Monday, June 6, 2011

Voices of the Angels Part 3

...remember sweltering summer days in Port Coquitlam; BMX-biking alone through heat-rippled streets with neither a moving car nor any of the thousands of kids my age, also set adrift for two months, in sight.
Eerie silence but for the combined hum of knobby tires sticking to hot asphalt and uncountable A/C units from seemingly deserted homes... where they all were I never could fathom and never found out. Inside watching TV or playing Atari? No laughter, no cheering from any of these homes. Off to Disneyland? Summer Camp?
Oh – there's the mail-lady.
Okay, so I'm not in some Twilight Zone episode or left behind as rapture-fodder, but the robotic affectations of her movements that the job requires doesn't comfort me at all.

Winding through the sidestreets, dead end cul-de-sacs grinding my tires in a 180 turn, and I find the abandoned “playground” in the middle of this particular area, only accessible through a tiny paved passage between houses.

I slowly tour the mobius-strip concrete 8 that winds through the entire area, a cracked and tree-root-warped cement path with a little bridge in the middle rising over the junction; a few giant tractor-tires are scattered about, erupting from the earth like farmland Easter-Island statues with peeling clown-paint nearly completely removed by the elements and years of neglect and almost buried in weeds. There's a three-person swing-set with one seat wrapped tight around the top, another dangling from one chain, and the last making a disturbing screeching wail from rusted chains holding a shredded canvas seat catching the dry wind.

Elsewhere, what was once a sandbox leisurely swallows unrecognizable and sun-faded plastic bits of toys. A discarded tricycle rusts peacefully against the wooden fence in a forgotten corner, and a doll-torso with matted hair and eyes frozen in horror glares up at me from a clump of undeveloped dandelions.
I ride over the small bridge once, back the bike up to the highest point for an overview of the entire area, and just get the chills; I mean one moment I'm fine and next this creeping terror with ice-legs crawls over my back like a blanket of millipedes and I am gone, I am outta there.

This side of the Voices of the Angels double-LP features author Danny Sugerman, Chris D (of the Flesheaters and Divine Horsemen to name a couple), and Doug Moody, infamous for his Mystic Records label of the 1980's.

Standouts (for me) are the Richard Meltzer track - "Wednesday...", and Cheryl Smith's "Sure", while the Jane Bond & the Undercovermen is merely a radio spot for the Rodney on the ROQ show.

Download here:

(photo of kid in Smiths shirt on bike c.1988, found on sidewalk some years ago)