In 1993 I was living in Boulder, CO for the summer when I came across the music of Slint. Since being introduced to them by a fellow writer (who at the time was editing the zine Basura--I remember only his first name: Bob. Hello out there, Bob Basura.), I've considered their album Spiderland as a (poetic) bible of sorts. Sitting in Bob's living room one July afternoon, surrounded by trees, he pulled an LP out of its sleeve while he handed me the album cover with it's black & white band photo. I was floored by what I heard that day. We must have listened to it several times. The album never wears out its mystery for me. The whispered and spoken lyrics with semi-sinister undertones vibrating within the narratives. The sudden shifts between acoustic melody and massive walls of electric guitar fuzz. Always the weird poetry sweetness of the lyrics.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, they split up soon after releasing this LP in 1991. Plenty of rumors and myths surrounding them (did they really spend time in mental hospitals after recording Spiderland?). Their final recording was an untitled EP released in 1994 with two blistering instrumentals that always come close to shredding the speakers.
If I had audioblog I'd post one of their songs. Spiderland is a great country. Below are the lyrics to the first song on the album.
I stepped out onto the midway. I was looking for the pirate
ship and saw this small, old tent at one end. It was blue,
and had white lights hanging all around it. I decided to check
out the tent, it seemed I could hear music coming from inside.
As I walked toward it, I passed a crowd of people at the sideshow.
I couldn't figure out why they would want to wait in line. I
pulled back the drape thing on the tent. There was a crystal
ball at the table, and behind it, a girl wearing a hat. She
smiled, and asked me if I wanted my fortune read. I said okay,
and sat down. I thought about it for a minute, and asked her
if she would rather go on the roller coaster instead.
Creeping up into the sky. Stopping, at the top and,
starting down. The girl grabbed my hand, I clutched it
tight. I said good-bye to the ground.
Far below, a soiled man. A bucket of torn tickets at his side.
He watches as the children run by. And picks his teeth. Spinning
'Round, my head begins to turn. I shouted, and searched the sky
for a friend. I heard the fortune teller, screaming back at me.
We stuck out our hands, and met the winds.
The girl falters as she steps down from the platform. She
clutches her stomach, and begins to heave. The ticket-taker
smiles, and the last car is ready. Who told you that you
The sun was setting by the time we left. We walked across
the deserted lot, alone. We were tired, but we managed to smile.
At the gate I said goodnight to the fortune teller. The
carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face, but I could
tell she was blushing."