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“Life changes fast,” Joan Didion once wrote. “Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.”
With plainspoken language and incandescent melodies, Makino narrated these feelings on a pair of songs, “Sit Down for Dinner Pt I” and “Sit Down for Dinner Pt II,” which helped title the tenth full-length from Blonde Redhead. “Sit Down to Dinner Pt II” thematically transcends time: “It’s sort of about death, but the music is so alive and groovy,” Makino says. Yet, the title Sit Down for Dinner has a separate resonance for the Italian members of Blonde Redhead, the Milan-born twin brothers Amedeo Pace (singer / multi-instrumentalist) and Simone Pace (drummer). “Culturally, dinner is important to us,” Simone says of the nonnegotiable family ritual. “It’s a moment for us to sit down and have time with each other. We grew up that way. I know a lot of people eat and run, eat in front of their TV, or don’t care about it too much—and that’s OK—but we really do.” Dinner has long been a sacred ritual for Blonde Redhead as a band as well; when they’re on tour or rehearsing, they always share a meal, no matter what.
Releasing Sit Down for Dinner in its 30th year, Blonde Redhead’s perseverance partially came in realizing that the process of making the record should necessarily be fun. “Usually I agonize and it’s painful for me to write music, but on this one, I didn’t suffer as much,” says Makino. “I wanted to put my foot down and say: we can have a nice time together. The record sounds quite optimistic.” Amedeo adds, “We do really respond to each other. We depend on each other for inspiration. Kazu completes what I start; Simone completes both with rhythm.”