somehow avoiding coming off
Saturday, February 28 2004
For the past few days I've mostly been listening to the Silver Jews. It's hard to say exactly what kind of music this is, though superficially it sounds like Alt-Country in the same vein as the Jayhawks. But despite the slide guitars and constant lyrical references to "honky tonks," the weird dissonance of the chords is a hard thing to miss. The most impressive thing about the Silver Jews is their lyrics. I don't know any musical outfit so brilliant at cranking out both wordplay and internal rhyme while somehow avoiding coming off as a dorky novelty act. "How'd you turn a billion steers into buildings made of mirrors?" is but a tiny sample of their talent. Mind you, I've known about the Silver Jews since 1997, but my musical sensibilities couldn't really parse Alt-Country until circa 2001 (Thanks, Gretchen!).
What exactly is going on in this particular Alt-Country? The lyrics are essential and most of the songs tell a story. That's very Country. The Alt-part seems to lurk in the rhythm section, which ranges in style somewhere between surf and grunge. "Alpha. Delta. Gamma. (Everybody smoke!)"
Another day in the laboratory. There's that default business casual look again. I don't wear blue jeans.
As part of my new healthy lifestyle, I haven't been making myself any coffee at home. This was how my coffee pot looked a few days ago before I cleaned it. Perhaps because of the reduced caffeine, perhaps because of spontaneous healing, I've experienced no esophageal issues since leaving for New Orleans.
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