Nostrum Grocers – Nostrum Grocers

Nostrum GrocersEvery time Milo or Elucid put out a new record my desk becomes cluttered with references and I can’t stop fucking smiling. Now they’ve come together? Hold on to those seats cause we’re in for a ride. Listening to this shit is like overhearing a dialogue between Joyce and Kerouac after smoking a fatty. Don’t believe me? Check it:

As a duo they call themselves Nostrum Grocers. Say what? Ya. Nostrum, according to dictionaries means:

  1. A medicine prepared by an unqualified person, especially one that isn’t effective
  2. A scheme for bringing about some social reform or improvement.
  3. The Latin meaning of this shit means “of our making”.

If this weren’t bad enough, on Milo’s previous album there’s a song called “Wherearewe” with a line that says, “Tank take dozer, I outrank a poser. With a T1, nostrum grocers on the machine gun” See? We’re already four steps deep into this lyrical mud and we haven’t even pressed play yet. That’s how deep these motherfuckers are. So, buckle the fuck up. 

On the first song “Circumcision is the first betrayal” Elucid is already thick in poetics. Neither of these guys leads you by the hand (or as he says on this album, “No, we don’t explain flows”). Elucid—his name means “that which gives out light”—says: “Oh I can just kill a man. No jurisdiction on scottfree.” This line may seem innocent. And if you think it is, then you haven’t spent enough time with these motherfuckers. The word “scot-free” comes from an alteration of an earlier term shot-free (associated with the verb shoot) which back in the day also meant “tax”. So, Elucid, in his poetic ways, could be saying that he can kill a man without taking a shot or getting taxed. Fuck me, that’s some crazy shit.

But wait, there’s more.

Milo comes out of the cage on the first song and says the phrase, “Abomunist newscast”. What? Yep, time to dig. This shit references the Abomunist Manifesto written by Bob Kaufman. Kaufman was one of the great, and forgotten, Beat poets. Some say he even came up with the term “Beat” to begin with, not Kerouac. Why is he forgotten? The easy answer is Kaufman didn’t like to write his shit down. He liked to say his poetry out loud like… I don’t know, rappers? Later in the song Milo says the line, “An adder named Barabbas, I sip from the chalice.” Barabbas is more well-known as the murderer Pontius Pilate gave to the people to crucify instead of Jesus in the bible. But, as Milo tends to do, there’s also another meaning. If you dig into the Abomunist Manifesto you’ll see that it says that Abomunism was founded by Barrabas and was inspired by his dying words, “I wanted to be in the middle, But I went too far out.” What the fuck Milo?

The whole album isn’t just full of thick. There are also beautiful, easier to get, lines like, “When the blues come dressed as an introspective echo” or “Romeo must die with that romantic diatribe” and, “mind is infinite acres, my madness is sacred”. This album is caulk-full of deeply poetic, insightful, and powerful words. If you dig an inch into this shit, you’ll come out with buckets of wisdom. The poets aren’t dead. Fuck no. They’re alive and well. Two of the greats call themselves Milo and Elucid. I understand if you don’t want to dig deep into lyrics. But if there’s ever a day where you find yourself wondering if there’s more to this shit, look right here. This is it. And it’ll be here waiting for you when you’re ready.



 

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