Palace Music – Arise Therefore
Drag City, 1996
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
I'd really like to know the percentage of records I own that Steve Albini has produced or mixed or engineered. I bet it's something like 5%. I feel like I end up mentioning his name a lot in these write-ups. Anyway, he's pretty versatile. Sure, he can do noise rock like nobody's business but as we've seen with Joanna Newsom's Ys he can do the serene shit too. This record sounds fucking fantastic, and I really haven't ever listened to it. That makes me a dumbass, because this is one of the best Will Oldham records I've heard. It's got “A Sucker's Evening,” which is referenced in Jeffrey Lewis' “Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror.” The reference is something like “Even though he did hold my hands and fuck me like Will sings on 'A Sucker's Evening.'” The corresponding line is: “Make a noise, crack a glass/ I'll hold his arms, you fuck him/ Fuck him with something/ The fuck—he deserves it.” There's something really twisted and kind of funny about that. Fucking the fuck, etc. It's a weird song, kind of creepy with the looping guitar bit playing in the background with little else. The title track is one of my favorite Oldham songs I've ever heard. It's got the same looping guitar lilt as “A Sucker's Evening” but it's much more uplifting, less dark and creepy, brighter. Like the kind of brightness he wouldn't really get to again until Lie Down in the Light. Well, just that song. The rest is pretty somber, but ultimately lovely despite featuring some of his weirdest lyrics. Maybe not weird, but creepy. I mean, one of the songs is titled “You Have Cum in Your Hair and Your Dick is Hanging Out.” The record features piano/organ work by Squirrel Bait/Gastr Del Sol's David Grubbs, which is pretty rad. Well, I just think it's rad because I really like band family trees. How Oldham is tied to the Squirrel Bait/Slint boys because they're both from Louisville and how Oldham took the cover photograph for Spiderland etc, etc. Geek shit. I keep saying over and over “This record is so good” and Jenny, who is a much bigger Will Oldham fan than I, agrees. Man, this record IS fucking good. No frills or strings or hidden fees, just some straight up Oldham playin' the creepy uncle who sings the most beautiful songs. Just reading the thank you list is enough to prove this record is legit. It features David Berman, Bill Callahan, and David Pajo to name a few. Good company.
Here's the Jeff Lewis video. It's great.