Friday, March 27, 2009

TVD's Alternative Ulcer

During my freshman year of college, perusing the CDs at a local bookstore, I discovered Robert Johnson. The beautiful way his fingers made a guitar sound like it had hundreds of strings, all weeping and hollering at the same time. At the time I discovered Johnson, I was busy going to punk shows and dreaming of marrying Mike Ness, long forgetting the folk sounds I was raised on. But Johnson's sound was enough to help me wade back into the deep waters of blues and folk music. The list of artists Robert Johnson has influenced is quite large and no doubt includes Langhorne Slim. The first time I heard his voice I think I may have swooned a bit. His songs bring out a range of emotions in me. Langhorne Slim is often classified as folk but I think it's so much more than that. One blog I recently read describes his sound as this:
"Langhorne Slim expertly walks the line between the sublime and the subterranean. At once raucous and reverent, his old-timey country blues is tempered with the occasional outburst of punk rock insolence indicating that there may just be an anarchy sign on the back of his guitar and a little more than constant sorrow on the brain of this charismatic troubadour."
And it really is true. The songs I've picked out are my personal favorites. And while his songs vary in their tempo, intensity, note composition, etc, the majority of the ones I've picked out are quicker paced. Maybe it's because it's Friday. Maybe because that's just my mood. But, there you have it. First up is "Restless" which makes me feel like I need to get the hell out of my chair, leave this city and drive across the country to some place where I live in a small house on a lot of land and spend my days planting seeds and my nights playing banjo in a folkpunk band.

"I Will" is one of those songs where you picture yourself in a bar and there's people dancing on tables and swinging each other around in circles and at the end of the evening collapse exhausted into each other's arms, with almost empty pints of beer in one hand. "In the Midnight" is just pure craziness of the kind that has me imagining adults in some depressing cafeteria getting into a giant food fight leaving their boring grey and black business suits torn to shreds and exploded condiment packets littering the floors. "Honey Pie" has some raunchiness to it that makes me want play it while I get ready before a long night out. Finally, "Loretta Lee Jones" is special to me for reasons that are personal. But it's a damn great song and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Langhorne Slim is playing at Iota on April 2 at 9pm. Which I'm almost reluctant to tell anyone, because Iota doesn't do tickets beforehand and I'm in class until 8pm and should I not get into the show I may just bang on the front windows like a crazy person until they let me in, or, in the likely alternative, call the police.

Langhorne Slim - Restless (Mp3)
Langhorne Slim - I Will (Mp3)
Langhorne Slim - In The Midnight (Mp3)
Langhorne Slim - Honey Pie (Mp3)
Langhorne Slim - Loretta Lee Jones (Mp3)


Jesse said...

Great post. I especially enjoyed your whimsical reactions to each song. Planting seeds and playing banjo indeed! Good luck getting into that concert next week.

Valerie said...

If I see you banging on the windows, I promise to not make fun of you.

KRIS said...

thanks jesse!

val- oh please do make fun of me. i will totally deserve it.

Valerie said...

Well, I didn't see anyone banging on the windows, so I assume you got there in time for that awesome awesome show. So no need to laugh at you for that, but if you call me "Val," I'll just punch you and THEN laugh at you ;)