06 June 2007

Everything is Good Here, Please Come Home

Tonight's post is my first attempt at the Jason Fulford aesthetic (not that he's the first one to do it) of creating associations between images that don't necessarily go together thematically. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like this is a pretty interesting set of images. There's no one way to read it, but I do think the images work together and bring up a lot of associations. I left out a few that I think would have worked here, but I'm saving some stuff for another post.

A number of Fulford's photographs, and these images, strike me as similar to some of Will Oldham's music (dark, disjointed, lonely, ambiguous, unsettling, humorous), particularly the older Palace stuff. There's really not a time when I'm not listening to something by Oldham, but lately I've been rotating Scott Walker's Scott III and Oldham's Arise, Therefore in my cd player. One of Oldham's songs in particular resonates lyrically with me, and I think it's a good companion to my images--i doubt you can find it online, but if so you should check it out.

You Have Cum in Your Hair and Your Dick is Hanging Out

A headstart on the frog
On the deer and the dog
Things we true were taught
Loyal torn from our hearts

It's now so soft underfoot
We sleep more than we sleep
If god could make me cry
I'd run along the water

She won't come
I'll be gone
She won't come
I'll be gone

Play with it while you have hands
A desperate lack of demands
I can't offer a thing
Better than dying, so take it

Scrap the outfit
Hand me the keys to your car
If I leave before it is light
I'll be around when you are

She won't come
I'll be gone
She won't come
I'll be gone

Addendum: I just read this review of Arise, Therefore on Amazon, and I thought it was worth posting. Phil Avetxori concisely and gracefully articulates much of what I find fascinating/beautiful about Oldham's music; and, like Phil, I feel too personally connected to the music to separate it from whatever I am:

This is one of those albums with a personal resonance too deep to be separated from my opinion of the disc as a whole. This is the spare, haunting music that accompanied my summer of '96, a time of aesthetic and personal discovery, tempered with both existential and self-imposed loneliness. Will Oldham's lyrics are poetic and ambiguous, but always seem to connect an aimless, uneasy, backwoods sociality reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's "Suttree" with more abstract and personal anxieties. Meaning opens to khora at the edges of confusion, like the pastoral drawing on the cover that disintegrates into marks in a blank, mute space. The folkish, Appalacchia of Oldham's rough-hewn guitar is here augmented with David Grubb's Morton Feldman-informed piano chords, which hang over the proceedings in beautiful decay. The country-folksiness of his phrasing is undercut by the artful placement and sense of space, fitting perfectly within Oldham's world of high art meets rural low-life. Much has been made of the use of a drum machine, but Steve Albini recorded it with an open air mike, like everything else; and it doesn't occupy any sort of (cyber)space of its own-just a simple clunk from the back of the room. This mix of minimal indie musical molasses and idiot man-child psychoanalysis inhabits an odd corner of its own. It sits there, alone in its head in a smoke-stained room, with Adolf Wolfli and Henry Darger, each biting his fingernails and sweating profusely.

Thanks Phil, and if you somehow happen upon this site and would prefer I take down your review, just let me know.


Karen said...

The Domino Record site actually has that song listed first under the Will Oldham songs you can listen to online. More later, when it isn't five in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Mark - your site is fantastic. I enjoyed looking at all your pics, but I really love your pics of the kids. I really also like the pics from your WVA camping trip, and the one of Karen and the wine glass. Can't wait to see the next blog. - Kristen