Sallust, the Roman historian who made his name by connecting great events to the moral outlook of the people involved in them, said it more than 2,000 years ago: “The golden age is before us, not behind us.” Twenty centuries later, we still don’t seem to have learned his epigrammatic lesson: We—both the critical we and the popular we—spend an inordinate amount of time looking backward and mourning a golden age of culture that is likely irrecoverable, while looking at the present day as either approaching or having already arrived at an utter nadir.
I just finished reading Bill Bryson’s latest book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life. I don’t believe it is available in the US yet - I read the British version, no big deal - and I have to say it is a worthy follow up to perhaps my favorite book of all time, A Short History of Nearly…
My personal favorite was A Walk in the Woods. Haven’t read A Short History of Private Life yet.. but if you’re willing to lend me that copy… I’d be a Tumblr follower 4life.
“Scanners is a London-based rock outfit formed roughly two and half years ago by Matt (guitar, vocals, synths) and Sarah (vocals, bass, violin). Before expanding to its current four person lineup, the band consisted solely of the two musicians, a drum machine and various synths. Humble beginnings, sure, but Mat and Sarah realized this. Amina (guitar, keys, bvs), a regular Scanners gig-goer, eventually joined the group. Finally, the band line-up was complete with the addition of Tom (drums), who had left the countryside to seek his fortune in London, but instead found Scanners.
Over the next year, Scanners took to the road, opening for bands such as The Wedding Present, The Fever, Electric Six and actress-turned-rocker Juliette Lewis’ band, Juliette & The Licks. During this time, the band honed a sound that is equally informed by Terry Gilliam and Prince, David Lynch and Doris Day, as cinematic as it is fun. “In the confines of the band van, we spent a lot of time together,” Mat says. “And we actually managed not to kill each other, which is usually a good sign. But we were also developing, and becoming the dynamic and exciting musical unit that we are today. Yes, indeed.”
Not yet six feet under, but also growing bored waiting for someone to drop a fat pile of cash into their laps, Scanners had a fortuitous run-in with Dim Mak head honcho, Steve Aoki, who was in London and managed to make it to one of the band’s rehearsals. “A few drinks and a vegetarian meal later, we realized if he wasn’t the head of a company, we would have asked him to join the band,” Mat says. Things as they were though, the band and Aoki’s label decided to put out a record together.
Violence is Golden is the release in question, due out June 6, 2006 on Dim Mak. This is dramatic and oftentimes sexy music, the kind of record you can curl up with to commiserate over a bad night, but the kind that will also be ready to party once the weekend hits again.
“I know you’re not ready to live/ Are you ready to die?” Sarah sings on “Low Life,” before intoning later in the song, “This is a lonely time.” Epitomizing what it is to be a young person in this day and age, Scanners know that sometimes life sucks, but you have to keep moving. After all, there are invigorating records like Violence is Golden out there, and if you sleep on them, you’ll be sorely disappointed later.” (via DimMak)