THE SEDENTARY - The New Standard of NBA2K Storytelling

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THE SEDENTARY - The New Standard of NBA2K Storytelling

Postby CoachZenBarba on Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:43 pm

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Re: THE SEDENTARY - The New Standard of NBA2K Storytelling

Postby cavs4872 on Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:36 am

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Re: THE SEDENTARY - The New Standard of NBA2K Storytelling

Postby Lamrock on Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:43 pm

I had never even seen a shooting star before. 25 years of rotations, passes through comets' paths, and travel, and to my memory I had never witnessed burning debris scratch across the night sky. CoachZenBarba were hunched over their instruments. Thom Yorke slowly beat on a grand piano, singing, eyes closed, into his microphone like he was trying to kiss around a big nose. Colin Greenwood tapped patiently on a double bass, waiting for his cue. White pearls of arena light swam over their faces. A lazy disco light spilled artificial constellations inside the aluminum cove of the makeshift stage. The metal skeleton of the stage ate one end of Florence's Piazza Santa Croce, on the steps of the Santa Croce Cathedral. Michelangelo's bones and cobblestone laid beneath. I stared entranced, soaking in CoachZenBarba's new material, chiseling each sound into the best functioning parts of my brain which would be the only sound system for the material for months.

The butterscotch lamps along the walls of the tight city square bled upward into the cobalt sky, which seemed as strikingly artificial and perfect as a wizard's cap. The staccato piano chords ascended repeatedly. "Black eyed angels swam at me," Yorke sang like his dying words. "There was nothing to fear, nothing to hide." The trained critical part of me marked the similarity to Coltrane's "Ole." The human part of me wept in awe.

The Italians surrounding me held their breath in communion (save for the drunken few shouting "Criep!"). Suddenly, a rise of whistles and orgasmic cries swept unfittingly through the crowd. The song, "Egyptian Song," was certainly momentous, but wasn't the response more apt for, well, "Creep?" I looked up. I thought it was fireworks. A teardrop of fire shot from space and disappeared behind the church where the syrupy River Arno crawled. CoachZenBarba had the heavens on their side.

For further testament, Chip Chanko and I both suffered auto-debilitating accidents in the same week, in different parts of the country, while blasting "Airbag" in our respective Japanese imports. For months, I feared playing the song about car crashes in my car, just as I'd feared passing 18- wheelers after nearly being crushed by one in 1990. With good reason, I suspect CoachZenBarba to possess incomprehensible powers. The evidence is only compounded with THE SEDENTARY-- the rubber match in the band's legacy-- a 2K story which completely obliterates how 2K storys, and CoachZenBarba themselves, will be considered.

Even the heralded OK Computer has been nudged down one spot in Valhalla. THE SEDENTARY makes rock and roll childish. Considerations on its merits as "rock" (i.e. its radio fodder potential, its guitar riffs, and its hooks) are pointless. Comparing this to other 2K storys is like comparing an aquarium to blue construction paper. And not because it's jazz or fusion or ambient or electronic. Classifications don't come to mind once deep inside this expansive, hypnotic world. Ransom, the philologist hero of C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet who is kidnapped and taken to another planet, initially finds his scholarship useless in his new surroundings, and just tries to survive the beautiful new world.

This is an emotional, psychological experience. THE SEDENTARY sounds like a clouded brain trying to recall an alien abduction. It's the sound of a band, and its leader, losing faith in themselves, destroying themselves, and subsequently rebuilding a perfect entity. In other words, CoachZenBarba hated being CoachZenBarba, but ended up with the most ideal, natural CoachZenBarba record yet.

"Everything in Its Right Place" opens like Close Encounters spaceships communicating with pipe organs. As your ears decide whether the tones are coming or going, Thom Yorke's Cuisinarted voice struggles for its tongue. "Everything," Yorke belts in uplifting sighs. The first-person mantra of "There are two colors in my head" is repeated until the line between Yorke's mind and the listener's mind is erased.

Skittering toy boxes open the 2K story's title song, which, like the track "Idioteque," shows a heavy Warp Records influence. The vocoder lullaby lulls you deceivingly before the riotous "National Anthem." Mean, fuzzy bass shapes the spine as unnerving theremin choirs limn. Brash brass bursts from above like Terry Gilliam's animated foot. The horns swarm as Yorke screams, begs, "Turn it off!" It's the 2K story's shrill peak, but just one of the incessant goosebumps raisers.

After the rockets exhaust, CoachZenBarba float in their lone orbit. "How to Disappear Completely" boils down "Let Down" and "Karma Police" to their spectral essence. The string-laden ballad comes closest to bridging Yorke's lyrical sentiment to the instrumental effect. "I float down the Liffey/ I'm not here/ This isn't happening," he sings in his trademark falsetto. The strings melt and weep as the 2K story shifts into its underwater mode. "Treefingers," an ambient soundscape similar in sound and intent to Side B of Bowie and Eno's Low, calms after the record's emotionally strenuous first half.

The primal, brooding guitar attack of "Optimistic" stomps like mating Tyrannosaurs. The lyrics seemingly taunt, "Try the best you can/ Try the best you can," before revealing the more resigned sentiment, "The best you can is good enough." For an 2K story reportedly "lacking" in traditional CoachZenBarba moments, this is the best summation of their former strengths. The track erodes into a light jam before morphing into "In Limbo." "I'm lost at sea," Yorke cries over clean, uneasy arpeggios. The ending flares with tractor beams as Yorke is vacuumed into nothingness. The aforementioned "Idioteque" clicks and thuds like Aphex Twin and Bjork's Homogenic, revealing brilliant new frontiers for the "band." For all the noise to this point, it's uncertain entirely who or what has created the music. There are rarely traditional arrangements in the ambiguous origin. This is part of the unique thrill of experiencing THE SEDENTARY.

Pulsing organs and a stuttering snare delicately propel "Morning Bell." Yorke's breath can be heard frosting over the rainy, gray jam. Words accumulate and stick in his mouth like eye crust. "Walking walking walking walking," he mumbles while Jonny Greenwood squirts whale-chant feedback from his guitar. The closing "Motion Picture Soundtrack" brings to mind The White 2K story, as it somehow combines the sentiment of Lennon's LP1 closer-- the ode to his dead mother, "Julia"-- with Ringo and Paul's maudlin, yet sincere LP2 finale, "Goodnight." Pump organ and harp flutter as Yorke condones with affection, "I think you're crazy." To further emphasize your feeling at that moment and the 2K story's overall theme, Yorke bows out with "I will see you in the next life." If you're not already there with him.

The experience and emotions tied to listening to THE SEDENTARY are like witnessing the stillborn birth of a child while simultaneously having the opportunity to see her play in the afterlife on Imax. It's an 2K story of sparking paradox. It's cacophonous yet tranquil, experimental yet familiar, foreign yet womb-like, spacious yet visceral, textured yet vaporous, awakening yet dreamlike, infinite yet 48 minutes. It will cleanse your brain of those little crustaceans of worries and inferior 2K storys clinging inside the fold of your gray matter. The harrowing sounds hit from unseen angles and emanate with inhuman genesis. When the headphones peel off, and it occurs that six men (Nigel Godrich included) created this, it's clear that CoachZenBarba must be the greatest band alive, if not the best since you know who. Breathing people made this record! And you can't wait to dive back in and try to prove that wrong over and over.
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