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Showing posts from August, 2013

Blue-eyed Soul?: Ben Atkins' Patchouli and Jim Ford's Harlan County

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Wikipedia defines blue-eyed soul as "rhythm and blues and soul music performed by white artists . . . and first used in the mid-1960s to describe white artists who performed (such music) that was similar to the music of the Motown and Stax record labels." The term has been increasingly used to describe many white artists who take a soulful approach to music or sing certain kinds of torch songs. I was surprised to not find an entry concerning the form in The Rock Snob's Dictionary but the style doesn't seem to hold the cache of such genres as Americana or 70's AM folk. Even so, the entry for Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham shares some anti-hipster disdain for the "Memphis-based song writing duo invariably praised for being 'real soulful for white boys'" with tongue firmly entrenched in cheek. While the style does have its share of detractors, there is no mistaking that such songwriters as Penn and Oldham wrote some of the best soul songs of the 60…

The World is Awash

The world is awash with random events. I sit here drinking at the bar. Nirvana cranks from the speakers. Cobain sings about the hinterland just like the hi-fives. Live from the Wishkah, hah. As if he slept under various bridges waiting for that final night and I as a poet use a cellphone to record my thoughts against beer and a 90s soundtrack. Ruth Ruth and all those forgotten bands from indie and grunge scenes are revitalized. Hah. I record the malaise of a lost decade. Recording those indecisive nights on a machine that didn't exist then, except in Zach Morris's time-stopping daydreams. Huzzah. I am lost.

Owl Dreams

This is the world held within two points On the borders of sheen and stripped Darkness not alert from the cry Of a distant owl fluttering and coasting Along the borders of the forest Hunting desperately for food In boundaries of dark and twilight Piercing cries and shrieking crimes Unnatural and distant in the brightest light Ley lines of extremities unshorn What of it. Imaginary or real. The hunt for sustenance Be it shattered bones or feathers.