STILLWATER, Okla. — Local woman Jenny Cassavetes was suddenly able to understand words sung by Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon after regaining consciousness from a two-week coma, according to stunned sources among the hospital staff.
“My boyfriend brought a Bluetooth speaker to the rehab so we could listen to music while I was recuperating,” said the convalescing Cassavetes. “He put on Converge and I was like, ‘Wow, I can actually understand what he’s saying.’ I love Converge, but usually the vocals just sound like a dyspeptic sea lion barking into a 55 gallon drum. It’s pretty cool to actually hear the words and know what Bannon is singing about. It’s not just Converge, either. I’m now able to understand garbled lyrics from all kinds of heavy bands. You’d be surprised at how poetic Lightning Bolt’s lyrics actually are.”
Gordon Stuckman, owner of extreme music label Rat Dick Records, reached out to Cassavetes to offer her a job transcribing lyrics from obscure metal and hardcore releases that the label plans to reissue.
“A big problem with reissuing old, out of print albums is that sometimes the lyrics are unintelligible, so there’s no way to include a lyrics sheet,” said Stuckman from somewhere behind a desk piled high with records. “Cassavetes has demonstrated an uncanny talent to decipher the most guttural of utterances. We have a huge backlog of old black metal, grind, and power violence recordings that we need help with.”
Neurologist Dr. Kip Berger explained that while rare, what happened to Cassavetes is not without precedent.
“We’ve all heard stories about someone waking up from a coma and being able to spontaneously speak German, for example,” said Dr. Berger. “But sometimes we encounter music-related cases like Ms. Cassavetes’. I once had a patient come to me with the remarkable ability to understand what The Fall’s Mark E. Smith was prattling on about. Recently, I read about a case where an Indonesian man could name every Guided By Voices release—including Robert Pollard solo projects—after being struck on the head with a coconut.”
At press time, Cassavetes was spotted having a nice conversation with Shane MacGowan, seemingly being able to understand every word The Pogues’ frontman was slurring.