Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Crowning Jim Crow.


The new day’s inspiring icon is he who painted in three-piece suits, intensely studied theology for kicks, was the best brush man in the world for a prime twenty years or so, believed that cobalt could made people fertile, wrote prose that makes William Blake read like an adopted-black-kid sitcom, and convinced a girl to whom he gave abominable VD to let him crash at her place for like a decade. Russia was his long gone heaven, which with loathing he ran from, then put a halo ‘round forever. He also did more to sell the world on the idea that audio and visual mediums could be unified than anyone before or after. Street Fighter II Turbo was born with his mother’s sonic boom, her afterbirth a seeping watercolor utopia, that which two World Wars were waged to destroy.

Soulseek has brought gifts from the mountaintop which we will pet while George tells us about the farm and rabbits. I like the suspenseful cowbell-countoffs and pauses in this, an album stoned and Stones-ed in all the right ways. Just pack some Jack and sandwiches to get past the always-unappreciated Stealers’ Wheel cover and faux-Dixie come-ons. I also like the strong finish and stronger start of this one, even if the middle is repetitive kettle corn laced with harmonies that could grate cheese by third listen. To have track one be your creative peak is a pornographer’s blessing and curse. And this might be the best of the bunch when it spares us the Twilight Zone harping and Bjork-in-the-high-school-production-of-Oklahoma! vocal warm-ups. The guitarsmanship will have you downing vitamin C and playing connect-the-trails.

What’s with this music that is in some spots ripe and others pulpy? These records, when amalgamated into a remix, could be a phalanx in any club from Portland to the Other Portland. In Chuck E. Chaplin’s foreseen modern timez, why must I even make my own subdivisions between what is “liked” and “disliked”? Was hasn’t a whipper/snapper of necessary means and bravado already mashed these three into a clean, ironic paste with whitening and peroxide? Why is it that the new learning box can take us to the river, but still can’t grab us by the hair and baptize us into the Blade Runners we were promised we’d be by now? O Big Brother, Where Art Thou? That last one too obvious and a total rhythm killer? I agree whole-heartedly!

I leave you with a fine example of someone being funny. Specifically, writing funny. To be more precise still, funny writing from one who has taken the stupid joke that people who don’t know or care about sports make everytime they’re forced to watch sports and made it into something beautiful. Come often and don't just browse: limited-run paperbacks about “opulent shadows” and bike chain photography don’t pay for their idiosyncratic selves.

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