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by Raymond Cummings

November 2, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Jams

by Raymond Cummings  |  November 2, 2013

It is time yet again to set the clocks back an hour in an effort to combat the encroaching gloom of winter. It's one of two times every year when we're forced to come to terms with inconsistencies surrounding the passage of time, the competing zigs and zags: how years seem to dash by in a blink, yet weeks seem endless. Modest Mouse have a great old saw partially about that, called ["Heart Cooks Brain"]; while the chorus ponders the mysteries of the temporal, the rhythm weaves a head-scratcher of its own, a-slosh with skipping, slipping tempos and variable meanings. With their cover of "Time Is On My Side," The Rolling Stones caddishly presented time as something almost immaterial -- unless one puts too much thought into it, and then the song becomes a sort of ultimate anthem for the Grim Reaper.

Other artists laugh at the bounds of time in very literal ways, like Napalm Death's "You Suffer" erupting in a swift burst of primal rage or William Basinski's "Disintegration Loops" steamrolling the concept of direct continuity. Meanwhile, Vampire Weekend's obsession with clocks on Modern Vampires of the City reaches its zenith with the eerie, Old World shuffle of "Hudson," and will.i.am's team-up with Justin Bieber -- "I'm loving every minute, second, hour" -- celebrates the violent whooosh of party life as a chemically induced evolutionary adventure. Elsewhere, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth ease us into a Wayback Machine specific to their subject yet touchingly representative of the larger, shared experience that is the human memory.

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