PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Kevin Drumm: Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose

Kevin Drumm traffics in static, both the noun and the adjective.


Kevin Drumm

Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose

Label: Self-released
US Release Date: 2015-01-12
UK Release Date: 2015-01-12
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

You might be wondering where the title Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose comes. Avant-gardist Kevin Drumm fully admits to lifting it straight from Joan Didion's 2005 memoir The Year of Magical Thinking -- he even thanks her for the sentence. In case you haven't read it, The Year of Magical Thinking is Didion working through her grief after her husband's abrupt death. The two of them sat down to dinner in their apartment. In the blink of an eye, John Gregory Dunne was gone and life for Didion would never be the same. She spends many early portions of the book trying to cope with the suddenness of her husband's death, about how life dealt her family a large blow in such a small amount of time. If you know anything about Drumm's music, you know that he does not deliver in short bursts. Didion's focus on a split-second event, at first glance, is an odd thing to compare to Drumm's music. Here's a guy who'll sometimes give you one 30 or 40-odd minute track and call it an album. But given the caustic nature of his music, you could almost look at it as a zoom-in function on life's quick devastations. I can't say that Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose sounds like its title, but it does sound like it's ready to explore a vast amount of space between the words.

Everything's Going is a double album of just eight tracks. In true Kevin Drumm fashion, a majority of them are very long. The length, however, is not contingent on any changes or musical developments. It's as if the length were designed to numb you, and numb you it does. After 40 seconds of silence, opener "What Sleep Is" blares static for eight solid minutes. Frequencies are tweaked along the way, but the static remains. "Private Fugues" follows an alarmingly similar pattern -- after 30 seconds of silence, a rapidly oscillating effect turns into full on static that only varies in slight frequencies up to the 10:20 mark. "The Sinking Quarrel" is the first sign of reprieve among the static in the form of a swelling metallic reverberation that goes on for close to ten minutes. "Panoramic Carnage" is rough on the ears, especially if you are listening through earbuds. It's what microscopic digital maggots might sound like if they were on a mission to infest your ear hairs. As "Panoramic Carnage" morphs into white noise, a widow's sharp pain begins to turn into a dull ache -- at least I think so.

The album's second half is a bit shorter, with two tracks only lasting four-plus minutes. It's probably a twist of black humor that "Social Interaction" sounds so lonely and cavernous. As minimal as Everything's Going is overall, the most subtle moment is saved for the album's longest track "Lower". For 22 minutes, a noise is sustained at such a low volume and frequency that listening to it in any environment other than through earbuds would be a complete waste.

Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose ends with the relatively brief "The Forthright Fool", an honest-to-god triad of some kind that slowly moves through various stages of emphasis. You might not even be aware of the track's conclusion unless you were looking down at whatever device you use to listen to music. Drumm's sounds creep out the back door without notifying anyone, with summoning an attention at all. Shit hasn't broken loose, but you do get a sense that change has occurred and it may not be the encouraging kind. But we don't read books like The Year of Magical Thinking in order to be entertained and the same can be said for Everything's Going Along As Usual and Then All Shit Breaks Loose.

6

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.