Saturday, October 3, 2020

Zolar X "Life Signs From the Stars"

(Deliar Spacer Corporation, 2012) Sequencing is a thing! I'll get to that in a minute (or eon, or parsec), but first...Roctober readers know the story of this interstellar band that was brought back down to earth a few times by ugly reality (involving some serious prison time), and reality TV (involving an American Idol spinoff mocking them mercilessly). But anyone who genuinely remembers them from the scene back in the day(70s Hollywood/Sunset/Rodney's days, that is) does not talk about their glitter music or even their  performances, but rather they talk about their dedication. They wore their glam alien gear whenever they went out, they spoke an alien tongue, they were ALL IN! Decades later the Zolar leader (whom I would ask to be taken to, were I to land on their planet) is Ygarr, and he is a different kind of all in. For many parsecs he has been recording performing and figuring out how to move forward with a band that at best has cult interest (rather than a cult following), and with a rotating cast of space characters, without the prominence of some of the defining voices from the earlier days. So back to sequencing: When I listened to these songs (pretty much all of them space phasing space songs about space with space sounds) for the first time they did not strike me as out of this world. I saw the charms but saw more chinks in the space armor. Then...the CD ended with one of the most powerful band manifestos/theme songs I have ever heard. "Imagination" is an ultra earnest ode to artists and dreamers and the immeasurable value of embracing make believe. And it rhymed "George Lucas' Star Wars" with "Spock's logical metaphors." More importantly, it made re-listening to this album far more sublime than cheesy. Rather than appreciating this as space glam twice removed the album feels more like a celebration of the gentle beauty of imagination in a Mister Rogers sense rather than akin to Mr. Spock. So...maybe that track could have come a little earlier. Or maybe I need to learn to parcel my parsecs.

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