Jim O'Rourke – Bad Timing
Drag City, 1997
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2006
Two acoustic guitar-based instrumental records in a row! This one, however, is one of my most-played. I don't know why, but once I bought this I ended up listening to it every night before bed. I guess because it's really relaxing. At the same time, what O'Rourke (of mixing other people's records, Sonic Youth, and making Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot totally rad fame) is doing here is deceptively experimental. This doesn't really sound like anything else. There are four tracks and they're all about ten minutes long, and they never seem to get old. I'll listen to this record over and over because it not only helps me concentrate on stuff (I listened to it persistently when I needed to do homework) but it's just plain fucking good. My interest was first piqued when I read that Jeff Tweedy would listen to this constantly while driving around and smoking cigarettes on little breaks from recording YHF. I didn't know what to expect from this, given that O'Rourke is known for being a fucking weirdo. With his music, that is. I mean, I got a CD at KJ as assistant Music Director that featured him with Carlos Giffoni and Merzbow and it was a really abrasive hour long noise track. And then there's this. It's serene and organic. It builds and ebbs and flows. It seems like this is O'Rourke showing everyone that he's not only a fantastic guitarist, but that he can make more traditional music in addition to his experimental stuff. His latest record, The Visitor, is like a return to Bad Timing. It's one long 40 minute track and it's mostly based around acoustic guitar. And it's really good. Go figure.