Kwame Anderson
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Priests: The Rhythm, The Rebel

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Priests. Photo: Audrey Melton

Leon casino,  

So there is the thing; an object, no dimension, flat, there. How does it become a thing, robbed of its color, robbed of its adventure? Part of it would be the naming, the defining of it as something, not its definition of itself, but the definition, the creation of the it. Priests is not it. Priests can and will be called many things, them will try to define them, pontificate and attempt to analyze motivation and message. But Priests are not that, that isn’t it and they will not allow you to put them in that category, because life lives and fights and becomes and reinvents. Priests are an excellent band from DC, they would agree with that. We will start there.


The personal is political, but let us not personify the politics, let us not ascribe the idea that meaning and purpose override the funk. Part of the communal experience is the dance, the giving of oneself into the rhythm, the surrender to the beat, the tribe marches to the beat of the drum, in celebration, in war, in tragedy. The album is called Nothing Feels Natural. “Perhaps I will change into something, swing wildly the other way, if I go without for days will I finally hallucinate a real thing.” Before we call it anything, let’s call it an amazing album. Incorporating soul, rock, punk, jazz and other musical forms into beauty and splendor. “Appropriate” begins: “You want a new brutalism? You want something you can write home about?” And in these days of feigned resistance and anger, the distrust remains, who sent you and what was their agenda? Don’t worry, I’m dancing, I’m in the groove, hands raised, head bobbing, I’m not sweating the whatnots and whosaids, the political will not disrupt the party: “Come on nothing, come on surface meaning, come on cash grab, safety, masturbating, oh baby, my American dream.” It begins in the letting go, it begins with the dance.


Priests are coming to Houston March 1 and you should go, so let’s talk about why. One reason, Nothing Feels Natural is a statement of our time. It’s the idea of protest as much it’s about ideas and causes, beginning with the idea of resistance. We must resist. We must resist the idea of being told who and what to be, even if that thing is a supposed liberal, or punk, or feminist, or activist, or nigger (nigga, whatever); the idea of definition begins with the self and radiates outward, natural is not in it, and Priests are not it, they are not telling you who to be: “A puppet show in which you’re made to feel like you participate, sign a letter, throw a shoe…” Nothing Feels Natural, it’s all manufactured, you must decide, am I this or shown this to be, who funded this field trip, why am I here. Priests are coming to Houston, you should go, let’s keep talking about why.


Reason Two, the communal space of art and dance is grounds for revolution and freedom. Not a slogan, but the truth. The slaves coded songs of escape into the spirituals to give directions to freedom. You are free when you feel free, you want freedom when you feel free. We understand each as other us, when we are together and free. A record is a meditation, a show a celebration. It is us, there together, revelry and dance. Pain, fear, prejudice, loneliness, distrust, all set aside for the common cause of the rock show. We feel as one in this vs. that,it is not the only step, but it is a step, let us not ascribe that meaning and purpose override the funk. “Leila 20” shake your shit, “Suck” shake your shit, “Nothing Is Natural” shake your shit, the jams will run free all night. Be there, we are free when we feel free. Priests are coming to Houston, you should go.


Reason Three, we want to have a world so that we can live in that world. Bullshit is funded daily. Coca Cola says fight the man, and while you’re at it, have a Coke. Conscience capitalism, it works for them. Money is power, power is not always corrupt. Who do you empower and do they empower you? Priests have made an excellent album, they are an excellent band, they should be compensated for their excellence. The same could be said for your favorite band. Is your favorite artist enabled? Priests run the Sister Polygon label, they help other bands put out excellent albums, that results in more excellent albums, that results in tours by excellent bands, singing excellent songs, playing excellent songs, birthing and creating ideas that can change the world or be better to listen to than the curated playlist you are rejecting. “My best friend says ‘I want to start a band called Burger King’ and I say ‘Do it’, make your dreams a reality. Achieve your dreams Burger King.” Priests are coming to Houston, and you should go.


It’s only music. It’s only a record. It’s only a Wednesday night. It’s only a band. It’s only $12, it’s only one night, it’s only your life, it’s only a chance to make a change, it’s only this time. It may be never happen again. It may happen again. They never come. What! I missed them? They came! There’s always tomorrow. There might not be tomorrow. The time is always now. The time is always now. The time is always now. Preists are coming March 1. New hope in the great unwashed, new hope in the great unwashed, new hope in the great unwashed. Say it!!!


Priests will perform on Wednesday, March 1 at Walter’s Downtown with Olivia Neutron John and The Lories.