Music Videos | 5:51
The risk of going to a public place to be alone is that sometimes people mistake my book for a prop and my lack of companion for a desire for companionship. To be fair, a stranger can’t know that in my hands, no book, above all a 1974 copy of Rex Stout’s The Red Box, is ever a prop. But I still cut short my time on my second-favorite bar stool last night. First, my neighbor, having heard me yammering with the French barman, asked me to spell out some French for a text message. Next, she asked me to describe my experience of the oysters. In the matter of the French query, I acquiesced; in the matter of the oysters, I did not. Oysters are my Tardis. I put them in my mouth when I need a shortcut to certain beaches in the Bay Area or in Rhode Island. And, via airplane or bivalve mollusc, I go to those places alone.
Smashpipe’s editorial offices consist of two bunkers, one in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the other in Jersey City. (We have yet to break ground on a tunnel to join them—the plan is to piggyback on that fucked-up gas pipeline if it goes through.) Jim Knipfel is blind, and I skew toward hermit. Email suffices for our edit meetings, which mostly amount to stuff like, “Hey, d’you wanna cover that plague of locusts over Israel, or should I?”
But I’ll venture out into the world for the right reason. Like Xenia Rubinos’s record-release show last night at Cameo Gallery, next to my old grocery store in Williamsburg.
For the first 15 years of my Smiths pathology, I toiled to decode every image in every line of every song. It all had to mean something. As my rapport with absurdity grew, I got wise. There's an entire field of scholarship on what goes on in Morrissey’s head. But I say let those dingos eat their tails. Sometimes people string words together simply because the sound they make is pleasing, not because they’re the key to Sylvester II’s lost treatises on the quadrivium. The song that comes to mind, of course, the one I killed myself over for decades, is “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others.”
It’s hardly surprising that Jake Bugg, the 19-year-old from Nottingham whose eponymous debut record charted at #1 in the UK last fall—and was released this month in the U.S.—shrugs off any comparisons to the young Bob Dylan, saying that his influences run more to the Arctic Monkeys, Everly Brothers, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. It’s unlikely—but not unfathomable given Bugg’s professional jump-start—that the singer/songwriter is well-versed in the hype that record companies pushed in the 1970s, hailing the latest “New Dylan,” and besides, in 2013 getting lumped together with the septuagenarian Dylan isn’t worth the currency it once was.
Music Videos | 1:37
Music Videos | 1:12