Thursday, November 10, 2016

Loudini interviews Mega X Band

Tracked in an illegal Brooklyn apartment over a two year jaunt, the burnished urban organic art-rock of MXB, transmutes the listener's reality to madcap flights through a cosmic metropolis. Sounding like a glowing multi-colored back room of a dive bar, and you sitting there having imbibed some firey distillate, Diamond Hits mixes up a stylistic cocktail of back beat drum licks, distortion guitar groove, well turned lyrics and layered leather coat vocals. The wackjob behind MegaXBrand, solo recording artist Lester James, has humbly sought to create the great American art-rock masterpiece. Even if such a thing were possible one would first need to gain increased awareness of life, and so he began his endeavor with requisite beatnik trips to Europe, Japan and around the States.

 It was also necessary to delve into the worlds of poetry and literature with a reading list that includes among others, Jack Kerouac, Tolstoy, Kafka, Henry Miller, Anne Sexton, Shelley and T.S. Elliot. "You have to read before you write" quips Lester James. "I want to make the likes of van Gogh, Fellini, Beatles and Neil Young. To do that I needed to learn about the nature of beauty." No doubt a difficult task even for an entire band, LJ has drawn upon the excellence of groups such as, Pavement, Husker Du, The Pixies, The Feellies and of course The Velvet Underground to point him in the right direction. But where VU sings about transvestites and sado masochism, MXB channels the mystical reality of latenight Brooklyn streets, brownstone rooftop overlooks, subway station delerium and the thrumming energy of cosmopolis. Upon hearing MXB's concoction of sound one might think of early Beck crossed with Led Zeppelin; Or perhaps Mgmt's estranged older brother set out to combine the post punk genius of Xtc with futurist Aphex Twin. The careful listener will nevertheless discern something old, something new and the applied ethic of non-conformity. Directly, via sound and lyric, MegaXBrand seeks to communicate the enhanced state whereby human beings experience a more advanced and intense perception of the natural world (pause for effect). Track #7 "Love No Disconnection" tells of an early morning drive down NYC's racetrack like Jackie Robinson Parkway. The idea here is that the listener participates in the mystical journey that the song describes. Superimposed in the mind of the driver are images of the earth "slow revolving", "satellites low flying" and a morning blue twilight colored atmosphere. The juxtaposition of object size, car and planet and the relative speed of those objects along with a landscape washed in blue ether, in theory, conveys transcendental properties to the open mind. In keeping with the idea of a sonic pharmaceutical, track #2 "Thunder and Clover" attempts to energize the withered faculties of heart and mind through precise coloration of sound, suggestive lyric and what might be termed the "super lick". Contained in the opening chorus, the SL is composed of a lead guitar riff, a rhythm guitar progression and a punctuated bass line. Together the three layers form an evolved musical passage containing both melodic trickery and rhythmic counterpoint. The song also enhances listener state through it's lyrical content. The protagonist, on a leisurely stroll about the city park, is struck suddenly by a profound realization and asks, "What just happened?". Obscure yet poetic comparisons allude to a mysterious transaction between ground, sky, thunder and clover. The underlying meaning secretly points the way to open doorways of expanded perception. In this way MegaXBrand has sought to promote eco-beatnik sophistication and freedom from the stranglehold of the capitalist media dystopia. Hack musician L. James plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, writes and records all compositions. During his tenure in NYC he has endured muggings, break-ins, suicidal nervosa, a host of vampire frenz, the Kafka-esque city housing authority and worst of all, the mass infestation in NYC of artless yuppies. He claims, among other things, to routinely experience telepathy, precognition and to have had contact with extra-terrestrials.

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