By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Yeah, it doesn’t matter what the genre of the music is; it has more to do with an artist’s intent or belief or integrity. And sometimes it’s a matter of pure tone — your body and your mind respond whether you want them to or not.
Blakeslee wasn’t so much into the blues or any kind of roots-folk music growing up. “When I was in high school and college, it was the DIY culture — music more like hardcore metal and punk. Now, genre names like that don’t mean as much, but back then it did.”
The punk or even metal aesthetic is another DNA strand pervasive in Entrance’s searing, cathartic performances, I venture to say.
“I think the aesthetic or ethic of that is something that got carried on in my style, totally. When I would go to shows when I was really young, there’d be like seven people there, and freaking out — not like some violent energy but some kind of release. That seemed to be the whole point, to the people in the band and in the audience. Just totally freaking out! [Laughs.] You know, energy that was sometimes not normal. It should be about some kind of escapist energy transmission, or something that is above and beyond your normal level of energy.”
In other words, whether he’s playing traditional folk songs or really loud rock, when Entrance performs, he’s baring his soul, and you, listener, just might do the same.
Not quite dead yet: Interesting how, when you look at the blues as the building block for about 90 percent of popular music, deep down there’s this undercurrent of bleak, doomy darkness. And how this, perversely, is a happy fact.
“Old-time Appalachian music had its gospel side to it, just like blues did,” says Blakeslee. “All this definitely tied into the church; their mothers taught them the good way to think, then they’d go and play in whorehouses. A lot of old gospel music isn’t about what you read in the Bible, but about death, your awareness of death, and that’s a pretty psychedelic concept to me.”
When he hears such music, its spirit, Blakeslee becomes aware, he says, of a cosmic consciousness of life and death and wanting to do right because he too knows he’s going to die. He likens the effect to a sort of mystical concept, an occult concept.
“Everyone dies and everyone has to live until they die,” he observes, with a faint grin. “ ‘Prayer of Death’ is a Charlie Patton song, but the song that I wrote with that title is not that song. His song is about meeting his mother and brother and sister in some other world. ‘I’ll see you there when I get there.’
“Events that have happened in the last six or so years in this country — those events were planned to create fear, which they did. The fear of death is hanging over our heads right now. Yet it’s muted, and muffled. The word death isn’t being mentioned in blogs. But addressing death — talking about it — is psychological liberation. It’s not going to keep you from making the most ?of life.”
Entrance plays at Spaceland on Sat., Dec. 1.
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