Here’s a micro-essay inspired by Eating Us:
So, shortly after I wrote about the first Black Moth Super Rainbow album on this year’s list, I found out that Tobacco (the so-called ‘leader’ of BMSR) did an “Ask Me Anything” with Reddit.
In principle, the idea behind AMA’s is a terrible, no good, very bad idea for the Internet (see: any Twitter debacle a la the McDonald’s “stories” incident, etc. etc.). But there’s something about Reddit’s audience, more often than not, that seems to lend itself not just to a sense of professionalism, but also a distinct lack of trolling. Maybe it has to do with their upvote/downvote system, but I’ve not read an AMA that didn’t go well.
That said, reading through Tobacco’s AMA, there is a particular passage that stood out to me. Click for the full image:
The tl;dr version of that exchange is that Tobacco doesn’t do drugs, and thinks that people who need to do drugs to enjoy something are doing it wrong by not being “in touch with their imagination.”
I’m gonna go ahead and call b.s. on this one.
This is by no means the forum for the legalities or morality issues of using or not using drugs. That’s a personal decision, and I think the notion that those who use drugs for recreational purposes are somehow “less than” is farcical. If you want to, do it. If you don’t want to, don’t do it. Pushing your ideals on others is the fastest way to get shut out.
Tobacco’s point is bigger than just a drug or alcohol issue. We should have a level of open mindedness that lends itself to creative endeavors. On the other hand, I think it’s unfair for the leader of an experimental pop band to dismiss a portion of his audience because they like to get high to his music.
His issue might even be self-perpetuated by the fact that some of his song titles are directly related to drug usage. From Eating Us, see: “The Sticky” (a common adjective used to describe marijuana) and “Fields Are Breathing” (one of the most common visual effects of ingesting ‘magic’ mushrooms).
Anyway, within that same interview, Tobacco says that Eating Us is his least favorite work. And while I agree with him to a certain extent, as I feel that the album doesn’t stand up to its younger brother Dandelion Gum (the pinnacle of the discography), it does contain one of the best BMSR songs, period: “Twin of Myself” – one of the chillest, moving pieces they’ve done yet.
Note that the video attached here is not an official release from the band, but rather an appropriate visual companion.
Eating Us, despite authorial malaise, is still an enjoyable release and worth a listen if only for its first three tracks alone.
Standout tracks: “Twin of Myself” and “Born on a Day the Rise Didn’t Rise”
Weakest track: “Gold Splatter”
RIYL: Drugs. Bye.