Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shel Silverstein - Freakin' at the Freakers Ball

Shel Silverstein – Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball

Columbia, 1972
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Price: $3

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Shel Silverstein more than I already do, I go and listen to his absolutely totally thoroughly wholly fucking weird, wonderful, joyous, goofy and straight-up great time of a record Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball. As a kid you grow up reading his poems and stories and then you read The Giving Tree and you’re like “That is so sad.” And then you read The Giving Tree at work when you’re 26 and you start tearing up because it’s a masterpiece. And you know that Shel Silverstein wrote “Boy Named Sue” and I feel like all that stuff is just the tip of the iceberg of who Shel Silverstein was. There’s such a lust for life at work on this record I can’t stop grinning. Here you have this guy who’s mostly considered a beloved children’s book author of the same high caliber as Dr. Seuss and on the inside of the gatefold there’s this amazing image of Silverstein and a topless chick frolicking in a meadow and Silverstein is shooting his disembodied head like a basketball. There’s a silly song/poem about a girl who refuses to take out the garbage and there’s also a song about seeing a girl in a porno with a horse (“I saw Polly in a porny with a pony/ And the pony seemed a little bored…” Seriously, this record is fucking hilarious and brilliant all the way through). There’s something about “I Got Stoned and I Missed It” that makes you realize that Shel Silverstein was some kind of superior human being. There’s something violently progressive about this despite the fact that the record doesn’t really have a political bone in it’s…vinyl (that’s a total lie. This record came out in 1972 and “The Peace Proposal” can’t really be about anything but Vietnam). That a guy can create some of the most profound and life-shaping children’s literature and also write songs about the necessity of everyone needing to lighten the hell up and an amazing quality. Sonically this is some groovy shit. Shitkicking and bluesy and soulful and liberated from any notion of genre. It’s maybe the most fun record I’ve ever heard ever. 

No comments:

Post a Comment