At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 the armistice that ended the fighting of the first World War came into effect. Although, technically, the war had been neither won nor lost, effectively, it marked the defeat of the German armed forces. The peace treaty itself took another 6 months to finalise but it is the end of hostilities on 11th November that we celebrate in commemoration services to this day.

It would be natural to suppose that a song called 11-11 refers to the date of the armistice but the lyrics in this track from Tuner‘s album, Pole, belie that.

Markus Reuter and Pat Mastelotto

Some people think there’s something magical about the number 11, especially when it is repeated. For them, 11-11 is an auspicious date. A good date for big decisions, for making commitments, for getting married. Or, perhaps, in the words of the song, just for getting what you want.

Having magic powers …
Learning to use magic for sexual ends

Then again, if you can only have good sex on one day of the year that doesn’t sound very exciting to me. It could explain a lot about Crotchety Man’s personal life, though. 🙁

Actually, the lyrics are quite obscure – mysterious rather than magical – so I won’t attempt to provide an interpretation. In any case, the words are not that important in the context of this proggy rock track exquisitely constructed by Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter (a.k.a. Tuner). 11-11 is the sweetest track on the Pole album to my ear; the others tend towards the more modern, harsher strand of ‘prog’ that is so popular these days. Here, the drums rattle and rumble, the bass thunders gently along, touch guitar melody lines sing and a keyboard wash caresses. There is some delightful ornamentation from guest artists, too: Laura Scarborough adds a vibraphone tinkle and I particularly like the ever ethereal theremin by Pamelia Kurstin.

Pole was recorded in December 2005 and February 2006 before being released on Unsung Records in 2007. It was made available as a pay-what-you-want digital download on Bandcamp on the 4th of this month. Crotchety Man unreservedly recommends the 11-11 track; I’ll leave it up to you to evaluate the rest of the album.

It’s only 11 days to Christmas now and the season of goodwill to all men is already in full swing. Trump has all but gone, the Covid-19 vaccines are being distributed. The peace processes continue but we can afford to celebrate a little, just like those soldiers on the front line in 1918.

One thought on “11-11

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