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Black Out!

Side-B of e’rebody starts with the punk-wop industrial song “Black Out!”—a song constructed from American choruses and the rhythms of the railroad, describing a post-collapse world where “rolling blackouts” are “rolling home” and the reactionary power-down militia has no recourse but to “get an acoustic.” A rolling blackout is an intentional blackout, a partial shutdown of the electric grid to prevent a total blackout, also known as a Black Out!

Like Jazz Music, “Black Out!” is inspired by the rail. The segues between different sections of the song are literal musical interpretations of a locomotive departing and arriving; the popular 1-2 punch of the train chord punctuates this movement (see below).




How to Train: For realistic railroad rhythms, rev the wheels up with multiple drags over the tracks. When the crescendos crisscross, drag onto the noteheads and let the cursor settle momentarily, then drag it off onto the staves or notationless Byss for a short rest. Finally, let the cursor settle on the noteheads till the doppler shifts.

The train chord is very influential on the American soundscape. The Car Horn is a lot like the Train horn; they both have a Major horny sound. Driver’s unconsciously reproduce the Train Operator’s cadence when they honk once for an 1/8th note, and then again for a quarter beat or more. Click on the score below to listen.



“Black Out!” begins and ends with a bouncy framing device (that sounds like the opening bar to “Sesame Street”) with a punk anthem smashed in between. The structure of the song shares some similarities with “Happiness is a Warm Gun” by the Beatles (which inspired Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”)—when a you have two separate songs that are kinda related, it’s best to just smash them together, and the critics will call it “progressively bold” and “smashingly original.” The main body section of “Black Out!” also features an Hendrix chord.


Not gonna do it. Would it be prudent?