Black Box Recorderby Anna Jednacz

Black Box Recorder

        What is life? Can we grasp a moment and hold it tight no matter how strong a storm will pass behind the solid windows of our homes. Two very sentimental in Polish tradition days have just passed, Eva Cassidy and Sting's "Fields of Gold" in the radio. Tears come to my eyes. (I have never tried to hide the fact that despite I am the editor of the alternative station, I am sentimental and even melancholic.)

        First thing that has altered my mind successfully in the November weekend evening is the music from the last record of the Black Box Recorder - "Facts of Life". Haunting and fragile voice of Sarah Nixed and two of her friends John Moore and Luke Heins give this music particularly anti-pop British style. Music press described this band as "the true picture of England recovered from the former image full of lies presented by Brit Pop." For me this not a kind of escape, this is pure reality, therefore I adore this band.
Some of the threaten psyches in the media tried as they might to ban one of Black Box Recorderís singles which included words:

"Life is unfair. Kill yourself or get over it."

        Do we know any teenager who was listening to some kind of alternative music and was not obsessed with the topic of death? (Personally, I was obsessed with the notion of death when I was seventeen with no suicidal attempts in my mind.) "We like the idea of writing songs for disturbing, disturbed people and getting our friends to sing them". - stated John Moore in one of the interviews. Facts of Life is one of the best records I have heard in my entire life. This record is perfect for long night drives.

I wish you learn to slow down
You might get there at the end
Donít think the accelerating pedal
Is the man's best friend
You don't have to break the speed limit
You don't have to break your neck
Another dead road racer
Cut out from the wreak.


        Isn't it a warning that is more convincing that a roaring pack of policemen in the middle of the motorway? As far as I am concerned, this text is useful also for all the drivers in the motorway of life.

        Next song, which is also suitable for long night drives, is "The Art of Driving". What is interesting is the fact that car is used here as the metaphor for the protagonist's love relationship. We, Poles, can learn a lot from England as far as motorway system is concerned. ()

The English Motorway system is beautiful and strange
Itís been here forever; itís never going to change
It illuminates all diversions, it illuminates all emotions
(All you got to do is stay alive as driving)


        Madonna was the first favourite singer of Sarah Nixey. She explained this fact by saying that Madonna was a symbol of power and sex for her. It was similarly with me. However, my favourite was not "Like a Virgin" but "Spanish Eyes" (What an emotional type was I ten years ago?)
What I particularly love about Black Box Recorder is that their songs are like manifestos of different ideas. However, these are not just words, these are emotions.

Drive out of the city on Friday
Keep your guessing where we are going
We can rent a room or go to
Keep it safe, weíve got no plans. ( Weekend)

Take your bank account, was it worth it?
We spent so much on conversation
Nevermind the cost, itís nothing lost
We live to fight another day.( Cost of free-time)

I would like to sum up this article with the quotation from Tori Amos.

Looking for the Savior in these dirty streets
Looking for the Savior beneath those dirty sheets.

        I found that Savior in the music of Black Box Recorder. I have to admit here that this article was written six months ago, however because of the numerous reasons I have enumerated above I listen to BBR even during spring nights.

Warsaw, May 7, 2002


Anna Jednacz >>email