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While reading New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff’s review of a NYC concert featuring the bands Salome and Landmine Marathon, my thoughts went back to the rock bestiary I’ve slowly adumbrated here at R&T. My initial description of a rock bestiary is here, and there have been many entries since then.

Ratliff served up a splendid meditation fit for a bestiary entry. Describing Salome’s lead singer Kat, Ratliff writes: “Early in the band’s second song — “Master Failure” — Kat brought the microphone to her face with both hands, enveloped two small fists around it and began a deep, dreadful growl, altering the tone with the shape of her mouth, something like yawwheeawhhhheee. She might have been singing words; maybe not. Hard to tell. It was more an earth sound than a body sound; the imagined howl of undersea canyons.”

A rock bestiary, should one ever exist, would be focused on the specific and eventful ways that Holy Mother of God! Take a listen!

A rock bestiary, should one ever exist, would be focused on the specific and eventful ways that rock culturers — musicians, fans, roadies, and more — yield up bodily wherewithals that are the potential fruit of, and power for, more life. Or should I say, with reference to Kat’s “earth sound,” that rock musicians generate ever new ways of conducting into, or at least gesturing toward, a way of being that theology should be able to appreciate, a way of being that I would call (following Gilles Deleuze) “faith in this world.”

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