to kindly refrain from that kind of language. Sarcastic commentary is not necessary. Black Lips, I am talking directly to you. Although you’ve never heard of them, members of the Black Ghosts have made an impressive mark on the popular music landscape in their prior bands—singer Simon Lord in particular. He was the main creative force behind Simian, whose other former members have gone on to form Simian Mobile Disco, who I might add have made quite a splash with—Black Heart Procession? Excuse me, Black Heart Procession? Would you like to share whatever you were muttering under your breath to the Black Keys with the rest of us?
Black Heart Procession: Not particularly.
Me: Well, we would all certainly love to hear it.
Black Heart Procession: I’m sure you would.
Me: You are this close to being deleted, Black Heart Procession. Both from here and the hard drive.
Black Heart Procession: How awful.
Me: Moving on. I know how quickly you guys are to judge, but don’t write the Black Ghosts off after hearing the first track, “Some Way Through This”. I’m not a fan of the Lord’s whimpering high-pitched vocals, either.
Black Sabbath: Singer sounds like that George Michael.
Black Keys: He does, actually.
Me: I know. It gets better, though.
Black Lips: Not on track two, it doesn’t. Where’s the Jazzercise videos? Whoa—is that “Chopsticks” he’s playing on the piano?
Black Keys: Sounds like it to me.
Me: Let’s move ahead to track four. “Repetition Kills You”. It’s more up you alley.
Black Lips: Not bad. A bit Hot Chip-ish.
Black Keys: Dude, that is totally a Hot Chip rip-off.
Me: Well, technically these guys have been making music for a bit longer than Hot—
Black Sabbath: Who’s the other bloke in the band making that disco music anyway?
Me: Um (consulting Google), that’s Theo Keating, a British DJ who used be one half of The Wise Guys, who apparently had a bit of a hip-hop bent.
Black Keys: I’m kind of digging this track, “Until It Comes”. A nice blend of funk and house. But I just don’t think I can get past those vocals. I’m not trying to be crass or hurt anybody’s feelings, but they are a bit gay-sounding. Which is totally fine, but it’s kind of distracting. Or maybe it’s just me.
Black Lips: No, it’s not.
Me: Guys, I’m not asking you to like it, I’m asking you to tolerate it. Can you do that, please?
Black Keys: Yeah, sure.
Black Lips: I was born to tolerate.
Black Sabbath: It is a bit of a laugh. But so is that Black Heart Procession fellow, with his “bleak soundscapes”.
Black Heart Procession: Please delete me.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More