Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Mondo Round-Up: The Liberosis Edition

Liberosis? You might be thinking, “excuse me, I've already been tested for that,” but no, it's not a disease. Instead, it is a word that popped up on a site I follow called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. (After all, sorrow is rampantly common in this world, so the one that is obscure is to be contemplated and shared.) They list Liberosis as the following;

n. the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life before you reach the end zone, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you—rather to hold your life loosely and playfully, like a volleyball, keeping it in the air, with only quick fleeting interventions, bouncing freely in the hands of trusted friends, always in play.

This definitely caught my eye. It's a desire I think deep down a lot of us can empathize with. Not about the things that actually matter to us, but on the fears that hold you back. I've heard people express wishes like “I wish I could be an artist” or “I would love to write.” My answer is usually “well then, do it!” Failure is something no one wants to experience and even the biggest masochist in the world doesn't always want to be told no. That said, a feeling that's darker and more tinged with a melancholy punch is that special breed of regret. The dreaded “What if?” variety. Rejection is that slap in the face that stings initially but you will heal from it. Often, more quickly than you think. But the “what if?” head trip is a powerful, toxic beast that's not worth the stomach and heart ache. 

Something that has been filling me with liberosis of the most positive kind is a semi-obscure and ultra-amazing blues-punk-rock band from the mid-late 1980's called Da Willys. This band first appeared on my radar thanks to an appearance on a series called Hard and Heavy. While the series was as cheese ball as it sounds, there was one episode where they were clearly trying to bridge the worlds of heavy metal with the then burgeoning “alternative” movement. In addition to a funny interview with an early incarnation of The Lunachicks, plus Da Willys. 

The band were instantly awesome and not above taking the piss out of the interviewer, including one of my favorite replies ever. When asked if they do drugs, singer Lynne Von responds, “No. We can't afford drugs.” Even better, the little tidbits of music you see them do live is actually good. It's rough in the way that quality blues-rock should be. The blues, before it became co-opted by bad butt-bar-rock beer commercials and Eric Clapton, were a rough, raw and real form of music. Between the scraplings we're given here and the tiny handful of clips that have surfaced on YouTube, Da Willys really were the real deal. Probably too real to ever make it to the mainstream, but then again think about how many forgettable bands make it to the land of milk and honey, all for naught? After all, which band would you rather listen to; Glass Tiger or Da Willys

Singer Lynne Von is still active musically and has even Dj'ed a few events, while drummer Peter Landau is now a working writer and mighty good one at that. Guitarist Leon Ross passed away back in 1992 and the titular Willy is now living in Pennsylvania. There's also a great Flickr gallery of band photos and fliers, featuring art by both Landau and Von, often reminiscent of underground comic book artists like R. Crumb. 

File under you can never tell what people are going to respond to, my “Witchcraft 70” piece on Dangerous Minds has been doing exceptional, especially for a piece on a decades old mondo film about the “dark arts.” So big thanks to everyone who has been digging it. I'm sure the horned one appreciates. it. There's more work on the near horizon, including something old and something new. 

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