Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hank Williams vs. Nurse with Wound

My upstairs neighbour is blasting the Hank Williams again.

Understand: there's something I really like about the idea of listening to Hank Williams through the ceiling of my apartment (aka my upstairs neighbour's floor). Not just the idea of it, not just its creation of a pleasantly basement-below-the-honky-tonk environs, which I admit has some sorta folksy conceptual appeal; but rather, because there's something about the intervening floor/ceiling's set of filters and baffles and mutes that quite improves the sound quality, bends and softens and spreads it out in a kind of interesting way. If I close my eyes and listen I can make it do interesting things in my brain. Hell, it's so good that the next time I feel like listening to Hank Williams -- and do realize that I sometimes do and can sing the whole damn lyric to "Lost Highway," and not because I have a passing regard for Jeff Buckley or Townes van Zandt or someone else who might've covered it -- I may just go upstairs and ask my neighbour to put some on. I might even buy him or her something a bit more interesting than his Greatest Hits for Christmas -- maybe they'll take the hint, if I leave a note, "If I have a choice, I like this one better. Fondly, the guy downstairs" -- maybe something with "I Heard My Mother Praying For Me," say. I could get him/her American Music by Johnny Cash, too, which, again, I find more appealing than interminable repetitions of "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line." Hell, maybe I'll buy them some Woody Guthrie and the Smithsonian Fucking Folkways Classic Mountain Music compilation, while I'm at it -- I'm getting to know their tastes pretty well and they just might dig it. The key, though, really, about being able to appreciate this kind of music, is that listening to it must be VOLUNTARY.

Right now, I'd really rather be listening to Nurse with Wound. Finally bought (rather than request a burn of or download) my first one this week (yes, I know, I'm way late, I came late to Zoviet France, too). It's Drunk with the Old Man of the Mountains. "Swamp Rat" is definitely a keeper. Put the headphones on and turned it up quite a bit and was able briefly to not hear the Hank Williams competing with it. Oh, but here's "Jambalaya!" My father used to always sing this one... Hell, he still may sometimes. And that mean’s “Kaw-liga” is next…

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