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A Man Possessed

music_WovenhandWovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards pulls out all the punches
In the same month that a new Anthony Hopkins flick does its best impression of The Exorcist, there’s news that the Catholic Church is reporting a rise in demonic possession. Whether or not David Eugene Edwards believes in Linda Blair’s head-spinning character, he is clearly a man of faith. The former 16 Horsepower frontman’s current project, Wovenhand—dropping by the Crepe Place on Wednesday, Jan. 26—is known for its boisterous live shows, with Edwards playing with the passion of a man possessed.

“It’s beyond my control, to be honest with you,” explains Edwards regarding the disconnect between Wovenhand’s on-record pensiveness and its on-stage onslaught. “When I see certain bands, I want to be punched in the face. Basically that’s how I go about it, just to really take over the room and get everyone’s attention for as long as you can.”

In this way the more aggressive nature of Wovenhand’s live set belies the proselytizing of Edwards’ lyricism. Though with each subsequent release—up through 2010’s The Threshingfloor—he has moved further away from 16 Horsepower’s alternative country leanings toward heavier rock music (The Threshingfloor is surprisingly dark in some parts), one aspect of Edwards’ music has continued steadfast.

“People are like, ‘He sings about the same thing every time,’ and that’s exactly right,” says the 42-year-old Colorado native. “I do, I sing about the same subject all the time in every song in some form or another. It may be put together in an abstract way, but it’s always the same subject matter, which is man’s relationship with his creator.”

Many of Edwards’ lyrics require someone with a fairly Biblical vocabulary to truly deconstruct, but the message contained is fairly one dimensional, even within the construct of that cosmic relationship. Christianity is a complex thing, and rock and roll is largely a secular game, but that hasn’t deterred Edwards from successfully moving forward within his horse blinder vision.

“I’m just interested in the gospel, which to me is the only thing that’s important on the planet, and everything else is just distraction from it,” says the songwriter. “That’s all I’m interested in, that’s all I’m going to sing about. That’s all I’m going to express to other people, because to me it’s of the utmost importance and it’s the only thing that really matters.”

And perhaps that’s why Edwards has been able to continue on as a musician. When 16 Horsepower ended in 2002, many would have packed it in after a successful music career, and perhaps begun to look for more stable, long-term ventures. But leave it to someone preaching the gospel to be comfortable with a resurrection.

“[16 Horsepower] stopped playing, and we weren’t going to really restart, so I had to keep working,” explains Edwards. “I don’t really have another job, I don’t have a business or something else to support my family, so I just kept making music. I knew it wasn’t going to be called 16 Horsepower anymore, so I just called it something else and never looked back.”

In something of a measure of success, Wovenhand spent part of last summer opening arenas for Tool, an odd bill in at least three ways. Beyond Wovenhand’s relative balladry contrasting with Tool’s bombast (and the fact that the two entities were put in touch by UC Santa Cruz alum Jello Biafra—whose music couldn’t be more different than either band), it’s kind of funny to see a Christian touring with occultists. Nonetheless, the shows were well-received, and who knows—in case of emergency possession, it couldn’t hurt to have a man of God around.


Wovenhand performs at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 429-6994.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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