We pause in the midst of this summer heat wave for the caress of some of the greater love songs of the year by Bill Callahan, Camera Obscura, the Moore Brothers, the Horse's Ha and Stuart Murdoch. And not all of them are about masturbating.
Bill Callahan - "Two Many Birds" from Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle (Drag City)
This song starts innocently enough, a breakup song repeating
the line "too many birds in one tree" over a slowly unfolding piano and drum
kit in the back of the song. Slowly, though, the song is like that tree, probably
like the relationship as well, fills up with birds: "O black bird over black
rain burn among them," looking for a rest in this saturated tree that continues
to chirp and rustle with their presence becoming one with the general sense of
a tree. That is when we step back from the
tree to notice a single bird, then the first and a second, then those two and a
third and so on until we are bewildered with the wholeness of trees and birds. If you listen to the last minute of the song
as its real soul message gets revealed word by word: "If/If you/If you could/If
you could only..." -and it's worth checking out to see what the final message is -
you will understand.
If there is a better song about a failed masturbation session released this year, I haven't heard it.
What can be said about Alex V. Cook that has not already been curiously tagged on the Dustbin of History? For money-makins, he's been a computer programmer for a baker's dozen of years and has been doing things on the Inter-web since he's been allowed to by its Keepers, but in his heart, he is a Cult Star. He's been producing his enigmatic self-taught artwork in a variety of media and has as of late, embarked on a musical journey, becoming a polymath of mediocre playing on a variety of innocent instruments. His love of music verges on the pathological in how he assumes its all meant to relate to him, that the errant MP3 from a long forgotten Johnny Cash album is a flashing blue light in the Kosmic K-Mart, alerting him of something special only he will understand. And, it's been said he is devastatingly handsome, but in actuality, wins the ladies over with his charm and rapier wit, and not because he is a doughy music nrrd and they smile with pity toward him.